Friday, September 08, 2006

Riddle me this, Riddle me that

When did photoshopped pictures become the only type of pictures available for public posting on a blog/site? I understand that everybody wants to project a certain degree of flawlessness, whether subject to the Magic Wand of the Twentieh Century(tm)- the Airbrush, but when exactly did it reach this height of madness?

As a person who has had ezcema her whole life, I will admit to wanting to alter pictures of me on occasion. As if sores and blotchy skin weren't bad enough, having ezcema doesn't give you an out from the occasional breakout, and what with the penchant for zits appearing in the middle of my forehead, I should realistically be a hardcore Photoshop advocate. But I'm not mostly because I lack any forseeable Photoshop-ing skills, but that's besides the point honestly.

The point is that in less than three weeks I've been lambasted twice for supposedly putting up less than flattering pictures of friends, and I'm starting to wonder if there's a trend here. The pictures I chose weren't retarded, or shot at a bad angle, or badly litted, or badly framed or overexposed or underexposed or etc. In fact, they were just plain un-Photoshopped pictures of two of my best mates. Which begs the question: would I have had a different reaction had I airbrush/Photoshop them to oblivion?

Maybe it's because there has never been a more celebrity-obsessed era than now in the era of the New Millenium. We objectify celebrities who are portrayed as flawless goddesses on magazine covers and websites and strive to achieve that level of perfection. Together with the fact that access to technology has never been more democratic, the means to alter our digital image has never been easier. Maybe that explains the Photoshop craze that has befallen the public blog sphere.

Or maybe, just maybe, over the years people have lost the ability to love themselves. Everybody wants to be glamourous and perfect to the point where pictures lack any semblance of humanity. Replace the gorgeous Photoshopped people with mannequins and the content remains the same. And while I might be overstating the significance of pictures in the grand scheme of life, to me they represent a snapshot of you at a certain point in your life. Whether that is the gawky years of puberty or the acne-infested years of teenage life, the picture is proof that you existed there and then- sort of the metamorphorsis you went through before you ended up where you are now. And if every single one of the picture was Photoshopped to cover your flaws, then it isn't quite a celebration of your life's journey, is it?

I have too much assignments and not enough time to go further in detail. Suffice to say that I caved again and took down the picture as per my friend's request. I'm not entirely happy with my final decision but I figured to be fair I'll wipe the slate clean and remove all previous pictures that contained any friends in them. The backlash is just. too. effing. annoying.