Sometime last week, I stumbled upon this sobering video about photoshopping and airbrushing. Of course, we all know that this practice of unnaturally manipulating women's bodies is widespread, but seeing it as it happens is fascinating and maddening.
And then later last week, 17 year old music sensation, Lorde, tweeted a photo of herself that had been dramatically retouched by a media outlet alongside an untampered with shot from the same day with the caption "i find this curious - two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)"
I was so touched by her sophistication at such a young age. Her courage amidst a budding career to say, "Nope, I'm not going to let you dictate what I should and shouldn't look like." Her confidence that seems so unflinching. I wish I had that solid of a sense of self at that age, or even today.
As a mother and a person on this planet, I always want to convey that what are often perceived as physical "flaws" are actually fascination points, and that those fascination points change as time goes on. For instance, Madonna's tooth gap, Frida Kahlo's intense brows, Cindy Crawford's beauty marks. All used to be considered unattractive in different points in time. Now, they're distinctive points of beauty. But beyond supposed flaws that eventually become en vogue, I always want to promote self acceptance and appreciation. No matter your weight, coloring, stature, abilities, class, gender identification, whatever - you are beautiful. Right now, right here.
What makes people beautiful? Well, honesty is a good start, which is why I so detest Photoshop. It's dishonest. It's inauthentic. It shows us beings of inhuman proportions. Your words and deeds are beautiful. When you do for others or stand for something or cultivate passion or nurture a child, garden, community, plant, whathaveyou, you are beauty in motion. That's the kind of beauty I find compelling, and moreover, enduring. That's the kind of beauty I hope we all go out in the to the world every day and project. Photoshop, be damned.