Eye Am More Than Enough
As of late, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am my worst critic. I am extremely self-conscious about almost everything. I probably press more judgement on myself than I do on anyone else. This is difficult to admit but I believe it is time to reclaim all of the gazes that have shaped this self-loathing mentality that haunts me. It is no secret that we live in a society that constantly tells us we are not good enough. That there is something wrong with us and that we need to change. That we need to fix our flaws according to an incredibly unattainable beauty standard that not even the models used to advertise such beauty truly embody.
This post is inspired by SELFIE The revolutionary potential of your own face, in seven chapters by Rachel Syme. Prior to reading this article I did not think much of selfies. I used to think taking selfies was just something people did to mark a moment in time or use up space on their phone with hundreds of selfies they will never post (I am guilty of this by the way). However, I now believe that selfies are more than that. They are empowering because they allow us to take charge of our self-representation. They truly are revolutionary.
In light of this newly found perspective I decided to take a selfie. I recently upgraded my phone from a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to the Samsung Galaxy s7 Edge. I promise this is not a subtle advertisement but it is important because I hadn’t used the camera yet. While playing with the phone, I discovered a selfie editing feature (shown below) that gives the user the option to enhance their face before taking the picture. This tool allows the user to adjust the skin tone, manipulate the lighting, slim the face, enlarge the eyes, and make a “shape correction”. I cannot emphasize enough how disappointing and unsettling it was to come across this feature. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good filter and enjoy editing my pictures to make cool effects BUT THIS IS BEYOND THAT. How is that we are supposed to break out of a self-loathing mentality if our phones are reinforcing those ideals? This bothered me so much that I even ranted about it on twitter. Yes, things got real.
In order to show how different this made me look I decided to take two selfies. One with all the enhancing options exaggerated and another without any enhancements.
This probably doesn’t seem very dramatic but it is disturbing to me. It is not an accurate representation of myself. It erased my freckles and smoothed out my blemishes. It elongated my nose. My eyes are cartoonish. My facial shape may look like that when I am thinner but that is not my current state. This is NOT me. Looking at this finished product made me realize that the camera had done more than edit my face. It had edited my experiences from that day. It washed away all of the emotions felt, words spoken/thought, and everything in between.
This is more like it. This is a much more accurate representation of myself. This highlights my perfect imperfections. I love the freckled me. The braless me. The bags under the eyes because I have had a long day me. The I just showered and air dried my hair me. The I may have eaten pizza after a night of drinking me. I love my cheekbones and my nose just the way they are. F*** what my phone and society says. I may have to live in a world that tells me otherwise but there is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing to fix besides my self-criticism. I will no longer apologize for who and what I am. EYE/I AM MORE THAN ENOUGH.