A pretty, airy dress for the incredibly hot and summery days we've been experiencing here, a girly hairdo and my straw bag: I'm prettttty sure you'll be seeing me in similar looks all summer.
By the way, here's a few pics of me with my mum and my awesomely stylish sis whose hair I envy with the fire of a thousand suns.
Obviously crazy runs in the family.
Now, to get to the serious part of my post: when I was browsing the pics that were taken of the three of us, one pic stood out to me because it was particularly unflattering and funny. Normally, one would just move their finger to the "trash" icon to delete and forget it ever existed, but I stopped to think twice. Let me get to the point: I have no problems with unflattering pics. I never untag on facebook. I always feel like it's really rude to untag yourself in a pic one of your awesome friends put online, since those pics aren't about putting your beauty on a pedestal, they're about the great times you had together and about the memories. Why would you want to delete a memory because it gave you double chins?
Encountering this particular picture drove the point home to me even further. I thought it was a funny pic, and it reminded me of the fun I had when taking the pictures. Does it surprise you that I actually LIKED a picture of me that featured my double (or actually triple) chins? Well, hold on to your seat. I actually made it my profilepicture on facebook. Yep, when my friends browse my profile, they will see this picture to represent me.
My boyfriend told me to change it. A friend commented that I was being very brave. I couldn't help but wonder (HA Carrie Bradshaw I can do this too): why is it brave to show the world imperfection? For all this universal ragging on photoshop on magazines, on how real beauty is on the inside and on how we are more then our pretty faces, we certainly seem to have another few years to drive until we arrive at REALITY-ville.
We have all seen pictures like these: in our culture where every 8 year old has a camera and most teenage girls spend their free time constructing The Cherry Blossom Girl-esque photodiaries of them frolicking in idyllic fields, almost everyone has seen hundreds or even thousands of photo's of themselves. Actually, most of us even see ourselves in the mirror a couple of times a day! And yet, it doesn't seem to get any easier to accept the fact that we don't always look perfect.
This is a pertinent question both for bloggers and regular social media users: bloggers use photoshop. I have to confess that yes, I use photoshop too. It's hard to draw the perfect line between being real and presenting an appealing, inspiring image to my readers, since my blog IS about prettiness too. However, I promise you that I limit the photoshopping to a minimum. I hardly ever use it to alter or enhance my appearance, and if I do it's to remove a zit in a close up, or bags under my eyes in poorly lit shots. I don't see it as that big a problem, but I do feel the need to tell you guys that all those people who SEEM perfect actually have their minor flaws too. Imperfection doesn't need to be a bad thing, it's just a reality we all need to confront.
We feel society's eye on our red eyes, wrinkles, zits, eye bags, fat rolls, greasy hair and double chins, and we RUN to untag or delete. Well, let me break it to ya: EVERYONE has a double chin when they pull their head into their neck like a goofy turtle. EVERYONE gets zits in stressful times. EVERYONE has fatrolls when they bend over, and guess what: everyone's hair gets greasy. Why do we still feel ashamed of things that are UNIVERSAL? Why are we so afraid of ugliness?
I got a surge of inspiration and immediately put up a new status on my facebook, asking my friends to participate in UGLY PROFILEPICTURE DAY. Three of my lovely friends immediately joined me in my protest against ugly-denial. Mine is still up, and that doesn't disturb me one bit. People who know me also know what I look like: the good, the bad AND the ugly.
My opinion is that since not being pretty/perfect/appealing/whatever isn't a crime, I have no desire to untag or feel ashamed of a bad picture. Even if my face looked like this every.single.day, I should not feel ashamed of it. Because yes, we ARE more than a pretty/ugly face. Not looking our best will not make you unworthy of respect or love. And looking an unflattering picture in the eye might make you realize that in fact, things aren't as bad as you thought they were. Actually, when I look at my ugly pic now it doesn't even look that ugly to me anymore. Guys, this is my face. And I love every single chin.
Now who's with me? :-) Are you ready to embrace your ugliness, and for the bloggers: do you photoshop and what are is your stance on blogging and photoshopping?
dress: New Look
wedges: Sac d'Anvers
headband: don't remember
PS: another reason I love Lady Gaga: girl isn't afraid to look ugly. Fuck sex appeal, fuck cute, fuck pretty. My body doesn't need censorship. Because that's what you're doing when you untag: you are censoring certain sides of yourself. Give your body freedom of expression, even if what it has to say is ugly! :-D