Well, here we are… part 2 of my “Retouched” series (if you missed part 1, check it out here). Today is the big unveiling of the edited photos. But before I get to those, I also want to show you a few more of the unedited versions.
The first photo we took was of me au natural. I had no makeup on and my hair was not done.
I don’t really love or hate this photo. I prefer how I look with a bit of makeup as it brightens my face up a bit, but I’m certainly not horrified to put this on the blog. In this moment, I felt confident despite feeling a bit akward, if that makes sense.
The second photos are of me as I look day to day in public. I straightened my hair a bit and Madison did some natural looking makeup.
These are BY FAR my favorite photos! I love that it is totally me, just brightened up with a bit of makeup. The second photo is really nice and something I would consider framing! In these photos I feel confident and beautiful – and you know what else? Proud of who I am.
And, finally, the photos which were edited to be ‘magazine ready’. I was really excited and nervous to see the photos and to be totally honest, I really didn’t know how I would feel about them. Even as prepared as I was, you can see here, I was pretty speechless…
So, without further ado… here they are!
As you can see, there are some significant changes to these photos (be sure to click on each image to see it enlarged)! Kelsie Smith, the photographer, filled me in on the changes she made, which included darkening my hair and clothing, making my lips fuller, my eyes bigger and my teeth whiter, removing all freckles and blemishes, removing the lines on my face, neck, arm pit and arm, removing an entire arm, significantly smoothing and thinning my body, lifting and increasing the size of my breasts (THAT was shocking!!! Read my post about how I feel about my breasts here!).
I would really love to write a post right now that is insightful and thoughtful and really made sense of this entire issue of media depiction (deception?) and self esteem, but I honestly do not even know what to say!!! I need some time to process all this. I have quickly realized that a Part 3 is definitely in order!
However, I will leave you with my first thought. When I look at the two photos side by side (particularly the close up ones), I cringe to admit this, but the “after” shot is definitely more appealing. However, I was able to see, right away, that this reaction was a trained response. By that I mean that we are trained on what is “beautiful” in magazines and ads. The people in these ads are depersonalized and are simply and automatically judged on what has been deemed attractive. For example, in my ‘after’ shot, I have no freckles or lines on my face at all. If this photo was in fact in a magazine, I am sure it would be considered more attractive than the ‘before’ shot. However, if I was to see someone in real life with no freckles or wrinkles at all, I think they would look weird; they wouldn’t look real. And, in real life, I don’t think many of us think, “oh gross, that girl has freckles on her arm – she’s definitely not attractive”. In other words, there seems to be an expectation for people to look an exact and perfect way in a magazine or ad, but when you actually break it down, this level of perception would not be ‘appreciated’ in the same way in reality. In fact, in reality, that person may be judged negatively for the very features that make them perfect for a magazine.
I hope you will join me again on Friday, for my next post on this experience. This is a lot to take in and I think a little time to work it through will be good. Until then….