There are those who say we live in an age of unrealistic expectations and unattainable beauty standards. From the size of your behind to the lushness of your pout, women are trying out new things to become "perfect."
It isn't just women, either. The rise of manscaping, metrosexuality and lumbersexual have proved that men are also held to standards of beauty as never before. Instead of going in depth into the cultural ramifications of setting a standard of perfect merely on physical aspect rather than focusing on spiritual and intellectual pursuits, however, I'm instead going to look at a free app I found on my phone.
It is called YouCam and it claims to be an instant makeover.
Pffft, said I. For you see, I spent years learning about makeup and the correct application, so how could some app possibly give me a makeover? Surely, it will look massively photoshopped, right?
Well, this is me. I'm just an average gal with above average rainbow in my hair.
And sometimes a cat or two...
I do have some acne (because the universe is unfair and apparently decided I should pay for my teen years of blemish-free face with an adulthood of spots) but no major wrinkles or anything (yet.)
Here's me on YouCam:
And fake. This is so very fake. But other than the lashes (which I think you can still tell are added) this is a REALLY good photoshop. Like, if you didn't know me, you might believe I look at least mostly like this.
Here's a side-by-side of the app and the original pic.
On one hand, this is awesome. I no longer have to put on makeup to take a snazzy looking pic! That's awesome!
On the other, it does imply a standard of beauty I won't ever actually manage in real life. Could this be damaging to young girls who are forming their ideas about what beauty is? Could it mean people won't recognize me in real life? Okay, I'm not sure if that second one is a bad thing, but moving on...
You can also give yourself enlarged eyes. Like REALLY enlarged. I thought I looked anime, but folks said I looked like everything from an elf to an Olson twin (Maybe I am the lost Olson. If so, I really want my sissies to bring me a new car. Nothing flashy--just a nice 2015 Spark would make me happy. Sisters? Mary Kate? Ashley? Liz? Nothing? Damn.)
Anyway, I found this app to work better than I expected. I also think that I'm old enough and wise enough to understand that if all my buddies suddenly start looking WAY better than I remember them looking when I saw them earlier at the gas station, I'm going to know it was because of digital magic and not take it personally.
However I will say there are teen girls out there, striving to find their place in this world and wanting to fit in. To be considered beautiful. Remarkable.
To them I want to say... You ARE beautiful. You don't need an app to make you lovely. You need a good heart, a big brain and a willingness to keep getting back up when life smacks you down.
But, you can play with silly apps... so long as you remember that reality and fiction are not the same thing.
xoxo mama virg