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Life is only what you wonder.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Before And After

That's me on the left.
And who's that ravishing beautiful gorgeous creature on the right?
Oh, yeah, that's me too.

I've never used my PhotoImpression (kind of like Photoshop, but it came free with my Nikon digital camera) to doctor up my photos before.
Oh, sure I've used the fader, the "soft glow", the "red-eye remover" and employed several other effects, but not with the sole intention of making me look better.

I'm a pretty together guy. I'm pretty much aware of my flaws. I'm not the most gorgeous thing that's walked the Earth, but I'm not ugly. I couldn't use my face to break mirrors or stop clocks. There are more uglier people on this planet than me, (I know this for a fact!)
I've always been pretty secure in my looks (or how I feel about them).

But . . .

The other day I was bored and had nothing better to do, so I started tinkering around. A little airbrish here, a little smudging there, a little blurring here and there, a little sweep of color, and --voila!-- I'm filthy gorgeous.

And I notioced something right in the middle of my "doctoring", when I was smoothing the lines and smudging away the blemishes. (I didn't shout out "Ureka!", but I came pretty damn close.)
Brace yourself for a brutal dose of truth here.
It's our "flaws" that make us who we are! It's our differences that make us unique. Otherwise we would all look the same, like in that Twilight Zone episode.

I noticed something else, too: Once you start correcting your 'flaws", you never want to stop. You keep finding more things to "correct".
You can make your eyes bigger and more vibrant (or even change the color altogether), your skin tone less pale (or even tan - no more worries about melanoma or skin cancer!) , your lashes longer, zap out any and all zits, ditto for winkles, moles, and scars, make your face shorter or less round, your mouth wider, your lips fuller and redder. You could even add some highlights to your hair if you wanted to.
Where does it end?
The result of that much tinkering is that the final image looks absoloutely nothing like you! Someone wouldn't be able to pick you out in a line-up if they tried.

Look at the fellow on the right. He's hot, no question -- but he doesn't exist. He's someone I created with my photo, a program, and a couple of sweeps of my mouse. He's the ideal version of me, the version I want others to see when they see me.
But, of course they can't because It's not real. It's an illusion I created digitally.
He has no character at all in his face. His face is totally smooth and devoid of lines, but he's also devoid of anything that makes him human. He could be Barbie's new boyfriend or a department store mannequin.

Not that I don't plan to "touch up' my photos now and again.
(That zit had no business being on my face in the first place!)