Friday, February 22, 2008

me... photoshopped.

last thursday - valentine's day - a guy at work who's always walking around taking pictures of staff with his fancy dancy camera (he took this one too), stopped by my desk, and said,

"i gotta take a picture of you with that heart necklace on."

"uh. okay." for one who performs ALONE ON STAGE on a regular basis, and aspires to perform ALONE ON STAGE for a living, i do not really like having my picture taken ALONE. maybe it's residual body image issues:

oh, but my big fat nose, my big fat face, my big fat zits will be preserved for all time in this shoddy state.

or maybe it's that residual feeling of undeservedness.

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT A PICTURE OF ME ALONE? don't you want someone else in here to distract you from all this imperfect-ness?

so he took the pic, and 15 minutes later he emails me this one.

wow. i thought. that looks pretty good. i like that pic. i look refreshed, i haven't exfoliated in ages, but my skin looks so... wait a minute! that big honkin' zit on my cheek is completely gone!

then it hit me.

i've been photoshopped!

i felt so dirty.

out of curiosity, i asked the guy to email me the original version so i could see the difference. no, not to beat myself up over how pimply and wrinkly i am, but to see first person how and why this photoshopping phenomenon is so widely-accepted.

ohhhh... that's why.

go on... click to see the difference. (if you click the pics, they get larger. go on! get to know my pores!)

i don't think i look awful in the untouched one - a female human bean at the end of a long work day, i guess - but you see why some folks might prefer the photoshopped version of themselves. i mean, it's one thing to see the real and touched-up version of faith hill and say, "oh, but she looks just as pretty, just more real in the first one!" and it's another thing entirely to see yourself all human and flawed and then to see yourself all goddess-like and flawless and then choose the real version. i'm just as conditioned as everyone else to think the porcelain-skinned visages in all the magazines and movies is normal and ideal. human looks abnormal to this conditioned eye.

if they're gonna put you on the cover of a nationally-distributed magazine, i can see how it might be a little difficult to stick to your guns and go with the untouched version (not that i think the editors gave faith hill or any of their cover models much of a choice in the matter). out of principle and a duty to my fellow womenfolk, of course, i'd choose the real one b/c i see how this stuff gets out of hand - lengthening limbs, carving out waists, shading in breasts. the guy who took my pic even removed my signature Marilyn mole above my lip! since when is a tiny little mole a flaw? i mean, really, it grows steely strands of hair. how cool is that?


my apologies for being so lax in posting as of late. The Cute and i have been mourning the loss of his little dog Chicken. she died suddenly last sunday afternoon after suffering an idiopathic seizure (meaning they have no fucking idea what caused it; so much for closure). she was the cutest, sweetest, weirdest dog i've ever known, and i'd grown quite attached to her. her paws smelled like Fritos, she chased her own tail, she loved homebaked peanut butter dog cookies and she was a very good sport about letting us balance things on her head.

she was only 3 1/2. i shall miss her very much.

Friday, February 08, 2008

you look happy to see me!

what do you think is the first thing they'll say when they see each other for the first time since last summer?

i had dinner on friday night with a friend i haven't seen in ages. we talked about how long it's been for about 10 minutes, trying to place when we remember seeing each other last along some imaginary timeline stretching between our candlelit glasses of sangria (my glass of sangria, her glass of soda and lime; she's off the sauce for Lent, sweet girl).

i had a great time catching up with her. s is a hip New York woman who is successful in the entertainment industry, wears funky glasses and dines at swanky restaurants but who also observes Lent, buys her 4-year old niece ruby red slippers for her birthday and sends thank you notes. she's grounded, and i adore her.

on the train ride home, as i sat recalling our visit, i was struck by something:

she never once commented on my appearance, and i never once commented on hers THE ENTIRE NIGHT.

do you know how remarkably refreshing and rare it is to spend an entire evening with someone (a female particularly) and not a single comment is made about the other's appearance?


i mean absolutely nothing. not even an obligatory:

"you look great!

"well you do too!"


"hi! so great to see you! god it's been so long!"

then we talked about everything BUT. just two girls sitting around chatting about their lives over chorizo and patatas bravas.

not to say it isn't nice and wonderful and esteem-building for someone to sincerely, positively comment on how i look from time to time or for me to say the same about someone else, but i hate the obligatory you-look-fabulous chatter that we females especially feel so compelled to engage in. we frequently don't really mean it, and sometimes (many times) a person's appearance doesn't speak an ounce of truth about what's really going on underneath.

how about "it's so great to see you! how ya doing?"?

great to see YOU. the person. the being. not your highlights, or your yoga booty, or your flat abs, or your size 4 True Religion jeans. YOU are not those things, and neither am i. (nor am i the scary hair-of-steel that grows out of the mole on my upper lip or the zits on my chin or the ain't-done-yoga-in-months-booty, thank god).

i realize that not everyone feels this way. some people don't care, don't notice. i know a lot of my irritation around this stems from a childhood of always feeling like i had to look prettier and thinner in order to earn a joyful exclamation upon my return after having been away.

"oh." their faces usually seemed to say. "you're not thinner than you were than before you left for school this morning."

and god forbid if i came back heavier; like i did after the first semester of my freshmen year in college. i think my dad may have been ever so slightly more ashamed if i'd come back pregnant, but i'm not so sure. at least then he would have known i was operating as a heterosexual. i mean, a liberal daughter he could take. a FAT liberal daughter?

next stop? LESBO!

well, now i'm just being bitter.


i don't know. juuuuust something to think about the next time you see that friend you haven't seen in ages. it's not about one another's presence that matters, right? but about being in one another's presence. so say something that means something.

happy friday

i'm alive!!!

but i'm a busy bee! lots of good stuff going on though! looks like we have size ate shows booked in new jersey, mississippi and illinois over the next few months (once the contracts are signed and the plane reservations are made, i'll actually reveal the where and the when so if you're near one, maybe you can come?)

exciting and scary. oh, those two things go together like peanut butter and chocolate, don't they?

now this. this is just a happy song, for a happy day (FRIDAY!) from Israeli singer songwriter, Yael Naim. i first heard this song on the new Apple commercial during the Super Bowl, and i knew i had to find out who it was. i have, and now I CAN'T STOP LISTENING. enjoy!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

pearl of wisdom from utah

my friend joanna on men who don't like it when women cry:

"look. boobies come with tears. if ya want boobies, ya get tears."

Sunday, February 03, 2008

just happy

it wasn't nearly this pleasant, but i sure do feel better.

sorry, guys. it has been one helluva week. plenty good stuff, plenty challenges, but i'm spending a little time away from the keyboard this weekend to rest mine eyes (and my brain). when your eyes twitch, that's your body's way of telling you to GO STARE AT A TREE, PLEASE.

i went to the acupuncturist on wednesday. one of the first things he said to me was:

"you've lost some weight since i saw you last. you're slimmer."

"yeah, i guessssss so..." i pause.

"it's not easy!!!" he says with great admiration, expecting me to detail my valiant attempts at exercise and weight loss.

"actually, i haven't been trying at all."

"really?" he's shocked.

"yeah. i think i'm just happy."


can't wrap his brain around that one: A WOMAN WHO HAS CEASED STRUGGLING WITH HER WEIGHT. do they make those on planet Earth?