Aging in the Age of Instagram


This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

In the dunes. Picture by Cerise van Vliet

Some time ago, someone made a series of pictures of me. When I saw them, I was umm… shocked.

Now that I am getting older, getting a ‘beautiful’ picture is not as easy as it used to be. The photographer, much younger than me, used her usual settings, that are of course great for younger people. I know which lighting makes me look best: diffused, filling the wrinkles I have, blending out the shadows in my face.

But during the whole session, I was photographed in sunlight, falling in from the side, emphasizing all irregularities in my face, accentuating every wrinkle. When I protested hesitantly, ‘natural light’ was called the best, unretouched, raw and real. The pictures I received looked smudgy, and as I was slightly distressed, my body language was totally off as well. I looked like a sagged potato, and about 5 kilos heavier then I am.
I was upset, also about my own attitude. Is it ‘okay’ to want to look good on a picture? Did I reject aging? Was I maybe just too vain?

I do not really know. All I know, is that I like a ‘flattering’ picture better than a picture, in which I look like a hag. I just cannot help it.

In the picture above, I was relaxed, the light was good and from the right angle. And it is unretouched. Is this picture less ‘real’?

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)


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