Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Spots, Stretchmarks and Wobbly Bits – Why I Don’t Photoshop

Anyone who follows me on Twitter will have seen the Worm. For those of you who haven’t, the Worm is my affectionate nickname for one of my less photogenic facial expressions.



Ok, so I pull this face a lot. A LOT. But this particular shot was grabbed from a video I made for work, and it made me laugh more than usual. As a result I put it up as my Facebook profile photo. I thought it was funny, and it made a change from my usual pouty/fish gape photo. While some people saw it for what it was, others used it as an excuse to open up a critical discussion of my appearance. What was most disappointing about this is that it wasn’t random trolls or internet strangers who took it upon themselves to make demoralising comments about me, but members of my own family.

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not 100% happy with the way I look. Of course there are things I would change if I had a magic wand. Of course I think there are things about myself that could so with some work. But that’s my work to do. It’s my battle to fight. It’s not anybody else’s job to “suggest” ways that I should feel obliged to change myself, especially when they are working to outdated, sexist, heteronormative, ableist, racist standard of beauty that exclude so many wonderful, beautiful ways of existing.

I’m a work in progress that won’t be completed until the day I die. I will always see room for improvement. I will always be trying to get better at something. And I see my blog as a way of documenting that, for better or for worse. That’s why I am pledging, here and now, never to retouch any of my photos (aside from Instagram filters because they’re just fun.)

For some people a blog is like a museum of their life, with all the best pieces laid out for public view, and you know what? That is absolutely fine. If you want your blog/website/social media to show you at your peak then that is completely your choice and you have my full support. If you want to airbrush, alter, amend or otherwise edit your photos, that’s ok too. You do what you need to do. Your life, your choice.



Does this mean I’m going to only show you my Worm face from now on? Of course not. My social media and blog will still feature more flattering photographs. But it’s ok to acknowledge that everyone takes Worm photos now and again, whether they mean to or not.



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12 comments

  1. I love, love, love this post! I never photoshop my photos - I've got unflattering photos all over my Facebook but I feel that life is too short and the happy memories from the photos are my important to me and I completely agree, that our bodies are our own to deal with - your attitude is infectious Elena and I love your positivity! - Tasha

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    1. Aw, bless you Tasha! I think there's a lot of pressure on everyone of all ages and genders to put their best foot forward and present a highly curated version of their lives, and it's totally fine if that's what people want to do - however it certainly shouldn't be something people feel they HAVE to do! Love always, sweets!

      x

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  2. I adore this blog post! Such an amazing post to inspire all women. This post needs more views on it. <3
    With love, Alisha Valerie. x

    My Blog: http://alishavalerie.blogspot.com
    My Twitter: http://twitter.com/saidbyalisha

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    1. Thank you, sweetheart! It's something I feel very strongly about, so I'm delighted it's resonated!

      x

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  3. The idea of being a constant work in progress is such a beautiful idea! I recently deleted Instagram because I felt as though I was spending too much time portraying my life and myself through pretty filters rather than how things actually were so I completely relate to the photoshop ban! Really inspiring

    Becky; www.rebeccamarie.co.uk xxx

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    1. Life would be awfully boring if we just settled! I definitely think it's possible to find joy in your own appearance while still wanting to improve and change. My instagram is mostly bunnies, so that's slightly easier - they're very photogenic! :P

      x

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  4. Elena, I think your worm face is absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. Hilarious and I love the message that this post portrays too.

    You just keep doing you :) x

    www.kirstytalks.co.uk

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    1. Thanks Kirsty! I totally get that some people always want to look their best, and that's totally fine, but when a face looks as ridiculous as mine, it seems a pity to waste it!

      x

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  5. This is bloody awesome, oh my god!
    It feels like now people go to way much effort to make sure they portray themselves as perfect little unicorns online, in my opinion we need more worms!

    Alice | daintyalice.com

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  6. Your worm face is the best! It's the reason why I followed your blog! ��

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  7. Wow, what a photo :) I know why you do not like photoshop, your faces are doing everything for him. I advise you to Use a good filter https://aurorahdr.com/make-hdr-in-photoshop-cc15. Simple and convenient. Hint for the future, never do the photo from below, it's terrible. Good luck.

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  8. Currently practising my own worm face whilst reading this... Well done for writing this- go girl!

    Claudia // Lipstick Theory // Lifestyle Blog

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