To filter or not to filter… that is the question.
Do you remember the good old days of disposable cameras? You’d send off the film in the post and get the photos two weeks later.
Back then, we’d be happy if the flash had gone off or there wasn’t a finger over the lens.
But the last few years have taken us to the scary world of ‘perfection’ – where apps enable us to alter pics until they bear no relation to the real person.
Things are getting so out of hand that MP Luke Evans has drawn up a bill that would force celebrities to label digitally altered images of themselves.
Dr Evans, a GP and a member of Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee, said that edited photos on social media were “fuelling a mental health crisis” and creating a “warped view” of beauty.
Which isn’t far from the truth.
Towie star Lauren Goodger was called out recently for retouching pics of herself when she was six.
Now, I’m no stranger to a doctored photo. When my novels are released, I always have a lovely set of pictures which are often retouched.
Once I saw what I could look like with a little help, I started tweaking all of my own pictures too. Before I knew it, I was hooked on the ‘perfect me’ and was disappointed when I saw the real me before I fixed it.
Luckily, my friends alerted me to the fact that I’d fallen into the trap.
If it can happen to a woman in her mid-40s like me, it makes me fear for the younger generation so I really hope that the legislation does go through.
For my part, about a week ago, I decided enough was enough and deleted the apps from my phone. Dr Evans is right. We all want to get flattering photos but the ability to make ourselves unnaturally perfect just makes us feel bad about ourselves.
After all, you can’t filter real life. And ultimately you are setting yourself up to see disappointment or surprise in people’s eyes when they see the real you.
Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ages and we need to accept that sometimes, a bit of make-up or a hairstyle to make us look our best should be enough.
Here’s the real me on the left and the fake me on the right. Wave goodbye to the second girl because her time is up!