Monday, May 4, 2015

Delusions of Grandeur

This photo is an illusion,  the way most photos on social media are these days.  First of all, I took it to commemorate the best hair day I've had in like a decade.  I was wearing make-up, which is part of my daily routine.  But, cute earrings and a tunic are not.  I happened to be dressed up to go out with a friend.  And then after I took this picture, in really good lighting by the way, I filtered the hell out of it,  just for this post.  My skin looks flawless doesn't it?  It isn't, nor has it ever been.

It's nothing short of a delusion of grandeur.  

It used to be that you had a camera and you had no idea what the image you captured looked like until you got it developed.  And with prehistoric Kodak instamatic camera,  chances are, it probably looked terribly unflattering.  (Especially with your mullet.)  But, everyone's photos did, so no one really knew how bad they were.  We were all on a level playing field.  And if the photo was particularly hideous, you ripped it up and it simply ceased to exist.  

And then things went digital. 

Which is when everything changed.  The most important of those being, that photo will live FOREVER.  And if you post it on social media, it can be seen by EVERYONE.  The entire world can see you in an instant.  (Especially your mullet.)  So, no pressure or anything, but you probably want to look pretty damn good.  Your best even.  Even if it's a bit fictionalized. Because everyone else on Instagram does.  It just levels the playing field.

I admit I'm as guilty as anyone else.

But, I get extremely frustrated with the lack of realism.  Sure, it's great to take a great picture and feel good about yourself.  But, it's also important to portray reality.  And how we all fall short of that unattainable ideal.  So, when I woke up with pink eye 2 weeks ago, I immediately took a photo and posted it to Twitter and Instagram, unedited and unfiltered.  And it instabombed and twitterflopped.  I left them up for a week, before I impulsively deleted them.  Which I'm ashamed to admit.  I did mention photos on the internet last forever right?  So, I've posted it again here for round 2, to redeem myself.  Forever.

Luckily, I got a second round of pink eye, so I was able to post a second photo my funky eye sans makeup & filter on Instagram.   Because I really want to keep things real.  And yes, those are my real under eye circles and blotchy skin.  So what?  The only person you're deluding is yourself.  Further  perpetuating the myth that you're not enough just the way you are.  Which is the greatest delusion of grandeur of all.


Cathy Tittle said...

Too true Marie. I edit the heck out of photos of myself. It's just too tempting to soften the turkey neck and wrinkles. I admit I cave to pressure, because I have two beautiful sisters to try to keep up with.

One of these days, after a couple glasses of wine, I'll gather my courage and go face-commando. Maybe. I'm such a chicken shit.

PS: you look pretty dang good with pink eye. :)

Penelope said...

Marie, you always look so good and even without any retouching, you still do.
I belong to the old hit-or-miss school where we chose good photos out of a bunch but never retouched. I can honestly say that with one exception, a selfie - my first - that I took recently, my photos aren't retouched, but I have a feeling they will be from now on. said...

All you need to do is visit a dating site- and then you find out (a) if they are even real at all and (b) how much they doctored the photo.
I guess that's why it's been hard to find the dates I've arranged- they don't match the photo. (No, I don't play that game. I have better things to do than to doctor photos. Which is why my blog photo is right from the camera on my computer, too.)

Sine said...

Ha, love it! You could use that in reverse for a before and after advertisement. I've always wondered how they do those, like do the take a reasonably nice person and make them look deliberately horrible, then take the before shot, and then they just have to go back to normal to look great...


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