I stared at the photo for a few minutes. It was actually a decent one of me (as far as solo, semi-posed photos go), but something about it was off. I zoomed in, trying to figure it out. My hair looked okay. My skin looked good. My eyes…and that was when it hit me. There were no bags under my eyes, only smooth city. I’d been photoshopped. Don’t get me wrong. I looked better. In fact, I looked the way I wished I looked. But still…
There are a few things about myself I’ve accepted over the years, one being my facial remains. For the most part, I leave them be. I sunblock. I drink water. I use good make-up. I sleep (when applicable). I do my best and try not to obsess, because really, there’s nothing I can do. My face is my face. But every once and a while I get sucked into iPhoto, you know, just to kill some time that I don’t have. Usually it’s justifiable. A good photo that needs a little tweaking. Usually for lighting purposes. Like the one below that one of my husband’s co-workers took.
I really liked it. But it was kind of orang-y. And since my kids were otherwise occupied and I had a few minutes, I thought I’d just desaturate it a bit. After all, we don’t have many good photos together.
After doing that, however, I noticed the horrific glare off of that vein on my forehead. Seriously, how unfortunate is that? I’m not even angry at my kids in this photo, I’m without them. I’M HAPPY. And yet there’s the vein, splitting my face into two perfectly, shiny hemispheres. One for each child, and probably some leftover for their Barbies. What’s a girl to do? I’ll tell you what she’s to do, she’s going to grab the retouching tool and REMOVE it. (She’s also taking out The Wicked Zit of the East, while she’s at it.)
Unfortunately, now that the vein was gone, I couldn’t look at my face without tripping over the sleeping bags under my eyes. Are they always that untidy? Yes. Are they ever nice to look at? No. But fixable. (And also? Justifiable. If I didn’t give birth and get up several times on any given night and then wake up super early in the morning to do it all over again my eyes would NOT look like that.)
But now that the bags were gone, random creases in my face took over. And not only that, but the more I tried to smooth them out, the stranger I started to look because the photo tool I was using caused some weird blurs that I couldn’t fix. Let’s just say that by the time I was done “adjusting” my face, all I could see was how large and shiny my nose was. Who knew? All this time my face had been aging itself so that my nose would no longer be the focal point. (Honestly, my vanity shames me sometimes.)
TWO came up beside me. I closed my laptop. No need for her to witness her mother’s pitiful behavior.
TWO: “Mama? Can I tell you sumping?”
ME: “Sure, baby.”
TWO: “You are the most beautiful Mama in the world, and the prettiest. And I like other Mamas too, because, you know, they’re nice. But you’re the best in our house because you’re my Mama.”
Ugh. I was so busted. I tsked myself I went back to the original.
Funny how much I liked the photo before I messed with it, but in reverting to the original I looked like a zombie. Oh well. I do my best. My face is my face. (And frankly, I’ve been a part-time zombie for the last seven years.)
But because of all the time I spent editing this image, I recognized that someone else had altered my face in the other photo. Which was a really strange feeling. I’m just a plain ol’ person. No magazine covers for me. But someone else looked at my face, found the same flaws that I did, and removed them. I’ll admit, I liked how I looked without the luggage, but still…I didn’t look like me.
And in case you hadn’t heard, I’m the most beautiful Mama in our house. That’s right. Bags, veins, and all.
©2012 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
WANT SOME DAILY AFFIRMATION THAT YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY BAD MOMMY OUT THERE? FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, INSTAGRAM: BADMOMMYMOMENTS, OR COME VENT ON FACEBOOK. WE’LL BAD-MOMMY IT TOGETHER.