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.

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Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady

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Inadequacy

Full Moon by Vic Briggs

Freud had placed envy at the centre of malign feelings, for envy destroys all that is good, including goodness itself. We are never quick to admit to being envious of others, because that would entail also admitting that we are, in some way or another, their inferiors, be that in talent, intellect, ability, skill, kindness and so on. Yet there is another feeling which is as painful and can be as destructive: that of inadequacy.

There is a tendency and desire in people both to conform and to stand out. A feeling of inadequacy implies a failure in both.

I considered leaving it at that. After all, the experience of inadequacy must be near universal. We have all believed ourselves to have come short of expectations – whether our own or others’ – at some point in our lives. Nonetheless, there is a particularity attached to each individual’s experience: sameness in difference and vice versa.

Going to the root of the problem appears a near impossible feat. I journeyed through a plethora of theories, each concluding in the terrifying image: an internal battlefield where the discrepancy between reality and an idealised version of the self are set to clash. It is a vicious cycle, whereby anger is directed inwards and creates a self-perpetuating conflict that – when left unaddressed – will result in the onset and persistence of depression.

The problem goes deep. Reaching an objective viewpoint seldom helps. Whereas with most other malign feelings, understanding and acceptance make it possible to overcome their hold, that is not the case with inadequacy. This feelings is unsupported by reason. Even when we know that there is no basis in reality for how we feel, that does not automatically allow for its power to be broken. Since reason fails us, the solution will necessitate a creative approach.

Having been reminded of Nelson Mandela’s reversal of the coin, I would like to conclude on a more optimistic note: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” If we are inadequate, the great pretenders of this world, what we are reflects the chasms and vicissitudes on an imperfect world. And since we are able to dream up perfect versions of ourselves and of the world we inhabit, then ours too is the power to let go of these imagined Utopias.

 

Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender