Our brains are funny things -- they operate on several levels at once and often what's happening beneath the surface overrules what's occurring in our conscious mind. This phenomenon is frequently triggered by visual imagery.
In photographs, a two-dimensional representation of reality is created. Consciously, we know the image can be and often is a distortion of the actual object being portrayed -- but our eyes see something which our brains process as reality. As a result, we believe the image in the photograph to be accurate even though, if we think about it, we know the photo is prone to distortion.
I bring this up to explain two things. First, why I'm not as pretty as I look in pictures and, second, why some women I've meet recently are MUCH better looking in person than they are on their blogs.
I'm often surprised at how not-awful I can look in photographs, especially when I'm presenting as female. In reality, I know I'm average in appearance. When I try to create a feminine look, my appearance plummets further. I lack a traditionally female-shaped body to work with. I'm trying to make an omelette without eggs.
For example, I have no curves. None. I'm a cylinder. My measurements are identical for my bust, waist and hips. With smart fashion-choices I can create an illusion of an hourglass figure, but it is merely a deception. Similarly, my torso is large so I photograph myself from the front and not the side, to conceal the obvious. Over time, I've learned how to take pictures of my body that are flattering and to avoid poses that look terrible.
The truth is that images I create with photography are not accurate representations of my reality. I look better on my blog than I do in real-life. I accept that.
I've been shocked by the converse. I've met three female bloggers who are stunning beauties in real-life. On their blogs, they are attractive but the pictures there don't do them justice. The photos fail to convey their extraordinary beauty. I'm not exaggerating -- these women are drop-dead gorgeous by anyone's standard. (I'm talking about you Tracy, Lorena and Audi.)
Contemplating how this can be, I see that the 3-dimensions of their actual self are marvelously harmonious with nature whereas 2-dimensional pictoral representations of them fail to fully convey how they actually appear. Photographs flatten their facial features and distort away their incredible beauty.
I know most of us aren't looking at blogs to see how pretty others are, but this observation is worth making because we can be misled by what we see with our eyes, at least online.
Do you think pictures of you capture your actual appearance?