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

And the winners are…

If you ever have a chance to pimp yourself for a contest, do so immediately. Sure, it’s annoying. And the whole “vote for me!” vibe can be awkward. But think about it – if we aren’t our biggest cheerleaders, how do we expect anyone else to be?

A few days ago, I learned the good people at Forbes Magazine were throwing their fourth annual “Best Websites/Blogs for Women” contest. After nominating my friend and incomparable Aussie transplant Kirsty Spraggon of KirstyTv, I thought I’d throw myself in the ring.

I know the demographic ‘aint up my alley, but c’mon – the exposure of just being nominated, having the opportunity for editors and bigwigs at Forbes to check me out? I’m all in.

I had a feeling a small group of pals and loyal readers would nominate me, but what blew my socks off was the massive amount of shout-outs and praise I received from people throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and even as far away as India (side note: not one family member took the time to sign up and nominate, which is no surprise, and after my initial disappointment, I’m really ok with it). 

Have you ever thought about the shit people will say about you after you’re gone? Seriously. Am I the only sick ticket in town who wonders about the verbal buzz hovering around the cheese and cracker table, while my favorite 80s alternative tunes whisper through the speakers? How’s that whole ‘recovering narcissism’ thing working out fur’ya, girl?

Self-centered thinking aside, reading those nomination comments about this little one-woman-show-blog – how these posts are inspiring, entertaining, thought-provoking, and funny – well, it’s beyond surreal. Like being alive at your own funeral – getting to hear all the cool things people think and say about you.

After perusing through the 100 Website winners over at Forbes, it makes sense that my blog didn’t make the cut (lots of great sites giving financial and career advice, not one “Recovering Hot Mess 80s Coke Whore Finding Self-Worth” page in the bunch). It also makes sense that I’d even think about pimping myself out to keep such company. Because really, why not? Exposure and opportunity for a writer is much like how it goes down on the stripper pole; you gotta make yourself be seen.

Self-worth is a tricky thing when you’re recovering from a lifetime of not having any. When faced with certain challenges (contests, in this case), our brains automatically go to “Yea, right! Dream on! You’ll never win! You’re not good enough!” But when we recognize that those thoughts are mere side-effects of circumstance (how we were raised, living through trauma, etc.), another part of us stands up and says, “Why NOT me?!” – and we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.

From the bottom of my dysfunctional heart – I can’t thank you enough for reading and if you were one of the many people who nominated my blog to make the list over at Forbes – please know that you’ve given me an even better prize. You’ve reminded me why I’m doing this.

Everything worth having is worth fighting for, and the things we want most, give us the most fear. Love, security, comfort, strength – they’re all born from struggle within ourselves believing we’re worthy of them.

Each time we enter a contest, go on a job interview, audition for a part, ask someone out, enter a writing piece, raise our hand – we are exercising our inherent belief in the wholehearted human beings we were born to be.

Sounds like winning to me.

 

Here’s the part where you tell me: what would you say about yourself on a nomination form?

Christine Macdonald

Finish the sentence…

It’s always fun to step up to the question-plate when it causes us to ponder our beliefs. Our answers may not only surprise us personally, but in sharing on a public forum, they can help open up the doors of perception with others. People who may not even realize with a little introspection, they’ve come a long way (baby).

It’s worth checking out these amazing comments from the original Finish the Sentence post from last year (When I was a kid, I thought  ________, but the older I get, I realize  __________.). 

And now it’s time to throw another one out and see what you insightful, beautiful, darling readers contribute.

So let’s do this.

Ready?

Finish this sentence:

 
“I always believed that __________________, but after
____________________, I realized how OFF BASE I was!”

 

There are NO WRONG ANSWERS. Your sentence can be about parenting, love, school, blogging, dating, stripping, drugs, exercise, needle-point, sky-diving, dieting, sex… ANYTHING.

This post doesn’t work without your participation, so thank you for playing in the comment section below. As always, you have the option to remain anonymous.

 

Christine Macdonald