I’m not certain if we realize just how much photography impacts our world. It provides glimpses into corners of the world we may never see, it helps to preserve our memories, it shows us both the joys and atrocities all around us. Sometimes though, they represent a distorted view. The use of filters and apps, while providing enhancements to color and images, also take away from the true photo/image. Imagine if all of the programs and apps that made our pictures more “beautiful” or more “realistic” suddenly disappeared. What would happen to photos, especially those selfies? More importantly, what would happen to the world as we know it?
In this time of fake news, photos and people, how do we know what and whom to trust? Is it the left, right, liberal or conservative, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, talk show hosts, news media, university professors, scholars, websites, friends, family…who knows anymore?
My guess is that many people can’t or won’t tell the full truth 100% of the time. Sometimes, it’s a little white lie to protect someone’s feelings or perhaps to get out of going somewhere. Others flat-out lie or lie by omission (which is equally bad). I know I have told a few in my lifetime; some were doozies. We can reform our ways if we choose to, but for some, I believe lying, covering up or hiding behind masks and filters (although difficult to keep up with) has become a source of comfort much like a security blanket.
We are a society obsessed with filters and masks: anything that hides our flaws, faults, imperfections and insecurities. We want everyone and everything to be perfect, to always look good and be at the top of our game. We subscribe to someone else’s belief or definition of beautiful, youthful, the right weight, the right clothes, religion, house, job, etc. Honestly, who the hell is dictating what and whom we should be?
There’s airbrushing and apps that filter out blemishes & red-eye. There are apps to make us skinnier, taller, shorter and heavier even. There are apps to make crowds appear where there were only a handful of people. The same apps can change the color of someone’s skin, hair and eyes, and remove clouds, birds, people or evidence that one doesn’t want in the view. We even Photoshop our food!
While we can certainly make our own choices to buy/wear makeup or a certain brand, businesses work in overdrive mode to convince us that we are not beautiful or worthy enough on our own. You must buy this cream, that makeup, this outfit, that app or filter. Be skinnier, look more youthful, buy this wrap, that wax, this car, that food and so on.
Wait! There’s more. Johnny, tell them what they won! Well Wink, here’s another mask to add to your already overwhelming collection. No one needs to see the real, authentic you, correct? You get to continue to hide while we and our sponsors get to line our pockets.
At the root of it all is the ever-present greed, money, ego and need for power at any cost. Masks are great for Halloween, Mardi Gras and the theater but not for real life. As I have addressed several times before, wearing those masks will weigh you down and wear you out. Trying to compete or maintain a facade is exhausting. Our beauty seems to diminish because our brains, souls & hearts are just plain, frustrated, angry and fed up.
Let’s not forget about those photos:
Why is the goal to deceive? Again, I come back to ego and power. Maybe someone thinks they will win an award, maybe they can sway public opinion, perhaps it’s to cause a stir, to perpetuate negative behaviors, to act as a deflection or to pit one against another and cause a great divide in our nation. Regardless of the motive, it looks like fake, filters and photo editing are here to stay.
I say it’s time to reclaim our beauty, our own thoughts and the truth. We may begin small, but sometimes that’s all it takes to begin a positive movement.
Today through October 31st, post your favorite filtered photo or video in comments section of this blog or on the My Chaotic Brain Facebook Page. Then, between November 1st & 15th, post your favorite unfiltered photo or video. Post selfies, or any other photo or video from nature to your favorite meal. (Please keep them family friendly!)
Let’s show the world our natural beauty and our desire and right to view the authentic truth!