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THE INSTAGRAMMABLE CENTURY'S DILEMMA: PERFECT PHOTOS - YES OR NO?


woman in a professional photoshoot

THE SUBJECTIVITY OF THE EVALUATING EYE


Psychology teaches us that the reality of each individual is actually the result of his perception, of applying his own and personal filters to facts and events.

In other words, we extract from the multitude of information that surrounds us with subjective tools, we see and hear what we want.


Studies show that - in general - we see ourselves as more beautiful than we really are.

And we are merciless critics of the aesthetic attributes of others:


 That's why we often have to comment (at least in our minds) when we see perfect photos of people who, in everyday reality, don't look that spectacular.


Is the "perfect" photo a way to deceive ourselves or a justifiable improvement?

Is it good or bad to have our "glamour" portraits on the wall at home?


THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT: REAL SELF AND IDEAL SELF


According to Carl Rogers' (1961) self-concept theory, the optimal healthy version is at the intersection of the real self (who we really are) and the ideal self (who we aspire to be), with direct effects on self-esteem.


In the mirror, this theory translates into our need to experience as little discrepancy as possible between how we look and how we would like to look

Now add this to the above mentioned subjectivity in evaluating ourselves.

Consequence?

In the case of our glamor photo, in which we look great, it will help fuel our self-confidence, help us convince and even discover ourselves, bringing us closer to our ideal self.


Why?

Human nature includes the desire to be attractive, and we do our best to think that about ourselves.


This is the good part.


ARE THERE RISKS?


There have been a lot of debates and studies on the negative effects of the manipulated photos on the body image. 

Yes, exposure to the manipulated photos lead to low body image, but this is valid on adolescent girls (14 to 18 years old) with high social comparison tendency (study here).


But psychologically healthy adults can take the positive part of it and enjoy it in a mature way.


IMPROVEMENT, NOT CHANGE OF IDENTITY


Of course, as in any process, there is exaggeration, overstepping the limits, loss of authenticity.


An excess of zeal, in make-up or photo editing, that risks exceeding even the ideal self, through excessive transformation, can have the opposite effect, in the long run.


Maybe initially you are happy, but your eye (and especially others' eye) perceives your lack of authenticity and over time it can even lead to a reduction in self-confidence, when you have to look in that normal, everyday mirror ( unless you decide to permanently move into the photographer's studio and exclusively broadcast images from there to your social media followers).


CONCLUSION: PHOTOSHOP YES, BUT WITH LIMITS


You've also seen paparazzi photos of celebrities, without make-up, without the help of a stylist or a professional photographer, right?

They are people, just like us, and without the army of beauty professionals around them, they don't look like Gods anymore.


But look at it the other way around: you and I, mere mortals, can treat ourselves to a glamorous photo shoot every now and then, where we look like stars. 

Yes, because we can. 

For self-esteem, for dopamine, and for the ideal self. …But without exaggerations.


LET US GIVE CAESAR WHAT IS CAESAR'S


In the end, you can look at it as an experience your are offered by experts in their field.


A photo session (done properly) is the synergy of the efforts of image professionals: stylist, photographer, make-up artist, who have dedicated their lives to perfect their skills to serve beauty and improve your aesthetic potential. 

If they can't get more than you (supposing you're not a professional in their field), would it be worth to pay them for what they do??


Their talent and experience should bring out the best in you, helping you become your best version and, why not, serve you some dopamine (on the spot and then "to-go", when you get home and hang your painting on the wall).


The photographer will find the perfect light, which sits on your features and highlights them; he will guide you in adopting the best posture; he will fit you as only he knows how.


The stylist will choose that perfect outfit for you, for the chosen moment and the message you want to convey; it will also guide you in choosing the perfect hairstyle; will collaborate with the make-up artist in choosing the perfect make-up; will also collaborate with the photographer in choosing props and positions.


What more can I say about Make up artist? You've seen for yourself on the Internet what wonders professional makeup can do.


Now that you realize how hard they will work for you, I bet it wouldn't seem normal for you to look the same in that photo as you did ...last Monday at the dentist.


Do you agree?


Personally, I found the perfect photographer - the artist who beautifies in measure, the 

consummate professional and the wonderful woman - RALF, the author of this photo.


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