Of Photoshop and making ’em laugh

I’ve seen a lot floating around on Facebook recently about how significant Photoshop is to the fashion and beauty industry. A big “duh”, right? Like how reality shows aren’t real. Both this article and this video really impressed me with how severe it really is. I knew skin tone could be smoothed out, make up touched up, and bodies trimmed down. I actually had no idea that limbs could be made longer. Of course, my understanding of Photoshop is limited at best. Commercials on YouTube come with a disclaimer that the mascara they’re selling is on top of fake lashes with a dash of post-prod touching up. Mascara is always going to clump. It’s colored glue. Trying to sell me a “clump crusher” mascara is hilarious. Nice try, Cover Girl.

I know I’m never going to look like a Victoria’s Secret model even though I’m 5’9″ and 140 pounds soaking wet. The funny thing is when I got a Withings & entered my height and weight, it told me to gain weight rather than lose it. Nicely done, Withings. I know all of 3 women who even come close to looking like a magazine ad. All 3 of them literally spend their entire days working out. One is a ballet teacher, one is a fitness competitor (think beauty pageant only instead of singing or ballet for their talent, they do crazy fitness routines to show how strong they are), and the third actually is a model and costumer. On the other end of the spectrum, my cousin’s wife will never be as skinny as a runway model. She’s drop dead gorgeous. It’s no question as to why my cousin married her (ignoring entirely her excellent sense of humor and undying kindness :D). I don’t have 7 hours a day to devote to working out. I watch what I eat, but don’t avoid entire food groups. Most of all, I keep my historical issues with body image, weight, and pants size in mind. When I start to restrict or become overly obsessive about my body, it’s a sign of a much larger issue, not my actual body.

I dance because I love it, not because it’ll help me drop that last 5 pounds. I wear make up because I love playing around with different styles, colors, and generally treating it like a big girl’s coloring book. I pay attention to what I wear because I love playing dress up, not to conform to some arbitrary standard of what I *should* look like.My hair is frizzy. I have smile lines because I’ve spent my life smiling and laughing. I’m all hips and no boobs. I currently have a zit on my chin and I haven’t been bothering to cover up. The make up will just rub off anyway. And concealer makes it more obvious. Anna Wintour would be appalled. When I was in high school and first started going to the dermatologist, she asked if I wanted to have my freckles removed. I looked at her in disbelief and told her no. Apparently that’s a thing. Yeesh. 

It’s a parody of itself when you take a step back. The design student was right. They’re ads for Photoshop, not make up, shoes, or a weight loss program. I’ve always been a firm believer in taking crappy situations and messages with a solid laugh. It’s a lot more fun that way. I endeared myself to a new dance teacher last night by admitting my limitations and making him laugh. His class, cardio hip hop, is relatively new at the studio. It was totally packed. He taught somewhere else before moving and brought his following with him. Last night was the first time I tried the class after seeing it on Black Friday. I scooted toward the back to see what everyone else was doing. He likes to walk around and egg people on as they’re dancing. I’m a ballet dancer. I’ll always look like a ballet dancer trying to do hip hop. My hips go in one direction and that’s forward. I have fully accepted this about myself. He was all “show me what you got, girl!” and I said flat out “I’m a ballerina trying to do hip hop”. He laughed and walked away. Toward the end of class when I’m sweating in places I didn’t know I had and barely able to lift my legs, he said “Come on ballerina!”. I stopped, curtsied, and he about laughed his ass off. He said “I like you!” and gave me a hug. I definitely plan on making his class as much as I can because it was fun and completely kicked my ass. The muscles between my shoulders are sore today. Moral of the story, admitting to and laughing at weaknesses or flaws make life a hell of a lot easier.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend. Mine is filled with friends, haircuts, dance, and concerts.


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