Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Photoshopping of America

I realize this is nothing new, and I'm pretty late to the game in writing about it. But I had a conversation the other day with a guy who uses an online dating service, and we got to talking about women (and men, I'm sure) who are less than honest when they give out information about themselves on Internet sites. Like many men, my friend has wasted time online with women who turned out not to be who or what they said they were.

Just as bad is all the altered photos. I personally know a woman who Photoshopped herself right into disfigurement, and she just can't see it. Even to the untrained eye, her online photo makes her face look distorted. To the trained eye, it's downright laughable; one of her eyes in no way matches the other, and one cheekbone looks as if it's swollen—but in a really odd way, not the way it might naturally swell up if she was injured.

This woman has fallen prey to one of the greatest deceptions to befall women in recent decades with regard to their appearance: that it's OK to deceive men by altering their photos, because once those same men are introduced to the woman's stellar personality, it won't matter that she's 10 years older or 20 pounds heavier. But it will. Because deception is crummy foundation for a relationship, which is presumably what some of those men, at least, are looking for through an online dating service.

I don't get it. Sure, my photo over there on the side of this post may not make me look so hot, but that's me. Not so hot, but honest. (Oh, and happily married...not on the dating market.)

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