CAVEAT: As an experiment, I decided to upload (or download) a face app—Face App, in fact. I played around to give you some examples of what this post is about. I did not want to use the images from the people that I’ve seen on Social Media who change their images. For me, it isn’t ethical—and so, I used my face to prove my point. Read on and have a few laughs on me—okay?
I love being on Instagram. It’s downright fun. And, despite the continuous parade of political posts, I also enjoy Facebook. And lest we not forget YouTube because I have an absolute blast filming wig reviews on my Channel.
Thumbnail Image for my Color Comparison Video Review about Summer Heat by The Wig Company! No blurs. No filters. Just different lighting.
In fact, one of the reasons I love social media is that I can get a great look at products—both in photographs and videos. It’s a wonderful aspect of the medium to showcase real results or a real person.
Especially with the mature demographic? Or is it.
Now. As a genuinely
curious nosey individual, I like to get a good look at how—let’s say a skincare product or a wig, works on the women showcasing these items and products. And, at times, I find many images and little videos a bit daunting.
I’ll tell you why.
It seems that filtering and blurring and enhancing images have become quite popular in influencer and reviewer lands. And, as an influencer of sorts, myself, I abhor the use of photo enhancements.
Please influencers–don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. And don’t morph your real images into a scary version of Influencer IT clowns! I cringed when I saw this photo of me. That smile is so freaky. But the best thing is my turkey neck is on full-display. Ya think people won’t notice that? I like the photo on the left better–especially since my little fang is peeking through!
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve changed saturation on clothing that I’m showcasing simply because the lighting at the time of photographing can be a bit naturally filtered—especially early in the morning when I’m snapping pics before leaving for work. I’ll use the sharpening effect to get a more defined result.
Here’s a photo I posted on Instagram to showcase the Lilly Pulitzer Wynne Maxi. I did use the saturation effect to show the true colors. But no filters!
Another photo using the saturation effect in order to get a better idea of the vibrant colors in the shorts and the top! No facial enhancements or filters!
But I never touch the face.
The face is sacred to me. Jowls. Lines. Freckles. Fish lips. Crossed eyes. Facial scars. It’s the mélange of imperfections that make me…. well, me! And yes. I’ll be honest. Aging can be daunting. Not gonna lie. I’ve said it before and will say it again. If I had the funds, I would find the best plastic surgeon, check myself into NY Hospital for Special Surgery and let the knife do the walking. Its more organic to have the skin pulled and lifted then sewn back vs. needles with synthetic fillers injected into the skin. Or at least that’s my humble opinion.
But let’s get back to the subject at hand. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find truth in influencer advertising these days. A great skincare product—especially at our pro-age stage of aging, is a treasure. While we aren’t looking for a miracle to erase the effects of aging, we can all admit we’re looking for a product that’ll hydrate and plump up the skin a bit. Something that’ll work well either under makeup or alone. And we don’t need to alter our image to get the point across!
On the left, is an image of me that was taken exactly one year ago. Two days before Oona and Sam’s wedding. I was sitting on their front porch. No makeup. Only moisturizer. Oona and I were ready to get spray-tanned for the wedding. The photo on the left is one of my all-time favorites because it’s makeup free, I had a great sleep the night before, I was excited to be with my daughter and future son-in-law and I was happy. The image on the right. It’s downright creepy. I look about 14 years old. But the sad thing is that I’ve seen images of women on Social Media, in their 50’s and upwards that have morphed themselves into looking 14 and it is laughable and sad at the same time!
Same with makeup. We don’t want a foundation that will showcase every wrinkle and crevice. We want a lightweight foundation with a good amount of coverage to hide redness or age spots while not giving notice to said crevices.
Another delightfully creepy photo. The left-side photo is from Oona’s wedding day. It was taken after my makeup was applied. We went with a very natural look and the makeup artist was perfect in her application. Estetica Designs also gifted me with the Alden wig so it was a great fake head of hair atop a non-filtered, non-blurred, non-enhanced face. And check out my turkey neck! It’s epic! On the right is me with lighter skin and a darker neck. I look like a freak!
I also don’t want to look like a Bratz Doll either. And I don’t want to see anyone else looking like one!
I‘m sure you’ve seen the Bratz dolls.Huge lips. Non-existant nose. Big made up eyes and totally plastic! And feminists were offended by Barbie? I’ve got news for you….
Oh look! It’s me! With a Bratz make over! The nose couldn’t be made smaller but I DO look completely plastic! This is so shallow. And I, as a deeply shallow individual find THIS too shallow!
Believe me. It takes a while and a number of photos to come up with just the right one when showcasing products. But eventually you get that great shot and don’t need apps!
And although the image on the left, isn’t the most flattering one of me (but it’s better than my eighth-grade photo), I prefer it to the Bratz (oh God what an offensive name for a doll) look!
Is that too much to ask for? I think not.
The public ain’t stupid. These photos are of Jennifer Lopez. Jennie-From-the-Block will be 51 next week. She’s got a bangin’ body, she does. But that photo on the left is enhanced and played with. The photo on the right hasn’t been enhanced or photoshopped. And that’s a good thing because it shows her in that lighting that we all dread! She’s beautiful and gorgeous and she took a lot of criticism for that photo on the left!
And I cringe and shake my head in creepy disgust whenever I see a woman, of the mature demographic, who has lit-uh-ruhl-ee used either Photoshop or other “enhancement” technology to not only erase any semblance of aging—such as lines and loss of gravity, to turn herself into a blurred mirage of a modern-day version of Dicken’s Ghost of Christmas Past!
This image of The Ghost of Christmas Past from Muppets Christmas Carol looks more realistic than some of the blurred images I’ve seen on older influensers. I kid you not! One in particular blurs herself to the point I always think my screen is dirty!
Look. I have bad eyesight. Very bad eyesight. To the point that my husband is driving me to work and back these days due to my issues with light-sensitivity. Add to that, I’m working at a computer eight hours a day—in fluorescent lighting, which is horrific, only to take the occasional ladies-room break.
If you are of the age to remember this guy, Mr. Magoo, you might want to move to the side of the road when I’m driving. I’m Ms. Magoo!
I’m also wearing an eye patch on my bad eye—and so, I’m working with one good eye. Any images of an over-filtered face are freaking me out because I think “Is it my eyes, or does she appear that cloudy in life?”
I tell you, I’m a timeless beauty and with the eye patch and mask, I have a face that could stop a clock. But at least I’m not using a damned filter!!!
You are losing face with me. And that is not good. It is a learned disrespect that also brings a loss of trust. And a loss of trust is, quite possibly, one of the worst things that can happen.
I rest my case. Trust IS important!
And please—stop with the not-so-cutesy animal ears and faces. It’s fine for teens and kids but adults? No. Just. No.
Celebrities love doing this shit—and they look ridiculous.
Oh those Krazy Kardashians. It doesn’t matter WHO you are. These filters look ridiculous when anyone over 17 uses them!
Anyway, probably the single most insulting thing that happened to me while morphing various images of myself came in the form of making an attempt to enhance a photo of me from my eight-grade school portrait.
How ugly was it? Well, remember Pat from SNL? This was Pat’s reaction upon seeing my eighth-grade photo!
It is, hands down, one of the saddest, awkward, downright ugliest photos ever taken of a 12-year old girl and I still have PTSD over the fact my mother never made an attempt to try to get me to look pretty. So, I tried doing it myself.
I uploaded the pic to Face App. Low and behold the “male” icons showed up at the bottom of the app! Can you believe it? I was so ugly that Face App mistook me for a boy. I hope my mother is looking down from Heaven realizing how she traumatized me with cutting my hair so short and not trying to pluck my unibrow.
Look! Face App thought I was a boy! A BOY!! How freaking insulting and sad is that. And yes, I’m still traumatized!
Anyway, 53 years later , after altering my image, I finally look like a girl.
Quite possibly the ONLY altered image of my face I’ll ever be happy with. Mostly because I resemble, in an incredibly loose way, my comic book icon..
…Archie’s girlfriend, Veronica Lodge. I always wanted to look like this. Yeah. I was an odd kid!
All kidding aside. We need to be happy with who we are and what we look like. Yeah. I was ugly as fuck as a pre-teen. But you know what? I was a late bloomer. A very late bloomer. And perhaps that’s why I’m comfortable in my aging skin these days.
Seriously. You can take a great photo in good lighting and when you know your good angles. Nobody needs to enhance the bejesus out of their face. (except perhaps if they have a bad eighth-grade portrait) Our aging process is a privilege!
But—a high school classmate, Pete D’Alia said it all “…..eventually everyone you want in your life will see behind the curtain. I’ve made my peace with it.” Great words to remember!
Peace. Namaste. And be true to yourself. Don’t lose face. You are loved as you are!
Great post, Catherine — and I couldn’t agree with you more. Those altered pics are creepy — mostly because they don’t show the beauty of a life well lived and well loved. You look wonderful today — keep on standing up for us pro-agers. (P.S. That altered teenage photo of you does remind me of Veronica!).
Hi Claudia! Hey. My mission in life is to get the pro-ager movement recognized! But those altered pics are foolish–and the many women who use them aren’t fooling anyone but themselves. I swear. I had to stop following certain groups on FB due to the ridiculousness of the use of filters. Women over 50 clearly trying to look decades younger–it’s such a WTF moment! I’m glad you enjoyed and so glad you think that pic does resemble Veronica. My pre-teen dreams come true! XOXOXOXOXO
OMG I could hardly believe how awful those altered pics of you look – bland, vacant and just plain dumb! Thank goodness for the real Catherine, the walking, talking, doesn’t give a damn Catherine. The best version, without a doubt. Xxxxx
Thank you Judy. The only fakeness on my is my tan and hair! OK and my fingernails. But to alter my image is just a sin! Thank you for supporting the natural choice! XXOXOXO
Great post girlfriend! I mean how can a fifty/sixty something woman honestly think that her readers believe she has NO wrinkles, NO signs of aging? Phoney baloney I say! I totally LOL’d when I saw the photo of the Muppets Ghost of Christmas past (next to the house porn featured in Home Alone its my fave Christmas movie!) I always thought that ghost was slightly creepy looking and when I gaze upon the visages of certain influencers I know why! WHO ARE THEY KIDDING?
And riddle me this Bat Girl…. what was up with the Catholic mothers back in the day denying the femininity of their teen girls? My mother was EXACTLY the same..I had a brush cut (NO LIE) until I was sixteen and old enough to rebel after a kid at school asked if I had cancer my mother tried to pass it off as a pixie cut. No, no it’s not Maman, it was the exact cut my little brother had!!!……I so envied those who had long locks…my best friend looked like a Breck girl with her waist length blonde tresses, I looked like her brother, actually her brother had longer hair than me! I wanted to be Veronica too, forget Betty I couldn’t identify with her blonde looks.
You stay safe and stay REAL!! It’s why I read your blog, also the fact you don’t push 2,000.00 bags and over priced jewels and…… heaven save me from EF clothing!!!
OMG Momcat. Someday we shall meet. And sit in an outdoor cafe and talk for hours! WTF WAS it with our moms. I can honestly admit to you that I despised my mother when I was that age ( didn’t really despise her) for making me look like a boy and not making an attempt to bring out my feminine side. Like you, it made me so upset to see girls I went to school with sporting beautiful locks of hair. Why would a mother do that to her daughter?
I swear that’s why I have trich and why I’ve got Trich and a lifetime of eating issues. Yeah Veronica rules. Betty was a Karen! Love you girl! XOXOXOXO
I was in the same boat. Catholic kid with a horrible haircut. Often mistaken for a boy. Last girl in my class with permission to shave my legs. Wore Carter underpants while my friends wore bikinis. I felt like an ugly freak until I went to college. I too resented my mother for all this. When my daughter was growing up I swore I wouldn’t do this to her. Let her wear her hair the way she wanted and dress like her friends. Love your blog Cath.
Hi Tracy! And thank you so much for commenting. It’s wonderful to see that I wasn’t alone. Like you, I was the last to shave my legs and let me tell you–my legs were hairy! I think I wore granny pants until I got my first apartment! And, like you, I allowed my daughter to wear her hair the way she wanted. Isn’t it awfull the way we were traumitized? XOXOXOXO
And all real Karens say OUCH!! Haters gonna hate💔
I enjoyed this very truthful post & love you – as you. Back in 1974 when I graduated high school, the photographer asked if I wanted my facial scar, mole & snaggle tooth air brushed. I was incredulous at the suggestion as I knew it did not represent me. Here I am at age 64 & still feel the same, although I would not mind an airbrush of those pounds I’d like to lose without dieting😕
LOL-Arabella, I’m with you on the airbrushed pounds. But seriously. I LOVE my facial scars because they tell stories.. And my fang–I had a dentist who wanted to file it down and I went batshit crazy on him. We need to accept and embrace our aging! XOXOXOxo
Keep yer face. It’s pretty damn good.
Thank ya Cindy. I think I will keep it. LOL. It’s the only one I have! XOXOXOXOXO
I couldn’t agree with you more, Cathe. These people who use filters are only kidding themselves because it is so obvious. Look, would I love to get rid of my jowls and tighten my neck, hell yeah but I am grateful to be 65. Aging comes with body and face changes but that is okay. I feel good and dress stylishly, love to apply makeup everyday and put on one of my wigs. Life is good.
Toni! Thank you so much! This is the reason I left many wig groups on FB. I couldn’t stand to look at the over-filtered, over-enhanced photos and people tell them how beautiful they are! Are they more blind than I am?? I can recommend a great eye doctor to them. I’m sure you have a good idea of what I speak of! Thank you. Life IS good as it is! XOXOXO
Great post! And you look better unfiltered!
Thank you Rachael! XOXOXO
Fabulous and hilarious post on a non-hilarious subject. I think it is incredibly sad that people need these filters or think they need them – every single one of them, e-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e o-n-e looks like someone I can’t relate to, the thing about your blog and you tube channel is that you are you – hilarious and funny and relatable I feel like you have invited me/us into your room for a girly natter and we are just be human… None of these photo-faked ladies nice as I am sure they might be, is someone that I feel a connection to, I doubt they live in a real house (very pretty and also inviting), or are married to a Frenchman, bake/make real food, have three great kids and a dog that chews makeup brushes, in fact I suspect these ladies live alone, drink kale juice (I love kale – but as a vegetable with its important fibre for your gut) and only wear white and poop rose petals… Don’t get me started on those filters that add animal ears or snouts, ick on humans of any age, just ick – grow up already and as for the trout pout-pose thing in photos, struth don’t even go there as real women don’t need that vacant “come hither look” directed at all and sundry (best saved for the special chosen one in my book otherwise you can look ummm a bit overly available…), a couple of years ago there was the pigeon toed splayed thing that look like they had incontinence issues and made a mockery of people with gait issues, now this – stand straight, best face forwards and just be, sighhhhhhh or is that only for real humans…
Juliet. You said it all!! Those photos are hilariously not me but the sad thing is women OVER 50 use the filters and they look like idiots. I would rather look ugly and real than fake and moronic. Who do they think they are fooling? Then women buy the products and are disappointed. Well DUH….ya really think a 50, 60 Oh thosyear old resembles a plastic doll? I would like to bitch-slap the one who started the animal face and ear trend. It’s dopey. Don’t get me started on that come hither look either. In fhe first place, my eyes are too crossed to display a look like that and in the second place–it’s saved for the Frenchman and only after a few aperitifs! And then I fall asleep!
OMG that pigeon-toed loed thing–I don’t even think those who advertise Depends adult diapers stand that way. Ugh! XOXOXOXO
we really need an atypical60 meet up – either in person or online one day, can you imagine the chaos and the laughter if we all connected, but we would have the world sorted by the time we were done. I proper love you, you make me snort coffee and spit tea with hysterics
Your post reminded me what true love is, both self love and love for another. True love is unconditional – raw, real, up close and personal. My first husband never saw me undone -always n fully made up, hair done, coiffed, manicured, fully dolled up. I remember when I was in the hospital to have my first born. I remember being medicated with “twighlight sleep” and on my way to la-la land, I heard one nurse say to the other, “Get a load of this one, she is in full make-up regalia”. There is a scene in Grace and Frankie where she goes to bed with Guy for the first time with the lights out and another wherein she takes off her lashes, hairpiece, and face-lift string apparatus, thinking she will scare off her younger suitor, yet he stays, picks her up and carries her upstairs to make love, embracing her in her glorious advanced age. My second husband sees me on the daily, with and without makeup, with and without alternative hair, when I am sick and when I am healthy. I feel truly loved for the first time. It has been a longer journey for me finding that self-acceptance, but I am learning to embrace every part of me as each day unfolds. Thank you, Cathe for this very honest post. I agree with Juliet. I wish we could have an atypical60 meetup. I I come to your post on the daily because it is like chatting with my childhood girlfriends, who know of Yardley of London, Jean Shrimpton and Andre Courreges (sorry, don’t know where my accent aigu is on the keyboard). We know the greatest fashion, music, books and films of the sixties and remember them in detail (setting our hair for a bouffant with orange juice cans, LOL)! Love all of you here.
I want to give you the biggest hug, I hope you blog or will one day consider it as you sound all round fabulous
Thank you, Juliet! I am just now learning how to put up pics on my Instagram @budschik02. Right now, I have pics only – LOL!
Joan! I would LOVE to have a meet up one day! It would be wonderful. I have to say, I looked like pure shit when I had all three kids. My oldest weighed in at ten pounds and I felt like I went ten rounds! But you’re right. Self-acceptance is key and I didn’t get around to accepting how I am until after my divorce. It was a very enlightening experience! XOXOXOXO
That would be something to look forward to after the pandemic – we would have a lot of laughs!
Cathe, you absolutely look great as your natural self…you’re a beautiful Irish elder and should not be morphed into a plastic-faced teenager! Also, I agree with you completely about plastic surgery vs. potentially toxic chemical injections…cut me anytime! Stay safe my friend…😷
Thanks for this very interesting and thought provoking topic. Filters are used everywhere nowadays, especially to sell beauty products. It’s all make believe so you buy their product for good money and less than stellar results.
I prefer real over fake every time. I prefer the photos where you are not altered by technology. It’s real and it’s you!
You are gorgeous and real and that is 100% what I want to see with each and every person in my life (including myself!) I applaud your post and the wonderful message it contains. Please keep being you and encouraging the rest of us to follow…growing older gracefully and with a lovely sense of humour.
Thank you so much Alayne! I appreciate your kind words!! XOXOXO
This is so interesting. I’ve wondered if others could see the filters?I mean who are they kidding? Absolutely no one asks me if I use a filter. I guess they can tell my age. Ha! To be honest i think you could see you were a beauty in your teenage years ever with the haircut; I’ve got a photo that I will not let out of the family. Same years But I also had braces. Scary. You look your best just the way you are.
I have one of those pics with me as a teenager with a Milwaukee brace (for scoliosis) and with braces on my teeth…a boy called me “Antenna” and I was afraid of lightening for the longest time even after I got rid of both! LOL! Funny now, but then…not so much!
Hi Sandy! And that you! LOL. I would much prefer being seen as the age I am as opposed to any age one would think I was with those god-awful filters! LOL XOXOXOXO
Oh, I love your blog, too! You have had some adventures! For a hot minute, I was looking for jewelry like yours, but I couldn’t pull that look off. My arms aren’t long enough!
Love, love, love all of ‘your’ ladies, and, of course, you!
I love you so much! XOXOXOXO
Oh, how I love getting emails that you’ve got a new post up! What is it with our age group? I’m always trying to figure out if I should give Botox a try. Then, I think, “Nah, I’m ok.” Then, I look at other women and thing I should give Botox a try…see where I’m going here? I wonder if our mothers had this problem? I remember my mom wearing a deep red lipstick and drawing on her eyebrows, but I don’t think she wore any other makeup on the regular. I am pretty sure she never worried about lines and wrinkles either. But, oh, those pixie haircuts! My hair is and was stick straight and fine. Because of that, it easily tangled. I think the pixie was just a way for my mom not to have to wrestle me to comb it. I don’t follow many women who use filters…at least, I don’t think I do. I look for blogs with real women like you, Cathe! And, I look for women with something to say rather than to sell. And, I’d love to see an atypical meetup!
As an educator if ages 2 to 32 (for over 25 years), I see you as a typical 8th grader, trying to survive! You had food, friends, normal daily concerns, a family to share your life, a roof over your head?? It is life that teaches us to take what comes and make lemonade! You have done this very well! You were lovely and spirited then and now! That Catholic uniform tells its own story!
My own kids can share❤️ I’ve taught in Catholic schools for the last 15 years and see the Potential in every beautiful face. ( yours included)!!