Thursday, 15 January 2015

Photoshop your personality.

Source: Tumblr 'haunting--thoughts'

The photoshop epidemic of the western world depicts 'perfect' men and women with unrealistic bodies and faces that often look like Barbie just got really good at making life like dolls. You all know this, it's drilled from both sides of the argument into your head pretty much every day. You must simultaneously look like a plastic superhuman without even any pores in your skin whilst shunning the industry that indoctrinates you to look thus. It's exhausting and no matter how hard you try to believe that whatever you look like is beautiful because being a human is impressive in itself you inevitably feel down about something.

You can sometimes go through a whole day feeling as if a photographer should be following you around for a piece in Vogue and then go home and notice your hair looked messy, or you've actually had mascara giving you a black eye for the whole day. You then start thinking ridiculous things such as 'I bet you Jennifer Lawrence never, ever has a bad hair day'. Or, when you're lying elegantly in bed with your chin at your chest in your most disreputable clothing you wonder why Beyoncé wouldn't look quite as disgusting. I am aware that comparing myself to celebrities where the only photos I will see of them are professionally groomed, photographed in perfect light and then skilfully photoshopped is almost illogical but I'm ashamed to say it can bring me down. To a point.

When moaning and grumbling about the way I look some days in my head I always come to the abrupt realisation that looking like an actual human being is much more preferable to appearing surreal. Because that's what photoshop does, it dehumanises you. It takes away your unique physical appearance and morphs it into a clone of some sort. Like a sick, sadistic sausage factory for photographs. The more you ponder on it the weirder it gets. The whole idea is very bizarre. We want to achieve the most desirable image we can conceive with ideals that we initially created with photoshop and the only way we can achieve such physical beauty is on a computer.

Photoshop is also, essentially, void of personality. We have become so obsessed with the way we look in a photograph that we barely even consider how witty, kind, intelligent, or thoughtful the person is. For some reason I fail to remind myself that I am almost always only attracted to personality over looks. That isn't a pretentious, 'holier-than-thou' statement it's generally what I've experienced in my short life. Why then is it taking so long to get us out of this strange marketing ideal of what beauty is when the majority of us would never notice in real life if somebody had slightly imperfect eyebrows? We're all totally aware of how damaging a concept photoshop can be, and yet we continue to eat it up and perpetuate it across all media.

I'm not sure I can fully conclude this post as it's become less clear to me as to what the answer would be to my questions. It is almost like a new phenomenon for the majority of the population who are level-headed, clever individuals to somehow believe in photographs of men and women who are sometimes so perfect it would be anatomically impossible for them to survive. Perhaps, at least I do hope, that ridiculous levels of photoshopping is just a fashion that will begin to die out in a few years and that eventually we will start to accept images of real people with normal flaws in our magazines and on our screens.