No grammar or style comment this week – just got back from a weekend away and I’m far too tired to think of grammar!
Thanks everyone for the comments on the post below…I am replying here. I know which photo to send out of those three, for sure – but the general feeling seems to be that one ought to get photos done professionally with all the blemishes removed and edges softened and…
So I thought about it.
Here’s the same photo very amateurishly softened and glowed and with half the wrinkles and most of the age spots magically banished to the photo-blemish graveyard of the cyberworld. (Took me all of 30 secs to do this).
But is it me?
I am the product of a life in the sun – the first 15 years of which was spent without the benefit of sun screen. (Unfortunate result: three skin cancers). I am the product of my years. I’ve had kids and I’ve breastfed them. I am greying and my hair is thinning, and I rarely wear much makeup – if any – and you are more likely to see me sweatily lugging a huge telescope and tripod through mangrove mud, than dressed in Westwood, teetering on a pair of Jimmy Choo’s, clutching a handbag bought in Paris. I have wrinkles and age spots and arthritis. Things droop and wobble.
I’m not proud of any of that – any more than I am proud of being my age or being short or born blue-eyed. I’m not ashamed of any of it, either. It’s just what I am, much of it beyond my control. I really don’t have much say in the number of years I have been around…!
If I get a professional to photoshop the real weatherbeaten me into oblivion for publicity purposes, aren’t I subscribing to the same principles that lie behind this artificial world of airbrushed supermodels and botoxed celebrities that I so loathe for its despising of what is normal and healthy and real? People do get old. Things happen during the process. It doesn’t make us ugly or in need of cosmetic surgery to correct the “faults”. They are not faults!
No amount of lighting and airbrushing is going to make me a better writer – and my books are not going to be one whit more entertaining because of it. And I doubt that a pretty pix will sell a single book anyway…I am sure most of you agree with that. So why should I lie? Why should I buy into the fiction that growing old and not looking perfect is somehow wrong and in need of correction?
(And btw, if you saw me out in the tropical heat of the rainforest with the sweat dripping off the end of my nose in a reality shot, then I would look even worse!
And about now, you have all begun to realise why I named this blog “Tropic Temper” – Yep, I can rant with the best of ’em.)
So here’s what I have decided. I shall send the untouched photo to the marketing dept and let them make the choice. Yeah, at heart, I am just a cowardly writer who likes to pass the buck…
And thanks all, for your input. It was appreciated! You’re a great bunch of people. And I have no idea why my b & w photo at the top of the blog keeps blinking in and out of reality.