Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Everywhere I look, people are posting self-portraits in various looks and styles. Though the composition and subjects change, one thing that doesn't is the fact that everyone seems to be "editing" their photos to within an inch of what they actually look like. It's really weird to me, because I KNOW these people and I know they don't have green eyes, for example, so why change it up to pretend they do?
Oh, I know. It's just to create a cool photo that looks vintage or that is subdued in some ways and then stands out in others. I get the concept and might experiment with it myself at some point but it's the prevalence all over the place that kind of frightens me, especially in the pre-teen and teen population.
It begs the question "What's wrong with the way you ACTUALLY look?" It makes me worry that no one is just happy with themselves, anymore, without the little airbrush. If you have hazel eyes, why make them green? If you have grey eyes, why go blue? If your skin is golden, why go porcelain? Why can't we all just embrace who we are and what we look like and celebrate that diversity, without trying to polish ourselves from a rough draft to what we think is a more interesting tableau?
I used to think Botox parties and plastic surgery was something that just the rich, "Housewives" franchise type of folk did. Well, and celebrities. As I near my 40's, I hear more and more people I actually KNOW discussing what they need done, what they'll have done, what they'd like to tweak.
I'm not perfect, I'm a far cry from perfect. I have stretch marks and freckles and sun spots. I have a deep line in my forehead from squinting in the sun. I have some laugh lines starting around my eyes. You know what? I'm cool with it. Don't get me wrong-I'm obviously not saying I'd never do anything to make myself look my best. I'm just not obsessed with it, with ageing, with trying to be anything but who I am. To me, you can age gracefully without looking desperate. I also think ageing is a privilege, not a right, and many don't get to live to see each age I reach, so I'm thankful for each year and each lesson learned during it's course. Yep, even the tough ones.
When I look into the mirror-I'm pretty okay with what I see reflected back at me, even without a photo edit. So, while you may see me add a funky photo somewhere, you'll never see me changing the colour of my eyes or the shade of my hair, or the freckles that tumble over my nose. They are what make me who I am, and I'll never want to be anyone other than that.