I recently discovered an app that is either the best thing ever invented or actually everything that is wrong with the world. It’s Perfect365, and IT BLEW MY MIND. I can never trust my eyes again.
By this point, we all know that the pictures in glossy magazines or on big name websites are all Photoshopped. Sometimes it’s done tastefully and they still look human, and sometimes it’s so gratuitous they end up missing a limb somewhere. But basically all mainstream images are retouched in some way, and in no way represent what “normal” looks like.
We all know this, but the internet still basically explodes anytime an untouched, potentially unflattering photo of a celebrity is leaked. We’re hungry for it. We want some proof that cellulite exists outside our own chubby asses and thighs, that wrinkles and bags under the eyes don’t discriminate. Because so much of what we see of celebrities and models is unattainable, and can have a very real impact on how people (and women in particular) feel about themselves.
I accept this, and I am constantly working to accept myself without comparison to these perfect images. As is. With my rogue chin hairs, under-eye circles, and pesky zits that didn’t get the memo that WE’RE IN OUR THIRTIES NOW, YOU CAN CHILL THE FUCK OUT.
I arm myself with the knowledge that I could look just like Scarlett Johansson or Kate Upton with the proper Photoshop expert (shut up, don’t take that away from me). I carry the knowledge that ScarJo and Kate don’t even look like the versions I see of them.
But I don’t think I had fully processed the idea that every person I follow on Instagram or see on Facebook has the tools to basically Fairy Godmother the shit out of themselves and transform into a perfectly complected, wrinkle-free, bright-eyed version of themselves. TRUST NO ONE.
Want proof? You got it.
I posted this first picture on Facebook to show how crazy the difference was, and to make sure people were aware that this existed. I mean, I could just be living under a rock, I’m never totally sure.
In the caption I wrote that I like the original picture of myself and felt good about it, but after transforming into a wax figure version of myself, I actually kind of got sucked into liking the “perfect” version. And my friends and family (who are basically the best people in the world) jumped to reassure me I looked great in the original and that they actually preferred it.
Thanks guys. 🙂 Mission accomplished – I feel pretty and loved. But don’t worry – I wasn’t actually having a personal appearance crisis. Is that a thing? A beauty meltdown? Whatever. No, I like my face. My eyes look just like my grandmother’s. I have my mom’s smile. I have good hair. I have the best eyebrow waxer in the world. I look just fine.
I wasn’t posting the picture comparison to fish for compliments (I mean, I’ll take em, sure). No, I think this instant and easy access to “perfect” was just a little alarming to me and I needed to share.
On the one hand, I freaking love it. I can easily “fix” little issues that pop up on my face and enhance things in my pictures to make sure I look like the best version of myself. But on the other hand it’s a slippery slope, right? Where do you stop? Where do you draw the line? I’d essentially be buying into the idea that “perfect” is even possible, and at that point how can I be trusted to control myself (not my best strength to begin with)?
I am all for looking your best, and doing whatever makes you feel good. Whether it’s a full face of makeup, a string bikini, bright blue hair, whatever. Rock what you got. But turning yourself into a wax version of yourself complete with “enhanced smile” and skin so smooth you can’t even see the outline of your nose (seriously, it’s kind of missing in this picture) is going down a rabbit hole I think I want to avoid.
It’s like plucking your own eyebrows for the first time when you’re 15. Just a little at first, no big deal. But then a little more… and then you need to even it out. And then you need to make the other side match because that one looks just perfect…. and then you realize you’ve plucked half your eyebrow off and you can’t just “undo” that. You would have been better off not doing anything at all.
I can’t promise I won’t ever use this devil-app, because let’s be real – it’s kind of amazing. And if I have a big event and a gnarly zit that’s ruining my whole look I’m probably going to smooth that out in pictures. Nothing wrong with a little retouching, and if this app makes that easier, sweet.
But once I start smoothing everything and softening all my lines, and even MAKING MY EYES BIGGER, it gets a little out of hand. So I think I need to lay off using this as a regular photo editing app. Because I won’t be able to stop… I’ll just keep plucking, keep searching for that “perfect” that doesn’t exist. And while wax-doll Courtney is OK, she’s a little creepy.