Diehards

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

To Be or Not to Be...

Have you all seen that video made by Dove the soap company where a beautiful young model is photoshopped to make her skin smoother, her hair fuller, her eyes bigger, until she looks like no human can? That's sort of what Kim did to me!

He took this photo:





Then using all the tools photoshop has to offer transformed it into this:



If you compare the two you can probably see what he did. He darkened my eyes within and without, subdued the nasty frown lines between them, and, if I remember rightly, slimmed down the area below my cheek bones to make them stand out more. I can now see why some people resort to cosmetic surgery: the temptation to have all the shadows removed: neck lines, hand lines, all bodily lines, was almost overwhelming. But my enthusiasm was censored by a feeling that it would be ridiculous to have photographs of myself that deny something essential about me. I'm no longer 25, 35, or even, god damn it, 45. Would I like to look 25 again? Yes. Would I like to be 25 again? Um, no. Would it be odd being 45 +++ yet looking 25? Not having experienced that particular combination I don't know.

But I can't help feeling that it would be, not least because I don't act like a 25 year old, nor do I sound like one. So with the help, given the cash, of surgery I could get myself looking like one but couldn't do anything about all the other things that say: 'this woman is considerably older than 25.' Which means something would be out of kilter. I would open my mouth and sound wrong. I would look in the mirror and see someone who hasn't lived the life I know I have. It would be like having my smell removed. It would also give the nod to current western cultural, establishment, values that push the almost alien as the level of beauty that we must aspire to. And I could never do that. Which, of course, is the point of this post: I couldn't not show you the real me behind the new banner. Even though what Kim did in photoshop to the original shot was minimal I somehow couldn't have you thinking that I believe I really do have smoky eyes and have never frowned.

14 comments:

Kanani said...

Funny, because I hadn't realized that the masthead photo does have an edge and a contemporary feel to it that your usual photos do not! I think the woman in the masthead is devastatingly attractive to guys who wear motorcycle leathers, and she probably says pithy things in French and smokes Gauloises. Her voice is smokey, which just drives everyone crazy. No doubt, the woman in the masthead stays in hostels and also 4-star hotels as she backpacks her way through the Silk Road, pulling a knife on unsuspecting ruffians who try to harass her. She's slick, she'd disarm a nuclear bomb faster than Jack Bauer.

You go GIRL!

Carole said...

I love both pics. Enlarged both to see if I could pick up the subtle differences you mentioned. It was tough. You look good in real life as well as photoshop.

I do think the header is enormously creative and am a bit jealous that Kim can pop in and help ceate such a design. On the other hand I am jealous that you look so good at 45plus. Perhaps I am just destined to be green.

scarlet-blue said...

Yep, Eryl... I don't really think you have an awful lot to worry about in the looks department..!
Sx

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ do you think she could disarm a nuclear bomb with her toes whilst she was smoking a Gauloises and perhaps having a refreshing sip of Pastis?

Carole ~ I only look good when I'm standing absolutely still and narrowing my eyes. I agree though that I am very lucky to have Kim at pop-in-able proximity.

Scarlet ~ you are a darling. I made Nutella tarts today, and for some reason this made me think of you.

Anonymous said...

Speaking as Eryls Husband I can report she does have smokey eyes, she does smoke Gauloises, has drunk Pastis, she does a great line in put downs (though not in French) and is one of those annoying people who looks astoundingly attractive in old jeans and t-shirt as well as the slinky black dress. Not aware of her abilities in disarming atomic bombs and I have annoyed and harassed her on many occassions and she has yet to pull a knife on me, but give her time it could yet happen.

Conan Drumm said...

Eryl, nothing can beat good bone structure and you have it, and you'll still have it at 75+++. It's a gene pool lottery and you won. I bet your parents were handsome people.

I like the words around your head, like verbal smoke, a haiku in progress...
Title?
Do you get a poem
The vocabulary

savannah said...

you are lovely, sugar! inside and out. but damn your hide for those incredible bones! ;) xoxox

Kim Ayres said...

All I did was make you look a bit more like you. The light wasn't catching your eyes in the way they usually glow, and I didn't touch your cheekbones at all - I only did that when we were playing with one where I sucked in the cheekones, lengthen the nose and gave you pointy eyebrows. The ones in this pic are all yours.

We'll need to do this again sometime. Have a think about what styles you'd like to try out, and see if we can get Stevie in a tux :)

Eryl Shields said...

Anonymous-Husband ~ Can I have a knife for my birthday? I know it's a while off but I can wait.

Conan ~ Bob, my son, said when he saw Kim's work said 'He's erased the words, they were the best bit.'

Savannah ~ I'm working on the inside more than I used to. XXX

Kim ~ Stevie looks good in a tux.

Conan Drumm said...

Naughty, naughty son!

Mary Witzl said...

You're no longer 45 anymore? Bloody hell -- had you told me that?

I let Kim whiten my teeth, but I stopped him from filling in my smile lines and brushing away my crows' feet. If he could have done that painlessly to my face -- for free -- I'd have said, sure, go ahead. But no way would I pay money and go under anesthesia just to look 35 again. My parsimony and love of comfort trump even my vanity -- amazing!

Eryl Shields said...

Conan ~ I live in hope that what he meant was that the words I write say more about his mother than an image of my head!

Mary ~ the thought of going under anesthesia for anything less that a life threatening problem would seem to be pretty bonkers.

Kanani said...

I'm pretty sure the woman in the masthead disarms nuclear bombs with her toes while saying pithy things to Jack Bauer.

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ I'm pretty sure you're right, and she does it all whilst wearing an evening dress and maintaining perfect maquillage.