The Trouble With Brushing
“Can you make my thighs look a little slimmer with Photoshop?”, “And how about fixing that double chin thing?”, “Oh, and can you take a few pounds off that butt? Better make it 10 pounds…”
Against the rising tide of unhappiness about editing model’s photos to make them fit fashion ideals, there’s a snag. We still want to look better than we do.
Which is where photoshopping comes in. Stuff the routine gym visits! And give that miserable all-the-lettuce-you-can-eat-diet the flick! Your photo glamour is assured. Thanks to the power of photo-editing software, you can look more like you dream to be. And it’s easy.
Now this is enough to cause catfights at the water cooler at many a workplace. On one side, the stalwart Rejectionists. They say any major changes to our appearance to suit a fashionable ideal aren’t on. It’s dishonest, and panders to ridiculous fashion demands. Plus, it keeps everyone feeling insecure because hardly any of us meet the ideal criteria that say you have to look drop dead gorgeous.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the water cooler, are the Embracers. Yes, they get the idea that people (and particularly women) are being demeaned by silly fashion ideals.
But they don’t see why they should miss out on feeling great seeing themselves ‘enhanced’. From their viewpoint, “it’s their body and they’ll lie if they want to.” Well, not lie as such. More… tweak.
So, there’s a contest of wills. We want to look better. But don’t want the pressure to be forced to be what we’re not.
Now surely that shows how screwed up we are as human beings. We want people to think we’re various shades of ravishing to look at. But we don’t want people to expect it.
Besides which, those leftovers in the fridge are waaay to tempting right now. Especially when our guilty voice is telling us to keep the dietary faith to fit that slightly tight outfit in the wardrobe.
Crazy, isn’t it?
So, somehow, we don’t want others to judge us (much less ourselves) for our fat bulges and wrinkles. But we reserve the right to outrageously Photoshop any photos of ourselves. Just so we look “our best”.
By banishing the flab. Wiping out the wrinkles. And tucking up the bingo wings, and hound dog jowls.
And before anyone goes all sanctimonious on that front, consider this: how many true to life avatars are there out there? Do people really have muffin top cyber identities, complete with gut bulge, thunder thighs, and sausage fingers?
Of course not!
We like to look nice, and there’s nothing weird about that. So, if anything, the problem is not just about acceptance. But about reality.
We want to look better and there is no end of ways to spend to do it (or give us the impression we’re doing it). Because it feels fun.
So, stick legs, a flat and saggy bum, a bust that’s too big or small, and hair that won’t behave… all these cares and so much more take up tons of our time. And yet, in the grand vision of life, they are as trivial as whether we eat butter or margarine.
If someone loves you, the pressure is off. But, more importantly, if you learn to accept yourself as is, it doesn’t even matter.
Sure, if you feel insecure, physical flaws will be a huge issue to you. After all, in today’s meat market of relationship shopping, they shape your gorgeousness score. Well, at least it feels like that.
So go ahead. Edit your selfies if it makes you feel better. Let it all hang out if not. But remember: the important thing is that you and everyone comes with built in value.
From the moment you were born there was something precious built in. Regardless what you look like. And apart from all your flaws, you can still be the bee’s knees (or, the cat’s pyjamas) to others through the good that you do.
Which is kind of nice. In fact, you could be as ugly as homemade lye soap. But if you show kindness and courage, your actions will always be like a breath of spring.
So go ahead and do as I do. Edit enough to tuck up that sag and pull in that waist. But keep your eyes on the big prize. That’s living a great life of courage, compassion, genuineness, and all the other wonderful qualities I keep forgetting.
Yeah, it’s natural to want to dazzle and impress. But, a life that’s mostly show is a lost opportunity. Better to do something wonderful with our efforts than keep peeping in the mirror, trapped in self-obsession.
Besides, despite our selfie-centred society, nobody cares less seeing anyone else’s selfies anyway. They just want to enjoy hanging out with you.