First things first, I have to just express how incredibly thankful I am for the outpouring of support on my last post. Your kind words about my singing — shucks guys — thank you.
So I was in Whole Foods yesterday, waiting in line — because there are legit 50something registers at the WF Union Square — I’m not exaggerating — and I was scanning the magazines as I so often do, when I spotted a celeb that I didn’t recognize.
“I wonder who this newbie is?” The actor in me started geeking out, wondering if there’s a new “must watch” TV show in the line up for fall, and if this was the main woman.
So I grabbed the magazine, and much to my surprise, this mystery woman was none other than Sarah Jessica Parker.
I feel you, Jackie. I feel you.
Yes, friends. Sarah Jessica Parker.
Photoshopped within an inch of her life.
Photoshopped to the degree where she no longer looks like SJP any more!
Standing in the Whole Foods line gawking, I looked to see if anyone else around me seemed baffled at this approximation of SJP. But they weren’t.
And seeing this painfully airbrushed face, it made me really sad.
And here’s why:
Because of what it communicates.
Sarah Jessica Parker is a beautiful, stunning woman. Regardless of how you feel about her show (TBH I’ve only seen the Sex and the City movie, never the series), she is undeniably an icon for TV, fashion, women’s empowerment, style, shoes, yaddy yaddy yaddah.
Everything is photoshopped to be perfectly toned, tan and slim with no wrinkles, blemishes or flaws. We are training ourselves – young girls, teens, young adults, and older women alike — that the standard of beauty is perfection. And that anything less should be airbrushed away.
If you want more proof, Instagram has 40 individual filters for your choosing. And if that’s not enough, there are – as of Sept 19 – 7,955 photo editing apps for the iPhone.
And this extends far beyond just our personal image now, too. The food we eat, vacations we take, pictures of our kids, our outfits, nails, hair, makeup, how we decorate our house – everything has to be “Pinterest-worthy.” Perfect. And everything is so broadcast. Open. So right here, right now.
And we’re all guilty of this to some degree. Heck, I know I am. I use filters on Instagram just like everybody else. (shameless plug: @beauty.beyond.bones 🙂 )
But what is the price of all of this?
What is this doing to our minds and our spirits?
Well, coming from someone who has a history of anorexia, I can tell you exactly what this does to me.
It feeds my “perfection demon.” The little voice in my head that contributed to my ED that told me that the only way I could be loved was to be perfect. That told me that my worth hinged upon attaining perfection.
True, that may be a bit extreme, I mean, come on – it’s just an Instagram filter?
But is it?
Ask Sarah Jessica Parker.
I wonder how she feels about the fact that she doesn’t even resemble herself on the cover.
I’ll leave you with this:
“You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139
“Your beauty should … be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 1 Peter 3: 3-4
I was hand-made. You were hand-made. We are all, individually, masterpieces. Just the way we are. Every freckle, every quirk, every smile line that crinkles so cutely when our faces light up. These all reflect the artistry of our Maker, who delights in His work.
So let’s embrace our humanness, not photoshop it away.