On beauty, Photoshop, women, men, girls, boys and you!

The above is piss-poor photoshop work anyway. Read below for more information.

Friend, blogger and regular-reader Biodork posted about Photoshopped beauty yesterday based on a post inspired by atheist blogger Lousy Canuck Jason Thibeault. Even PZ Myers posted about perceived beauty recently here.

I read Biodork’s interpretation and then read through Lousy Canuck’s post, and then scanned through the links.

The posts detail how Photoshop is hugely responsible for creating unattainable beauty that influences young women. It gives them a false sense of beauty. Both posts leave out that it influences men as well.

I’m a photographer and work in Photoshop a lot. I’ve given the topic of beauty a lot of thought. I’m biased. I admit that wholly. I’m an advocate of Photoshop as a photography tool.

First, Photoshop is not the enemy. Ignorance is the enemy. Photoshop might be a factor, but it shouldn’t be called out as the enemy of what’s pretty and good.

The fact is that everyone, from gorgeous to normal, can benefit from Photoshop.

What I want to explain is that beauty is everywhere. I see it in the faces of almost everyone I meet. Finding beauty and relaying that is a learned trait. This is something my dad instilled in me. As an artist, it’s my job to make you look and feel beautiful, handsome, badass, cool, etc.

And while other people fail miserably at finding beauty in almost everyone — young, old, black, white, fat, skinny, and all traits this way and that — I find the beauty in people and attempt to convey that to you.

Even the most beautiful people in the world aren’t as gorgeous as you think. Stop any gorgeous, well-made up, cleanly waxed, beautiful bodied woman or man in time at 1/200th of a second, stare at the image, and I can show you 1,000 ugly things about them. But I can also show you 2,000 beautiful things.

Perception is key.

This is a long post and I’m going to put the rest below the fold. I broke up my thoughts and separated them with emboldened text. The last couple/few sentences sum up my thoughts to help you skim a little faster. Either that, or read the whole thing. I realize this isn’t a perfect argument, but it’s an alternative perspective of “Blame Canada Photoshop!”

Continue reading


Pope Mohammed and the Gym

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” says Pope Mohammed, standing over your sweaty body as you lift one more repetition of free weights. He’s wearing his token sweatband around the bald spot on his head. Underneath the band, there’s curly, salt and pepper hair that reaches past his shoulders.

“God thinks your beautiful and special,” says Pope Mohammed. “He knows the number of hairs on your head.”

Over his chest, Pope Mohammed wears what the cool kids call a wife beater. His stomach looks like he’s hiding a watermelon underneath. He’s wearing bright blue biker pants, and his nub for a penis points laughably to the right.

Pope Mohammed pauses, and you feel his stare. You wonder if he’s looking at the bulge of your pants. You’re laying there on the workout bench, with sweat tugging your clothes to the ground. You wonder if he’s looking at your chest.

“You don’t mind if I tell you,” says Pope Mohammed,”That you’d be much better looking if you lost 10 pounds.”

You push through the last rep and let the weights slam inside the holder. It rattles. You don’t say anything. It’s Pope Mohammed after all.

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” repeats Pope Mohammed. He trails off to ogle a woman nearby doing lunges. He stops at a hardened nipple he can see pressing against her sports bra. He soaks in the image of where her underwear ends and her butt continues beneath her shorts. “Forgive me for saying,” says Pope Mohammed. “But that woman should consider a little plastic surgery and hiring a trainer.”

You move on to an abs machine. He follows you tugging on a fingernail. He brings his hand to his mouth. Tugs on the nail with his teeth. “Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God, you know,” he reminds you. “You know, even though there are mirrors in here, you’d think people would work harder to make their bodies harder, more solid and sexy.”

You look at Pope Mohammed, then in a mirror, and down at your arms. Sweat is pooling in the crevasses of your bent elbows. You stand up, grab a towel and head for the locker room. Pope Mohammed follows you. You feel his stare on your back.

In the locker room, you strip to your bare ass. You wrap a towel around your waist and head for the sauna. Seconds later, Pope Mohammed opens the door, wrapped in a towel, his sweatband is still on and still dry.

You spill water over the coals. Steam spits up from the heater. It sounds like a hundred Coke cans opening at once.

“Everyone is beautiful in the eyes of God,” says Pope Mohammed, breaking the silence. “Brad Pitt, in Fight Club, that’s what you want to look like with your shirt off.”

You’re still silent. There’s no talking to Pope Mohammed. After 10 minutes, Pope Mohammed is soaked with sweat. “God, it’s hot in here,” he says. He gets up, let’s his towel fall to the side as he pushes open the door. A gush of cold air and the full glimpse of the flabby folds of his ass pierce your mind.

Fully mooned, Pope Mohammed says to you, “Good workout. Have a great day.”



Palahniuk Makes Me Want to Shoot My Face off So I can Write about it

Go ahead. Ask me who my favorite author is. I dare you.

If you guessed that I’d say Tim LaHaye, you’re funny.

Chucky P.

Chuck Palahniuk, the author of “Fight Club” and nine other fiction novels, is my favorite author. His books follow a common theme. They tend to be about a lonely person in the world who is trying to find acceptance in others.

This motif takes the form of the most bizarre stories I’ve ever read.

There are three primary things that draw me into Palahniuk’s books. They are:

1. Esoteric, erudite information that requires me to research whether they are facts or not, because the information is so bizarre. The facts are usually spouted from a character who is loaded with this information. In “Fight Club” (book or movie), you may remember the books in the old house that are written from the perspective of Jack’s body parts. It’s kind of in that vein. In “Invisible Monsters” there’s a character named Oyster who says some of the most interesting facts I’ve ever read, like tumble weeds didn’t exist in America until the late 1800s when Russian’s brought sheep to America and they carried the seeds in their wool. Continue reading