Do you want it all; smooth, blemish free skin, no wrinkles, a thinner face, perfect angled brows, larger lips or even a change of eye colour? This sounds too good to be true, probably because it is, but when we look at pictures in magazines and on social media we think ‘That model/actress looks perfect, I wish I looked like that.’
In an age where media surrounds us and seems to occupy so many hours of our day it is sometimes hard not to compare ourselves to the gorgeous pictures that are posted on Instagram, Facebook and indeed Youtube and not feel inadequate.
If the social media that surrounds you is full of smooth skinned, blemish free, slender (but still have some curves in the right places) women and men, how can you compete with that when you have wrinkles, huge bags under your eyes and skin that resembles a pebble dashed wall?
It is in fact an impossible goal to achieve; not because you have bad genetics or lack a personal trainer/beautician/makeup artist because you are not on a Kardashian’s pay packet. The reason you cannot achieve it is not because of you, it’s because it is fake; a trick to keep people realising that you do not need the latest ‘wonder cream’ to still be beautiful.
Most people on the planet desire one thing above everything else, to be accepted and liked/loved, and by keeping people feeling inadequate about the way they look/ or live their life, it keeps then trying out whatever they can to try to ‘fit in’.
We have known that photo shopping and using tricks to make someone appear ‘perfect’ has been around for decades; I remember doing a makeup look on Sophia Loren and realising that her distinctive eyes were very much enhanced by certain makeup tricks.
I remember the uproar when we discovered that the big cosmetic companies had been using false lashes to enhance the effect of the mascara in their adverts. We felt annoyed because we had been lied to and misled; but isn’t that happening all the time on adverts and social media?
A prime example of this is Kim Kardashian who markets herself on looking beautiful; but when you look into it, how achievable is it for an average person to look like that? The fact that she is wealthy enables her to have personal trainers, makeup artists and stylists at her beck and call, something us mere mortals could only dream of.
There is also the debate on cosmetic surgery and things like lip fillers and botox; many people are fooled into thinking that these ‘perfect people’ have not had any work done. I am all about freedom of choice and if people want surgery then it is their body, but you should also be transparent with it; think of the 14 year old girl who feels like rubbish because her lips are thin or her breasts are not big enough. If she knew it wasn’t real, would she still be hard on herself?
There is also the matter of filters and using technology to cover up spots, marks and scars etc. I have always had cellulite and had stretch marks before I had my two children, I have quite good skin but still have lots of pores, rosacea and pigmentation on my skin to make it far from perfect. Are you trying to honestly tell me that Kim K has had two children and does not have stretch marks or a bit of ‘mum tum’ that we all desperately try to hide.
The answer is heck no, she is not perfect, she probably has her fair share of lumps and bumps and wobbly bits but she has the luxuary of being able to have that stuff filtered out. Also the fact that when these pictures are taken she has the best camera’s and the best lighting. I have found out through dong the blog that a good camera and extra lighting can turn the clock back ten years.
One of my beautiful friends is a model and is absolutely gorgeous, a size 8 with cheek bones to die for but she has been honest and revealed that she has her fair share of stretch marks and wobbly bits but that the pictures are of course ‘touched up’ so that they look professional. This is because people now expect perfection, anything less is cast aside by people, they ‘just scroll on’.
I never use a filter or makeup app for my makeup pictures; I use natural light and I do have a camera light which I used on my Mia Wallace makeup look. However, I have been tempted to use filters in the past, not because I feel I do not look beautiful in them, but because of how they are received on social media.
I am 36 and I have wrinkles and a double chin and no matter how slaying my makeup looks I would be lucky to get 30 likes on my picture whereas younger, more ‘typically Instagram perfect’ pictures get likes in their hundreds. I might sound like a ‘bitter old hag’ saying this but it frustrates me when people like the picture based on the ability to whack a filter on or ‘get the angle just right’ rather than the actually liking pictures to appreciate the effort that person has gone to.
I also believe that we should be building each other up; if you see a selfie, make that persons day and give them a like or a comment. I think too many people see beauty in a very narrow minded way and do not appreciate that everyone is beautiful in their own special way and should be celebrated. I talk about the power of boosting others here.
My final thoughts on this is that we need a reality check; nobody is ‘perfect’ it is an impossible goal to aspire to. However beauty is around us in all different aspects we as human beings should step back and appreciate the real beauty of people rather than the manufactured one’s we see in the media.
I did a little experiment with some of my pictures; using both the beauty settings on my Samsung galaxy 7 through a makeup app and with Snapchat. I took a picture in the car and edited it using Snapchat and also with a makeup app; I set them to the higher levels to actually prove my point but it is scary how just a little tweaking can make it look like you are well and truly flawless.
I also took a picture of a makeup look I did and had a tweak around with it using my Samsung beauty settings and with the makeup app; I was amazed with the results. However I still stand by my decision to not filter or touch up my pictures on account of this is not a true representation of me; I am beautiful with my wrinkles and blemishes and dark under eyes because they are part of me and I am beautiful. If anyone disagrees with that then I am not really bothered, because I know I am beautiful both inside and out.
Ciao for now makeup fans xx