As I was looking for a photo to use for my new LinkedIn account, it was suggested that I use one of the individual shots from the family portraits we had taken at Christmas time.
I remember that day. It was the dead of winter, a bad hair day, and I had three new pimples. Not ideal for family portrait day.
The photos turned out great. My eyes jump off the page; my skin is blemish-free. Everyone says they're beautiful, stunning... and they are. In a worldly sense.
Honestly, they make me sad. It's not the fault of the photographer; he did a great job. The retouchings are pristine, flawless, beautiful.
But is blemish-free and radiant blue eyes really what defines beautiful? In today's society: yes. As unfortunate as it is.
It has bothered me before but seeing my own face match those with "perfect, clear skin" punches me in the gut.
Do I like having red splotches on my face? No.
Do I shutter when I look back at photos taken on a particularly bad day? Yes.
Does this make me proud? Absolutely not.
I've heard it said one of the hardest things to trust God in and with is physical appearance. In seeing those retouched photos, I feel like I'm telling God, "You didn't do a good enough job; good thing my friend PhotoShop is here to help You out."
I don't want that attitude, and I don't want anyone else to be forced into that attitude.
It's not scriptural.
"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."
Song of Solomon 4:7 NLT
"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."
Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV
(Sorry, I couldn't pick a translation... I love them both).
PS: I am not condemning retouched photos; I am just expressing some concerns of my heart. Neither am I bashing the photographer. Someday I'll get married, I'll hire the same photographer (after all, he's my uncle), and I'll ask him to retouch my photos.