Thursday, October 13, 2011

True Beauty?

This has been on my mind for a while. As someone who edits a lot of photos I spend a good amount of time looking at faces. And to be honest, altering them. I don't think in a bad way. And I generally really love the faces I spend time with. Even the faces I don't know very well, as they become familiar to me over time.

But I have to be honest here. I can't resist smoothing out a wrinkle here and there, or evening out some unflattering shadows. I try not to really alter the character and integrity of the face, but don't we all want to look like we're well rested and having a really great day???
As I get older, I am also a lot more aware of the images I see in the media. I have more and more appreciation/admiration/envy for those women especially, my age and older with tight skin and firm jawlines.
If I had the resources to apply those million dollar potions and elixers of youth or a fancy dermatologist, I'd be right on it! Of course there are a lot of factors that go into it and I'm not suggesting plastic surgery or anything, but a good night's sleep and eating vegetables will only do so much. Know what I'm sayin'???

Turns out I do have a magic weapon in my possession - PHOTOSHOP! And I'm not afraid to use it. ha!
The other day I posted a photo on FB and I felt a little guilty. Like I should include a disclaimer of sorts. Along the lines of...if you see me at the grocery store and I look more wrinkled and my roots are growing out and I have a zit on my chin, please don't gasp in horror!
On the other hand, if we are judging ourselves based on images we see all around us, shouldn't we have some of the same advantages?

To be fair, none of those folks in magazines or movies look glamorous all the time either. Some of them are still beautiful without the 'make-over', but then aren't we all?
My point is, I guess, that there is a certain reality we all face (pun intended) and there is another reality that is also a matter of lighting and make-up and yes, even Photo Shop. We've all seen those 'shocking' photos of stars without make-up. Just normal faces.
And don't we deserve to feel beautiful and wonderful and glamorous if we want to? Without feeling guilty. ahem...

I've been checking out the work of this amazing Australian photographer, Sue Bryce. Check out the before and after. See what I mean!

I love the idea of transformation. I love the notion of making people look great. Especially women. I think the transformation is powerful. In my images I try to find a 'natural' looking balance. But it would be fun to play around with more 'glamorized' images.

So tell me what you think. Too much? Not real? We all have the potential for glamor? Does it mean anything to you? Would you feel great or fake? Is natural always better? More honest? How much is too much? Or would you go for it?


Daisy Patch said...

I use my editor to get rid of the blemishes on my face(which I always seem to have) and to whiten my teeth a bit.My front tooth is discolored, which I absolutely despise. Just by doing those two little things, helps me to like looking at myself in pictures.So I am certainly not totally against it.I do however think you can go too far, when you completely misrepresent yourself, like they do in the magazines.They are setting a standard that no one can reach.
I will get off my soap box now LOL!
By the way I think the SOOC picture is wonderful!

Jamie said...

Yah, can't really tell much of a difference between your two pics pretty lady! :)
I often think about this too, as I make sure to get rid of all the blemishes and shine on my face in all the pics. I take photos to remember - I guess we all do - but I'm no photographer, so it's not art. It's a form of journalling. Am I rewriting reality? I don't know. But I'm too vain to stop!

Jamie said...

Oh and those Sue Bryce before and afters are AH-MAZING!