This morning a photo-shopped picture of Madonna was sent to everyone in the office, and my first thought was ‘Oh Madge, how sad”. I get quite passionate about this, so here goes…….
Firstly, if feel sad for all the young girls and women in today’s society. They are already growing up in an environment where there is so much pressure to look perfect, thin and beautiful. Add to this list of shallow, superficial requirements; the need to look 20 years younger than you really are and their future is bound to be fraught with stress, insecurity and low self esteem.
It’s sad to see, in so many cases, much younger women who are already extremely blessed with their God-given beauty, who feel the need to tamper with their appearance. If they feel this need at such a young age (say 20’s – 40’s) what on earth are they going to do to try to look younger later on in their lives? How can we help girls understand the concept of self-acceptance when even schools are interfering and photo-shopping school photos? When I look back at school photos, sure I have a giggle (the hair styles etc) but we were ourselves, not some covered-up, perfected, photo-shopped replica of us.
Where is the example, the belief, the deep-down truth of what really matters? How can a girl grow into a well-adjusted woman, confident in her own skin, when we are surrounded by women who are projected falsely to the world? And this cycle cannot be broken when the older women of our generation (let’s say for arguments’ sake upward of their 50’s – myself bordering on this age) are not comfortable with how they look and take such desperate measures to portray themselves as being much younger with the use of such tools as photoshop, let alone all the cosmetic surgery available (does anyone really want to look like Cher? Uggh!)
I may be in the minority, but I don’t have any urge whatsoever, no desire to be or look like anything other than what I am, whatever my age, in person or in photos. What you see is what you get, like it or not. Am I going to have wrinkles? Of course (I have them now). Sure, I take many steps to nurture my appearance: I like to wear a little make-up and use face creams. I style my hair, like to dress well, eat well and exercise. But as I get older, I am not going to get caught up in the socially accepted and expected need to look 20 years younger than I am. I believe by taking care of yourself you can still look and feel young.
I feel comfortable and accepting of myself and I choose to age gracefully. I want my grandchildren to know that their grandmother is supposed to look older than their mother. I don’t want to have an expressionless face. I love to smile and laugh and I want my face to reflect that, wrinkles and all. I want to pass on this attitude of self-esteem, self-confidence, self-acceptance to my daughters, grand-daughters and every other female. And finally, in the words of a very wise person: Just because you can (photoshop) doesn’t mean you should!
End of lecture.
Posted by Denise