How they lie.

Before we go to sleep the girls and I often lie in bed and read and/or draw. Last night I was looking at a magazine. Willow pointed to a picture and said, "Who's that?" I said, "That's Martha Stewart." "Oh," said Willow, "is she the evil one?" Which made me laugh so hard. I am not sure where she got that, but in truth, as much as I love Martha's Good Things, she is a little scary, a little too perfect, a little too happy, a little too photoshopped, a little too everywhere in a magazine that is supposed to be about food and decorating. Willow asked if she could black out her face. I've seen her do that before to models in catalogs. If I didn't know her better I might find this disturbing, but the truth is I've never asked her why she does that. But now I just said "sure." Because something told me to go with it. So we looked at the magazine page by page, and I found it interesting that I had never before noticed that on at least every other page there is a fakey wax museum-ish face with a vacant stare and a wide fixed grin, and most of the advertisements feature women that look eerily similar in terms of hairstyle and coloring and makeup. Willow happily blacked out each face, then put an X through each advertisement. And it occurred to me suddenly, "Wow. How much nicer it is not to have those weird, alien people constantly staring at me."

I don't know what all this means, I just thought it was interesting. I'd also that day been looking at Photoshop editing videos. One professional photo editor remarked that 99.9 percent of photographs in the fashion and entertainment media are changed to make the subjects look "better" -- thinner, whiter, smoother. I have the software and I know how incredibly easy it is to do, and it's one reason I do not have fashion and entertainment magazines in my house. For a tiny minority to define what is good is offensive enough, even without the computerized improvements. But what we see in the magazines isn't available to anyone, not even the models. It is literally unattainable. That means nobody wins (except for the people making the money off of those of us who are willing to believe it and accept it.)