Back to ranty form again, you’ll be pleased to know. You must have wondered if I had been unwell for the past couple of days.
There was an intriguing and moving BBC4 documentary about people who hate having their photograph taken. I’m always uneasy about this too, but with little real reason. Unlike the presenter, I was born with a full complement of limbs. Unlike the subjects, I’m not an amputee, nor do I suffer from total alopecia, nor from neurofibromatosis. These are all pretty valid reasons to have deep worries about your body image. The fourth subject looked to a casual observer a reasonably attractive young woman, but simply hated what she saw in a mirror.
All the subjects were somehow persuaded to go to the studio of a fashion photographer. There was a lot of trepidation, as you would expect, but none of them bottled it, and the results were remarkable. The only person who didn’t approve of the results was the fourth subject, who flat out refused to have the resulting photograph hung in her mother’s house.
Then Channel 4 popped up with a programme about the Selfie Generation, and this had me yelling at the screen. There was a young woman who was convinced that breast augmentation was the answer to all her (perceived) problems. Well, it’s not when you get it done on the cheap in Belgium, and then subsequently have to have the infected mess-up corrected by the NHS. Twice. Then plan to have the operation again, because now you have one breast bigger than the other.
There was a woman of 26 who was such a self obsessive that she’d been known to take 200 selfies a day. She lived for Instagram and ignored the fact that the toned tanned beauty to which she aspired was filtered and Photoshopped beyond recognition. When the first thing you do when you wake up is get on Instagram and compare yourself with the other narcissists, you’re in deep deep trouble.
She consisted largely of fillers and implants, some of which had required subsequent corrective surgery when they went wrong. She was planning to get a buttock augmentation This was causing some friction with her boyfriend, who was rather fond of her (rather pleasing) derriere. When asked if it came to a choice between her boyfriend or achieving a Kardashian lardarse profile, she said she’d opt for the operation. This was after she confessed that her labiaplasty had led to ‘difficulties’ with relationships.
Bonkers. Utter madness.