Once upon a time, there was a dark and scary stretch where people were doomed to accept their photos as is. No airbrushing over that zit, no shrinking the waist, and definitely no e-pumping of the breasts. It was a sad period in which we sort of had no choice but to be seen as our true selves.
Speed up to now: Huzzah! Duck face, ‘Look, my hands touch when I put them on my waist!’, and Photoshop. This is really a fabulous thing. Of course its the celebs that have been our great pioneers. They let us know that it’s not okay not to be perfect. That if we look like a normal human being, there are steps we can take to achieve greatness.
For people like me, I must bow to the airbrush.
Scars. Extra chub covering what I just know is a killer bod. The occasional zit. Blackheads. Dimples … and not the cute kind you get on your face when you smile. Crooked teeth. Boobs that sag already at 24 because of my loathing of bras. Hair that I refuse to re-dye so its growing sandy blond roots with reddish-brownish-weirdish ends. Don’t even get me started on style — I have none. Skin that has weathered with the extensive sun kissing … Dude, I have lines already?!?! All in a whopping 5 foot 2 package. 5’3 on special occasions where I can shrink people standing next to me with a click of the mouse.
Photo editing has saved my life. No kidding. I used to be doomed with the most awkward of pictures. Double chin in every damn one of them! Even when I was a seemingly skinny kid. Photoshop has allowed me to do things like this:
Oh hi. That’s me. I’m beautiful, right? Notice my flawless skin, perfect teeth, hair that falls randomly into place. Also note that the picture was taken by someone else — because I’m not the girl that takes pictures of herself. Let’s just take a minute to admire me.
The only problem with this blessed invention is that when I finally meet up with the lonely truck driver I met on the dating site, they get a sort of unpleasant surprise.
Notice the similarities? Yeah, no one else does either. There is something a little off. I say I’m just having a bad hair day. I say it’s the lack of lighting. But really? It’s just me without the Jessica Alba face transplant.
It’s ok though. Apparently your online self is all that matters in this day and age. If people think I’m decent looking on the web, I’ve made it. I’m in. Screw what I look like in real life. You will never really know its me, anyway. I slip by you with my knotted hair and no makeup.
I am pretty excited to have ugly kids too. Since I can just edit them into creepy porcelain dolls and make people think my genes are made up of formaldehyde and glass eyeballs. I mean really, how dare your toddler not have perfectly done eyebrows!
Then when it comes time for Christmas cards, I will force my pre-pubescent son to give himself the body of Ahnold. Because my family must never really know he is a skinny 10 year old with no man-boobs.
So calm down, folks. Accept and embrace this invention of mass destruction. We never look at each other in the eyes anyway … so what’s the big deal if we want to give our e-selves a little extra oomph? Not all of us can be naturally beautiful like Justin.