A recent article in the NY Times
about digitally altered yearbook portraits set off a media dither. As it often does, the TIMES missed the essence of the story. Long before digital trickery there was darkroom trickery, which is how many pizza-faced kids displayed miraculously flawless complexions in their graduation pictures. It was called “retouching” and it goes back a century, easy. Old school yearbook photographers would heal blemishes on the house. Now that it’s infinitely easier and costs nothing, they’re charging for it. That’s the real story; and a mundane one at that.
But it’s more fun to be morally outraged, isn’t it? Gives the shrinks and and “educators” a bone to worry. If a zit is photoshopped from little Tyler’s chin, does that chip away at his self esteem, asks The Times.
Puh-lease. Ralph Lauren takes near-anorexic models and slices them to stick figures.
Frozen dinners fresh from the microwave resemble camel puke, while the meal on the box looks like 5 star restaurant fare.
How about those profiles and pictures on Match.com? Every one is a young, active, cosmopolitan/achiever/tri-athlete/neurosurgeon/millionaire with a Steeplechase smile and an ass you can crack eggs on. Sure.
It’s a gimmicked world. Get used to it. And no demographic is more deserving of a little image enhancement than school kids. Time will ravage our faces and bludgeon our joie de vivre. Who isn’t entitled to some retroactive cosmetic enhancements?
We decided to indulge in a little Photoshop sorcery ourselves. The first reader to recognize the subject of this school portrait will win our approbation and a free Photoshop job on the image of their choice. We might even reveal his/her identity in our next post.
In the interest of transparency, truth and full disclosure, we at VMG confess we’ve been less than honest with our own portraits. We work with some very prestigious clients and felt compelled to fudge our images a smidge, just to give us a bit more age and gravitas.
Below are our authentic selves.
Larry Bleidner Bruce McArthur
We apologize for the deception.
Please love us just the way we are.