Skinny Selfies

Image curtesy of PhotosofWar.net

We all know that our looks don’t cut it. The modern world has high standards and the beauty-gang is getting excruciatingly exclusive by the day. Open a magazine at random and it will show us just how short of expectations we’ve fallen.

It doesn’t matter what we do, whether we have a healthy lifestyle or snack-binge every day, our faces will never look quite as pretty as we’d like them to without a little manipulation. There is also the matter of those big bones everywhere. If we ever doubted the theory of evolution, a quick selfie will let us know that there are definitely some dinosaur genes hidden in our DNA, tearing away at our skinny dreams.

Do not despair. Being human, we can not allow something as straightforward as nature to outdo us. Technology to the rescue! It matters little whether we are a size zero or ten going on twenty, we can always do with shedding a few pounds off those chubby cheeks of ours and… Wait for it: [Drum-roll] Now the is an app to help us do just that.

The lovely people who have created SkinneePix are there to help our public image. Not only do their photos make us look good, but they will make us fell good too. After all, we hardly meet people in real life these days. If we want to be more popular (and that’s what life is about, isn’t it?), all we need to do is to upload the latest in gorgeous selfies on our Facebook page and Ta-Da! the likes will pour in. Watch those cheekbones sizzle off the screen. Yum! And you get all this for a mere 69p. A bargain if I ever saw one.

I am certain that this will be the answer to a plethora of body-image induced illnesses across the globe. Goodbye bulimia and anorexia. Since our self-worth is entirely dependent on our looks and we can only feel confident and happy when the world can see how skinny we are, now we can change our abnormal appearance at will and need never feel like failures just because our jawline size exceeds that of a newborn. If you don’t believe me, check out what the Guardian has to say about it.

SkinneePix is certainly the best thing to happen to us since the invention of Famine. We don’t need to starve ourselves to look skinny anymore. Emaciation is only one click away:

It’s not complicated. No one needs to know. It’s our little secret.

*

Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady

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48 thoughts on “Skinny Selfies

    • Thank you, Seraphina. For a moment there I thought I should add an author’s note just in case, but then decided that no one could possibly mistake my “enthusiasm” for this app for something other than what it is. 😉

      • I know what you mean and I did have my doubts at first, but judging by the response so far, I am persuaded that it will not mislead. If I start getting comments about how amazing this app is and how great it is that I’m promoting it, then I’ll make sure to amend it. Will keep an eye out certainly.

    • Thank you, Ann. A friend of mine told me a while ago that I write well when I’m angry. I hope that I need not walk around in a rage in order to be able to have my quill well sharpened, but I certainly find it easier to write about things I care about. And knowing too well the havoc that body image problems can cause in someone’s life, I could not let this one pass without comment.

  1. Your acid-witted tongue lashes so powerfully, effectively, Vic. I wonder though, if some Gen Ys or Zs reading it might miss the satire entirely and take it literally in their quest for skinny-perfection (as you mention in your comment). My own teen daughter hollows out her “fat” cheeks with bronzer in a lengthy process each day, as well as using far too much eyeliner “because I look so hideous without it”. There’s another insidious product that’s crept into the teen market – “SkinnyMe Tea – a ‘healthy detox’ – the name says it all. It’s basically a laxative.

    I read The Guardian piece and the big irony is that they looked so much better before Skinneepix!

    Your last paragraph is just brilliant, Vic, and the accompanying photo, well, it could make one cry. (BTW was “the cheek of it” an intentional pun?!)

    • It was! That is to say, it was an intentional pun. Trust you to notice it straight away. And I agree, they both looked much better before putting their selfie through the app to lose 15 pounds. There was a comment on the article from one of the creators of the app who claimed that it was unfair (or something like that) for people who are already skinny to take the pics and recommended that the writer go searching for fat people in her office to showcase the app instead. Hmm. Apparently skinny people should start by only “loosing” five or ten pounds and then they would look good. Couldn’t believe it.
      I am glad you mentioned you’re daughter, because I think this kind of technology, coupled with the “beauty-skinny”-driven media affects young people’s perception of their own looks more than perhaps those in the older age-bracket. Unfortunately, they are also more vulnerable to the negative influence of both.
      Personally I think that SkinneePix and those like them are socially irresponsible. I don’t buy their argument that by seeing a skinnier version of yourself , we can be encouraged to lead healthier lifestyles.
      Thank you, Lee-Anne and “acid-witted tongue” is a first. Is it wrong that I am rather fond of it?

      • It isn’t wrong, Vic, it was a compliment…so glad you’re fond of it! (Thanks for clarifying about SkinneePix – it’s great that if you’re slim, you only have to loose a few pounds…LOL, so bad it’s funny – but black humour of course 🙂

        I forgot to mention that the SkinnyMe Tea rewards its buyers (mostly teenagers) with free tea if they post up before and after shots, showing how much weight they’ve lost after drinking the miracle tea. 😦

      • Imagine if people started posting pictures of themselves before and after discovering junk food. Do you think it would encourage the world to get healthier? Morgan Spurlock tried that in 2004 with Supersize Me. I wonder if anyone took the trouble to do the stats on how many people stopped eating McDonalds after watching that documentary. Judging by that corporation’s profits last year, I’d say that it had less impact than it ought to have done. Pity that the reverse coin doesn’t have as much pull on our psyche.

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  4. At first I thought this was a clever piece of writing used to make a point until I realized it was a clever piece of writing that HAPPENED TO BE TRUE. Ugh. Let’s just add one more tool to body image destruction.

    • That is the trouble with putting a mirror up to our social foibles. It only works if the reflection is truthful, albeit taken to an extreme. We are co-conspirators, because without our consent and custom the beauty industry would not survive.

    • I embedded that link towards the end (if you click on “the Guardian” it would also take you to that article). And I agree, Martha: it is one big mess of wrong.

  5. I did think you were against it, but by the end of it, I wasn’t too sure. After skimming over the comments, I realize I don’t need to worry or prepare for an argument!

    And yes, I think the makers have forgotten, conveniently, to consider that people who use this app would cringe to be out in public, lest the secret is out. Or even consider the wrong morals they are putting out there for teenagers, specifically since they are most targeted by self-image. This just creates more problems.

    • I hoped that hinting at famine and emaciation might do the trick, but it just goes to show how deeply embedded in our psyche certain are ideas of what constitutes beauty that they trick the mind to doubt itself, even when we know deep down that what we are seeing or reading about is wrong.
      This app is one addition to a long line of “wrongs” that deplete our youth of its health and joyfulness.

      • U r right. Moreover, for people who need to exercise and stay fit may not feel the motivation to do so because they already look good in front of people and that’s all that matters.

  6. Excellent social commentary 🙂 please do keep it up. At the moment I am terrified when the old generation retires, what will the world become with this new generation of selfie-sick, internet-obssessed, sudo-adults in charge?

    • Oh, thank you. I seem to be on a roll with my social commentary inserts these last couple of days. Will certainly do my best to keep it up. The new generations are faced with a new multi-headed beast. Whenever one head gets chopped off, another sprouts out to replace it. Let’s hope that there are enough warriors out there to keep it a level ground, although judging by what we read in the papers on a daily basis…

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  8. I struggle with making you to skinny in VB009 actually. You are on a size 2 body mostly I think. haha.

    I don’t think that’s to far off judging from your shadow on your bike. I dunno.

    I don’t want you to be anorexic.

    I put myself on a fatty yesterday for fun in the Stevie.

    I’m so bad.

    • I don’t fully understand US sizes, they are a little different from UK ones and different labels seem to have their own sizes too. Don’t worry though I’m a healthy skinny 😉

      • Haha.

        I have a few unhealthy skinny friends who I have to remind to eat.

    • I did not choose the photo as a mark of disrespect towards the survivors of concentration camps. For those wonderfully courageous people emaciation and famine were a daily reality, not a choice. They were deprived of the most basic sustenance, both material and emotional. This is a world that our forefathers gave their lives to change, and the vacuous existence promoted in our modern societies are in and of themselves an affront to what that girl represents. I can not think of a more potent social critique than the one contained in the juxtaposition of this image to where we ended up since. I chose it because I believe it to represent an overwhelming damnation of the skewed values we are being co-opted into, not only by the likes of SkinneePix (who are only a symptom of the larger disease), but of our economies – so engrossed by consumerism when so many people are still dying from lack of food and medicine in underdeveloped countries, by our industries – promoting shameless narcissism so at odds with the altruistic nature of those who have gone through unimaginable hardships and yet still shared the last of the little they had to help a stranger simply because they were in need, of our media in its shallow pursuit of profits – having lost any sense of social responsibility.
      You are right, the victims and survivors of concentration camps were not choosing anything. We – on the other hand – are spoilt for choice and this is what we choose.
      I understand why you are uncomfortable with my using her image. If the article was merely a “spot of fun” then I would have opted for another. It is not, however. It is a subversive piece and there is ultimately nothing humorous about it for those willing to read between the lines. (Incidentally, I’m not suggesting that you are not. I am certain that you have brought this to my attention with good reason).
      Thank you for your feedback and I hope that I have clarified my position sufficiently to reassure you that I would not willingly or even accidentally show any disrespect to the memory of those to whom we are indebted for our freedom. I am only appalled and deeply disappointed that this is what we choose to do with it.

      • Thanks for reassuring me in this heartfelt response I appreciate.
        You put it beautifully when you wrote…”to reassure you that I would not willingly or even accidentally show any disrespect to the memory of those to whom we are indebted for our freedom.”
        Have a good week!

      • Thank you and thank you too for giving me the opportunity to explain the reasons for my choice.
        Warm regards and wishing you a beautiful week ahead,
        Vic

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    • I could not believe it myself when I first came across the article. It is incredible how many ways the industries find to make us feel like we are not good enough. Well, all I can say in reply is one resounding NO: we are better than we are given credit for and beauty is far more multi-faceted and complex than these app-inventors will ever be able to conceive.
      Thank you, Annet.

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