I see my face on my iPhone screen as I take the selfie, so how can it be that I want to say “That’s not what I look like, that’s not me.” It IS me on the screen, but I don’t recognize myself. The self is primarily an “inside” job, so I feel myself more than I see myself. I remember hearing my voice for the first time on those old tape recorders that actually used recording tape, and thinking “I sound like that?” There’s lots of discussion now about body image and positive body image. Most of us don’t see our body as it really is. There’s my cellulite and my pimples, but I’m still beautiful, or there’s the photoshopped image without cellulite and pimples. We can make our flaws “disappear” by editing our photos and then posting this illusion. Who are we deceiving? I think mostly ourselves.
I’m exploring on-line dating, and this is an arena where photos are a big part of the process. Some people have 2-3 photos and others have many more. I took a couple of selfies with my phone and posted them. I know a still shot of someone is a very poor representation of that person. Certainly a photo from 10 years ago is deceiving. I’ve seen several people requesting “current” photos and one man who said “If you don’t look like your photo you’ll need to buy me drinks until you do.” Aging women like me worry about looking “old”, grandmas aren’t supposed to be sexy! Hell, I can’t even figure out how to “dress my age”, if there is such a thing. My outsides are sometimes at war with my insides or vice versa. Or if it is really “You’re as young as you feel” why isn’t the face I see in the mirror as young as I feel?
It is said “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Different people have different perceptions of what is beautiful. Why would I presume there is one Barbie Doll standard of beauty wanted by all men? Richelle E. Goodrich said “I will admit you are the finest if not the loveliest rose in the garden. But you see, my dear, I was looking for a sunflower.” I don’t know if I am a rose or a sunflower! After years of trying to control how others see me, now I know that I want to be myself, damn the consequences. So if “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. (Coco Chanel), my beauty is growing. Pamela Anderson says “Natural beauty takes at least two hours in front of a mirror.” and I would rather spend those 2 hours writing, creating, or snuggling with my dogs. Online dating sites are based on first impressions, and we all know how important first impressions are, but I have decided my first impression of men on Match, based strictly on their photos, needs to be held lightly. Maybe it’s a good photo or maybe its a bad photo. If they don’t have an eye in the middle of their forehead or look like the UniBomber, I give a second look.
I’ve chatted online, but I haven’t met any Match in person so far. Now that will be interesting! How will I handle that? What are my options? Running away screaming or sitting still, suffering and sweating come to mind. To be honest, I’m more worried about what they will think of me than I am of what I will think of them. This is way too passive for this woman of a certain age! I really don’t want to waste my time convincing someone that I am desirable. He may be looking for a petite, Barbie doll who giggles a lot and that is so not me. If my good points and bad points were averaged I would come out pretty amazing, but then I could have told you that.
2 thoughts on “Selfies”
Well-written and most enjoyable-and thought-provoking.
Really enjoyed this post in several ways. Our image-overloaded society has set feminism and true beauty back a few decades if you ask me, and the old double standard and ageism are unfortunately alive and well. I want to tell Pamela Anderson if it takes two hours honey, it ain’t natural. And the guy with the comment… no amount of drinks will make him attractive in the ways that matter. I know you and you are pretty amazing! Thanks!