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#Selfie #Filter #43:
Full disclosure – this piece is a direct result of internet dating. I was taking photos of myself for the profile pictures for the dating website and figured out that you can get an instant sort of face lift if you lie down on your back and take the photo from above yourself. At age 43, this was like a magic wand! Gravity is my bitch! Haha! Well this picture I shot was so over the top – total vamped-out, sort of “duck face” and unrecognizable as me – that I couldn’t even use it. I used one of me and my dog instead. We were both upright.
But it got me thinking about all the pictures we take and put out into the interwebs of ourselves. I’ve seen pictures of friends up on facebook and other social media, where I’m like – really? You never actually look like that in real life. In real life you never look so restrained, so posed, so…constipated. You smile naturally, you have more than one chin sometimes when you cackle with laughter, you have crow’s feet aroundyour eyes from years of living under the sun and enjoying your life. And you are ten times more beautiful in real life than this picture of how you want the world to see you.
Of course this is me talking to myself as well. This piece is about self-love and self-acceptance, and the journey it took to get there. I am the one with two chins and crow’s feet. I am the one in this ridiculous photo that doesn’t even look like me. It makes me incredibly self-conscious. It’s vulnerable, raw, and insanely uncomfortable to have your face up on a wall, larger than life. Will people think I’m some kind of crazy narcissist? Do I really need something that exaggerates the size of my nose even more? It’s also poking a bit of fun at the discrepancy between what we show the world and who we really are. I should create a larger-than-life piece of one of the accidental self-portraits I take when I’m looking at my phone and the camera goes off. Holy Moly! Triple chins! But “#selfie” is also kind of beautiful and pure. That really is me, even if it was only for that one moment in time, reduced down to a few simple lines.
I think what I love most about this piece is the response I got from my Dad when I showed it to him…which basically boiled down to – “Hey! That looks just like you!” He thought it was great, and has offered to hang it in his house above the mantle-piece. Which is horrifying and hilarious at the same time. It only goes to show you, the people who love you…just love you. Double chins, crow’s feet, ridiculous self-portraits and all.