Photoshop and Filters: Evil or Blessing?

I love it when things go viral these days and it doesn’t involve peeing in a cup or blood test. Thanks to the internet, the term “going viral” has a whole new connotation from when I was in my college (fine, stripping) years.

There’s that one chick who burned her hair off while performing a video tutorial about how to use a curling iron (that landed her on Ellen), Toddler, Jessica’s Daily Affirmation video (with over 19 millions hits), that’s still making waves on the World Wide Web (she’s a teenager now). And who can resist (my all time FAVE) The Evolution of Dance? Not the 232,412,839 (to date) people who’ve seen it!

Those are just three examples of the countless viral goodness we have available at our fingertips (and WiFi connectivity). And thanks to a friend recently, I’ve been exposed to another gem – a video – that’s been spreading faster than herpes, circa Studio 54.

It’s not really funny, tragic or gross (but if you’re into gross, I dare you to check out this Tosh.O Extraction video (WARNING – it’s seriously gross).

No, the video I just learned about is different. I’d call this type of video – EYE OPENING. Literally.

It’s about something we’ve all seen – whether on the magazine racks standing in line at the grocery store, driving past a billboard, or even surfing the net while those ridiculously annoying pop-up ads try to take over the screen. It’s all about, in a word: Photoshop. These

Christine Macdonald

Mirror Mirror

Do you remember looking in the mirror as a child pretending you were a star? Your hairbrush and bath towel transformed into a microphone and luxurious locks. You belted out the soundtrack to Grease and flipped that terry cloth hairdo giving Farrah Fawcett a run for her money. Or maybe that’s just me.

Whatever your story – there was a time in your young life – before braces and acne, crushes and hormones, you simply felt beautiful.

When we’re young, our feeling of beauty isn’t so much based on the external things we see, but it’s rather equated with how we feel. Beauty is nothing we stop to even think about, much less donate precious play-date time to obsessing over whether we measure up.

As we age, our hearts expand beyond an affinity for birthday hats and jungle gyms, and something happens with our perception of beauty. Our eyes jump off the pages and Hollywood screens on to our mirrors – and what was once seen as perfectly acceptable becomes a sorry ass imitation of what is actually real. We see flaws as nothing but eyesores and hideous differences between them and us.

There’s something utterly delicious about our flaws. We look at a scar on someone’s body and can appreciate their pain left in its wake. We feel the anguish in their eyes and want to convince them – it’s what makes them unique – who they are – even more beautiful.

One of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves is the ability to shift our perception of what we see as flawed.

Flaws are real, honest. They don’t have to carry the hurt we give them. They can exist as reminders of how badass we are, for having survived the meat grinder of ridicule and backlash from the assholes who choose to point them out as “ugly.”

And let’s take a look at the word UGLY.

There’s nothing more unattractive than a mean-spirited heart. And that has nothing to do with your nose, scars, teeth, hair, skin, freckles, body fat, height, eyes, lips.

After nine surgeries on my face, and although they are a bit softer, I still have (and will always have) deep scars from a skin disease I was born with.

Is there a struggle with my perception of beauty at times? You betcha. But that’s when I remind myself of one of the most profound beauty lessons as the result of so much pain: the flaws are the best part.

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Post-surgery photo Early 20s. 4th of nine.

For more photos, check out my website.
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Christine Macdonald

Mirror Mirror, is that ME?

Ever look at old photos and think to yourself – Holy Shit, is that me?

It may seem crazy to want to share my ugliest, most horrific, life-altering moments with the world, but THIS is what gives our pain meaning.

In sharing our pain, we take back the power our struggles rob us of when we feel like letting go. Our suffering transforms into fuel for our journey.

There’s a reason the old phrase, “that which does not kill you makes you stronger” is still around today.

Whatever you’re going through – find a way to use it. Give purpose to your pain.

I’ve never shared these photos before I met Kirsty. She’s now sharing them with the world. I hope it helps anyone who may be going through their own personal hell.

This didn’t break me. And yours doesn’t have to either.

To view photos and read her article, please visit KirstyTV HERE.

Christine Macdonald