a little crazy rambling

i recently watched this video that i found on cardigan empire. and i agree with what the clinical dietician said, we all know that photos in media magazines, websites, tv shows and movies are all photoshopped, but do we let it sink in? do we really know that that is a false reality?  do we even know what reality looks like?

it's interesting because i was thinking about this at my zumba class last week. here i am, standing in front of dozens of women, and we are all bouncing up and down and shaking our what nots. what i loved is that when i looked in their faces, they all looked beautiful. truly happy, and truly beautiful. did it matter how old you were or what size you were or how many wrinkles or love handles you had? not in the least.

but i can guarantee that when the same women watch tv, movies or read the media magazines, or are around a very thin woman, they don't feel as beautiful as they truly are. it is never, ever enough. obviously, it seems like there is a solution to this, limit the media influences in your life if you have a problem with them. ok, solved.

but what scares me is the photoshopping being done on just your normal blog or facebook photos.  children's hair is lightened, and eyes brightened and colors softened to make everyone and everything look better, more perfect, more acceptable.  and the question is, how much is ok? how much is too much? what will the children think when they look at these photos as adults? will they know what things really looked like? the true reality? will they let it sink in that these are all "edited" to look nice. how will they know how to be happy with an un-edited life? what's going to happen when they give birth and their babies head is cone-shaped, face puffy, and cottage cheese in every crevice? because that's what all of mine have looked like. honestly.

i'm just wondering what the true culprit is- the media? photoshop? or the fact that we believe what the media and photoshop are selling? that 40 is the new 20 and pregnancy only adds 2lbs during pregnancy and melts off at birth. that our skin is flawless at all times and the grass was always green.and it's ok to "touch up" all of your photos to look better. what will it be like in 11 years, and everyone owns photoshop and every single family photo is edited? maybe none of this really matters at all. i am crazy after all.

maybe it's just me, but i know for a fact that i will NOT look like demi moore when i'm in my fifties, that i will not fit back into my jeans 2 weeks after having a baby and that most days there are brown spots on the grass.  that's the true reality. i don't have perky boobs or firm buttocks or skinny arms or bagless eyes or a perfect home. but we wish we did don't we?  maybe that's the problem? the fact that we wish things are so different instead of being content with reality. i'm not saying we should all plop on the couch and eat ding dongs all day and give up any and all forms of exercise and maintenance all together. as my dad would say, "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater". no, healthy habits are good and essential. but excessive vanity and altered perceptions of reality are bad. you get my drift? probably not, this is a pretty crazy post.

i know that i'll swith photos to black and white, and crop them to focus on one thing. but i really try to leave alone 99% our daily photos. but my annual family photo and wedding photos? yeah, all of those are edited. guilty as charged.

so i guess what i'm saying is: where is the line?
when is it ok to just let people see the real you?
when do you edit?
when do you abstain?
have you even ever thought about it?
and if so, what do you think?
or does none of this matter and you think i'm making a mountain out of a mole hill?

*ps* i wrote this post over a month ago and just had the guts to post it.


Ginny said...

Ouch. You totally could have wrote this post just for me. I have not blogged in weeks. Why? Because I have not had time to "touch up" my photos. Who am I trying to impress? I have a private blog with 10 readers for crying out loud! Our life is far from perfect. And you know what? That is what I love so much about it- mud, dirt, cow poop-- that's us. Thanks for your reminder. I needed it and will appreciate it more than you'll ever realize.

Tiffany said...

So true Annie! I loved this post. What freaks me out are the "airbrushed" looking pictures where there's not a crease or any texture on people's faces. I got into a phase of over editing some of my pictures on picnik and sometimes I still think its fun, but for the most part I have started to just leave my pictures alone. And I like them better that way!

Whitney Baldwin said...

This has been on my mind a lot recently.
I just read an article where the editor of a well-known health magazine talked about how she had her marathon photos edited to minimize her thighs. Seriously. Finished a freaking marathon-- but heaven forbid, her thighs should appear less than perfect(whatever that means.)

Anyway, very timely post. Gave me a lot to think about. Thanks so much for posting it and very well said. As always.

Melanie said...

I don't think you're crazy and I don't think you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. I think with kids, both boys and girls, I definitely want them to know what reality is. My girls should not expect perfection in themselves or their dates, and the same goes for my boys. What it boils down to is another tool of the adversary to make us miserable and to take our focus from the things that really matter, to the trivial.

I only do red eye and sometimes black and white in our pictures. I never really got into the photo editing.

As I'm loosing weight post baby #4, this is just a great reminder that being healthy and in shape, does not always look the way I think or imagine it should.

By the way, in the back of my mind, I know those magazine covers I see are airbrushed and altered, but that doesn't mean I don't compare myself. Sometimes I just wonder about how they look so good and why I can't seem to get there.

Danna Banana said...

very good point. embrace what you have.

Meka said...

Love this post! I sometimes am tempted to hire a photographer that has those amazing photoshop skills but I really want to capture the reality of my family, (except my zits, please edit those out). I am not to sure I need my sons eyes to be any bluer or my daughters eyes to be any brighter, I think it would be taking away them, what they look like! Ps.. i fit back into my jeans no problem after "having" both my babies hehehe!

Something Special said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Something Special said...

this is tara....for some reason i can't get off of my moms log in on my comp what the...

Anonymous said...

It is so true!

Emily said...

well said! And not a bit crazy!

Mary said...

I love you!!! You are so wise! I always feel inspired after reading your blog!! I miss you!!

Allyson said...

I totally agree! I don't think young girls realize that the pictures in magazines are touched up. I know I didn't.And like they pretty much said in the video. To achieve that body you pretty much have to be working out constantly. I think it is fun to play with photoshop. I only like to play with photoshop on my portraits but I still love the natural looking ones. I want my kids to know what they looked like when they were little.

Jordan and Jandee said...

amen. I am definitely in the camp that less is more when it comes to editing. Especially any actions that "smooth the skin" (which makes people look elfin in my opinion, or "brightens the eyes" -- umm it really changes the color of the eyes right? Although confession, I do usually photoshop out cold sores or zits on pictures I am planning on framing, because I figure that I don't want them to be distracting and I love B&W photos --but since I shoot in B&W on my camera that is usually technically not editing.

Keshia Phill said...

It's just so scary! I KNOW that every picture is photoshopped. I've seen little documentaries on it before but my eyes lie to me. I see all of these photos and think, "I wish I could look like that." It gives not only us a false sense of what we should look like, but young teens, children, and above all else that bugs me: MEN! I feel like some men (even good ones, not just jerks) have such unrealistic expectations of what women should look like. I will NEVER forget when Shannon and I first got married, it seemed like everyone of his friends' "girls" had just gotten a boob job. His friend actually asked me (super flat chested, little ol' me) when I was getting a boob job. He was serious. I was appalled. Why do I need bigger breasts because the world says that's what's attractive!? If Shannon wanted bigger boobs, he should have married someone else! I mean I guess he gets that temporarily when I'm pregnant! hehe (oops- TMI!)

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