Have you noticed how suspiciously few people on Facebook have pores? This isn't because humans have stopped sweating, or we've all replaced our real faces with plastic replicas of how we wish our faces looked; it's because easily accessible airbrushing software — so ubiquitous that it's sometimes embedded into digital cameras — is making it much easier for normal people like you and me to turn ourselves into sexy cartoons. But just because the ability to airbrush your social networking face into near-oblivion is now accessible to non-celebrities doesn't mean that it's a good idea. Because of reality's pesky continued existence, lying about how you look on the internet comes with a near-guarantee that you'll get caught.
The Los Angeles Times offers a peek into the sad, growing world of downloadable photo altering tools that people are using to turn themselves from a Lifelink ad to a Cover Girl ad in just minutes. The programs have names like Pimple Eraser and mottos like "Everybody's perfect!" allow users to download aps to their smartphones or computers and go to town on themselves — whitening teeth, slimming faces, removing freckles, etc, thus allowing plain ol' non-Hollywood narcissists become the Kim Kardashian they've always imagined they were on the inside.
Some older people, who notoriously do not come correct online, are even taking it to extremes more embarrassing than that week on Facebook when we were supposed to replace our user pictures with photographs of celebrities we fancied ourselves to resemble and like 25% of my female Facebook friends posted photos of Angelina Jolie or Stronger-era Britney Spears, which — no. According to sources who talked to the LA Times, in an attempt to prevent hiring and dating discrimination, some Baby Boomer-aged folk are posting photographs of themselves in high school on Linkedin, or dramatically slimmed down, altered photos of themselves on dating websites. A plan conceived with very little forethought, as showing up to a job interview or date appearing several decades older than your potential boss or lover anticipated doesn't do anyone any favors. Gluing a poster of Beyonce over your full length mirror doesn't turn you into Beyonce, and self-made Glamor Shots won't make you young, or have a chin.
To make matters worse, narcissism combined (ironically) with a complete lack of self-awareness is bolstering a cottage industry of terrible photographers who make a living slinging poorly composed portraits so heavy-handed on the post-production that their subjects resemble ghosts who were photographed at the moment of nuclear impact. And while this industry, from the look of it, is providing jobs to about 25% of my former high school classmates, it is hurting America and must be stopped. It's fun to feel like a glamorous celebrity, but it's not fun — or honest — to portray yourself as one.
Image via Valua Vitay/Shutterstock