Friday, September 10, 2010

profile poser

Because my constant efforts to be slimmer are rarely met with results, I found myself researching poses and angles in photographs which give the illusion of being smaller than you are. A desperate attempt to blur reality with the tangible images that these days hold our memories – usually on facebook (or your preferred social network).

It made me realise just how sad I was. And I share my sadness with you.

I have the (recently initiated) eternal dilemma of loving photos. A commonly announced pissed comment from me will be “let’s take a picture!” – excitably high-pitched of course. That’s not so recently discovered, you might think, everyone likes photos and no one wants to be (exposed as) a poser, but these days what else do you do with your photos but announce them to the world on the internet?

I have shelves and shelves of photo albums and cases of photos which didn’t quite make the grade but I still want to keep. But with the rise of digital capture there are very little “display” opportunities available to you. You can keep them on your hard drive – often never to be looked at again. You send a couple to the relevant occupants of the image, but they’re probably going to do the same thing – if not delete them with the email. Or you add them to facebook and share them with your “friends”. [Read: mostly vague acquaintances who you want to think you have an exciting life which is better than theirs.]
Photos on facebook fall into one of 5 categories

1. Check me out bitches, I’m on holiday getting a tan/shopping/eating out and generally having a way more awesome time than you are at work. Ha!

2. I’m sporty, watch links of me doing rad jumps on my bmx/snowboard/skateboard while you play on the internet like a fat bastard. My profile pic will be something outdoorsy as well, just so you don’t forget it.

3. I’m pissed and having a wicked time doing it. I’m popular, as you can see by the 500 other pictures of me getting wasted and generally making a spectacle of myself. I take my camera into town to get a new profile pic.

4. This is me looking hot. I like to show these pictures because I don’t usually look this good, only at weddings, graduation or before going to town and messing myself up*. (*“This is how I appear in my mind all night, even though I’m probably a mess half an hour later”)

5. This is my child. I’ll probably set it as my profile pic because my child defines me now that I’m tied down and can’t get out to do any of the funner things above.

My photos tend to fall into categories 1, 3 and 4. Mostly because a) I don’t have a child and b) I don’t do that much sporty shit. My sporty pics would consist of me at the gym, which would be creepy for all concerned, or me walking somewhere on my way to getting pissed. My child consists of my cat, of which there are numerous pictures on facebook because he’s a legend cat and is much more interesting that a child. To me.
So the dilemma goes: too many pictures in one category (especially 3) makes you a little bit sad, right? But my love of taking photos, especially when incensed to do so after a few drinks, provides me with a plethora of such pictures clogging up my hard drive. So you have to choose your captured memories carefully and with restraint.

It’s no longer a case of “mirror mirror” to know who’s the fairest (or vainest) of us all. Anything on the camera that has me on a bad angle, me looking seedy, or me with make-up fail are automatically gone. Don’t even make it to the computer, let alone the world via the internet. Profiles are made up of the crème de la crème of our self-loving selves. And so we are left with augmented imagery of our lives. Only wanting to remember and share the edited versions of ourselves.

Just wait til I get Photoshop at home. Fuck learning to pose – you’ll never see the real me again.

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