A Frantic photo.

Capture 1

 

I watch a very attractive twenty-something girl, (youth is beauty after all) she poses outside a well-known emporium in London. I sip my tea as I catch a glimpse of the figure through the steamy window, across the street. Her task became clear as pedestrians moved on, leaving her in view.

She shot five, ten maybe twenty or more snaps, all with different sections of shopfront. The window dressing backdrops, all varieties of poses. There was lipstick on and off, a chin down and up, head to the right then left. One which surely was one side only with a book covering one eye. Hair combed, twisted, tucked and pulled.

My tea finished I walked across the street curious to see her closeup. I couldn’t help it, I smiled and said ‘the first one, you were far more beautiful in the first one.’ She came after me; touched my arm. ‘Sorry. but how do you know?’ She was agitated not quite cross but rattled. I pointed across the road ‘I was in the tea house and saw you clicking, taking shots with your phone … you were perfect in the first one.’

She scrolled fast through her gallery as she tip-tapped alongside. Until she shoved her i phone under my nose. ‘This one … why would it be the best, my nose looks long at that angle and my lips look dry, it isn’t the best at all.’ She was quite frantic, rushing her words, pushing her chest forward. ‘But your nose is the way it is, besides in the first one you were twenty-five minutes younger than the last, so it must be the best.’ I left her baffled as I went about my day. We are what we are regardless of the persona we show the virtual world. Our looks constantly change so each picture depicts a flash of what was; not a perfect shot of what is. The worry on the face of the young woman bothers me. Why the image was so important, it appeared imperative so stressful that I swear I heard palpitations and saw a fear in her eyes. I suppose the term ‘selfie syndrome’ will soon be another condition that parents have to watch for. It seems appearance is all, and ageing humans such as myself, women and men that have lives and deaths etched on our faces will be invisible. At least to the people

We are what we are regardless of the persona we show the virtual world. Our looks constantly change so each picture depicts a flash of what was, not a perfect shot of what is. The worry on the face of the young woman bothers me. Why the image was so important, it appeared imperative, so stressful that I swear I heard palpitations and saw a fear in her eyes. I suppose the term ‘selfie syndrome’ will soon be another condition that parents have to watch for. It seems appearance is all, and ageing humans such as myself, women and men that have lives and deaths etched on our faces will be invisible. At least to the people whose faces, they believe are the measure of them.

thank you unsplash for the use of the picture.

I would love your answer to the question … why was the perfect shot so important?

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49 thoughts on “A Frantic photo.

  1. “I would love your answer to the question … why was the perfect shot so important?”

    “Another,” said Lucy.

    Click, snap, flash.

    Lucy peered over her shoulder. “You’re not getting my dark side.”

    Gabby let out a whimper. People walked around her. Oblivious to how her life hung by a thread. “Another,” said Lucy.

    Click, snap, flash.

    “Ah, I like that one,” said Lucy.

    Gabby exhaled. She had another day of life. She knew Lucy would return tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I rarely take selfies. When I do, I’m never happy with them. But then I have mental health and self-esteem issues – so I reckon I have an excuse! I only ever take 3 or 4 at a time – if I’m not happy after that, then I’m not going to be happy, so I leave it, because I tend to get more and more critical as I go along, and more upset as a result!
    For me, being happy enough with a selfie to post it online is a good thing – it means I’ve managed to convince myself that I look ok, and even if I don’t, it won’t matter. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I shiver in fear at what will happen to this selfie generation who believes that their appearance matters more than anything else – more than their mind, their soul, their thoughts, their friendships, their family. Does this young woman exhibit low self-esteem? Yes, a problem in itself. But then to take her photo over and over again, not realizing that no shot will be the one she wants – a Stephen-King-like horror story. She has no idea what she wants, or needs. How wonderful would it be if someone invented a selfie of the SOUL?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. She was probably a very attractive girl, but everyone lives for social media now, where the picture is more important than the person. I can understand if she needed the picture for a portfolio, but I hardly think a selfie is appropriate for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so happy I didn’t have to live my youth as a slave to the perfect selfie. I have a lot of old photographs that I look terrible in but I think they are so funny now. If I had done them on a phone, would I have deleted them losing the moment forever? Now where are the sandwiches I was promised?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loved reading this and I’m glad you approached her.
    I hate this new trend of ‘selfies’ it’s quiet annoying to be honest and I personally don’t take photos unless required for passports and other official documents.
    Selfies just does not attract me even though I’m only 30

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The “selfie” phenomenon is scary. I try to think of some analogous situation from the sixties or seventies or hell, the eighties, and I can’t. It’s in a class of its own. My biggest problem is how, as you so well pointed out, it affects the current youth generation. I was with some young folks recently and pulled out my cell phone for a picture. Two girls, both very good looking, thinking I was about to take their picture, made instant perfect smiles. When it was obvious that I wasn’t ready–the smiles instantly, literally instantly, disappeared. They returned to their bored countenances. I no longer even existed, not for those two…only the phone camera existed. Nothing else.
    This ability to construct in less than a second, a photogenic face is so far beyond me that I find it impossible to fathom. My question is to what extent does it affect character? To what extent does it alter the young person’s ability to be natural? Hence the issue with the young lady of your post. I agree with Sara that you did the right thing with your remarks. And with you I can only wonder where all of this un-natural natural beauty will lead us.
    Great post! Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that you approached her and said what you did! I can just picture the scene. My son has selfie syndrome — or the propensity to shoot selfies, anyway. His problem is that he thinks one side of his face is more attractive than the other, and he believes the lie that he is better looking when he doesn’t smile. (He is wrong.) Of course, the young woman needed the perfect shot because she was trying to send my son her photo, and she wants to make a good impression — or a perfect impression. 🙂 (I personally did not receive the gene that allows me to make perfect selfies. I usually end up looking cross-eyed and stop trying. I aim for passable rather than perfection.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It is a tricky one, and like you say, we are bound to come across this type of thing more often. I know we all want to look our best in photos but nowadays, they can be airbrushed and edited so much there is hardly any real likeness at all! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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