“Oooh I look really nice!” I squealed as I looked at a photo that a friend had just taken on her phone. I know that sounds really big-headed but I was genuinely surprised at how I looked in that photo – smooth skin, not a blemish in sight, very white teeth, no dark circles under my eyes, I looked years younger. “That’s so funny!” my friend said giggling as she explained to me why that photo looked so good.
And that was my first encounter with Instabeauty. Of course, after that I was hooked. I downloaded the App and I started taking more photos than usual and when I would post, I would get so many compliments like, “You look amazing”, “Wow”, “Gorgeous”, “Great makeup.”
It felt like I was cheating a little bit but I thought to myself, ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a little extra help after all.’
But I discovered the ‘big deal’ not so long after that. I took a photo of myself forgetting to use this amazing App and when I looked at the photo, I exclaimed, “I look horrible!”
Where did THAT come from? How come now, all of a sudden, I didn’t like myself in a photo when before, I hadn’t felt that way?
Yep, I had gotten to the point of not wanting to take a selfie unless it was using this App. Somewhere along the line, I had allowed an insecurity to creep in that wasn’t there before. As soon as I realised this, I deleted the App and started taking normal photos again – the real me along with my lines and imperfections. And do you know what? That insecurity that was trying to rear its ugly head was banished.
I love myself the way I am. I’m in my early 40s and proud of it. I use makeup to enhance my beauty and nothing else. I don’t have the same skin, hair or body that I did when I was in my 20s but I look after what I have and I’m in pretty good shape. I look in the mirror and am confident, and I won’t let the media or anyone else tell me I’m not beautiful just because I’m not airbrushed or look a certain way.
I’m not criticizing anyone for using these Apps because it’s a personal choice and besides, I would be having a go at some of the people I love most in this world who use them. But I do find it strange when I see even women in their teens or early twenties using these Apps. It gets to the point where they don’t look real anymore. Sometimes, their noses and features are even disappearing in some photos.
But will you do a little test for me? Take a photo without using Instabeauty or whatever other App you have. How do you feel about yourself looking at that photo? Now ask yourself, is that healthy?