Wheaton’s Way

Vicki Wheaton

I think I’ve cracked the case on why selfies became a thing and are still so popular. It means we have control of how we look in pictures. How many times over the years have people taken snaps of us and we don’t see the unfortunate outcome until they are posted via email or social media?
I attend a lot of events on the island and when photos get published, I can often hear the sharp intake of my own breath as I see what I perceive to be a moon-shaped face full of corn-kernel teeth grinning back at me.
Step aside, Joaquin Phoenix, there’s a new Joker in town.
I still remember a photo of me from way back where it was about 100 degrees outside. My hair was all over the place. I looked like Sam Kinison, sweat and all. Sexy.
Do I know I don’t really look like that? Yes, I do. Do I still go shopping for turtlenecks that cover the chin and my wattle? Yes; yes, I do.
Cameras can be unapologetic and in this era of social media, we can all appreciate how celebrities feel when the National Enquirer and ‘TMZ’ catch them at unflattering angles. Kirstie Alley, Val Kilmer and the late, great Elizabeth Taylor, we hear thee.
What’s worse? When your friends say, “Hey, what are you talking about? You look great in that photo!”
So, then we have to ask ourselves, how much are we going to let bad pictures bother us? Sure, the human side that is painfully aware of ex-romantic partners following us on Facebook, Instagram and other agents of the internet makes us worry about what they might think, but really, in the big scheme of things, who will think about it for longer? You or them? You; trust me.
The selfie thing can go too far in the other direction, of course. It has been proven over and over again, much like Photoshopping, that angles, lighting and some inflated lungs can give a very flattering impression. Don’t get me started on those filter apps (quoth the bitter old lady). If you’re using them for fun, that’s great, but if you are really invested in them, you’re not living in the real world. Maybe that’s not a problem for you, but when the younger folk of today can’t seem to find someone online with a single blemish, that creates unrealistic expectations for them.
If you want the real-life version of the app, there are aesthetic treatments and plastic surgery to consider. I always swore that if my teeth disappointed me, or I got wrinkles, or my neck dropped and wobbled like a pelican’s, I would be signing up, no question. Now I’ve realised I’m just a big wuss. I hate needles and I’m worse with pain. Guess I’m stuck with taking a selfie.

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