Just picture it with digital enhancement

As if more proof were needed that people become actors because they are too dumb to hold down real jobs, along comes a report that actress Kate Winslet (of Titanic fame) is furious over photographs in the February issue of GQ magazine that make her look 30 pounds thinner.

Yeah, don’t you just hate when that happens?

Ms. Winslet is unhappy that this miracle was accomplished largely (no pun intended) through the magic of digital manipulation of photographs.

Imagine how humiliated she must be, appearing on the cover of an international publication with flat abs, prominent cheekbones, and legs that just don’t quit.

The poor thing.

Big deal. It should be mentioned that Ms. Winslet is commonly referred to as “curvaceous” or “zaftig” by Hollywood media types.

This would imply that she is a colossal woman of elephantine proportions. In reality this means that Kate is probably a size 8.

Petite by the standards of say, Pittsburgh or Peoria; a plus-size in Hollywood where anything above a size 2 could make you the recipient of a grapefruit diet intervention.

Brushing up. Nonetheless, I say quit whining and run with it, Kate.

In a world where Cindy Crawford’s facial mole can disappear and re-appear with wild photographic abandon, I see no reason why super models should get all the airbrushed breaks.

The most a photographer’s ever been able to do for me is to minimize my big hair so I looked less like a muppet sporting what I call “big Dixie mall hair” and more like a normal human being.

If I had pictures like Kate’s, I’d say a prayer for the Eastmans, Kodaks and the Bill Gateses among us who made digital enhancement possible, snatch those photos as fast as I could, and send them to any and everyone that ever knew me even slightly.

Not to mention forcing every publication that ever ran my real picture to run the digitally-done-me in the corrections column.

I’d notify readers that THIS was the real Kymberly, and any resemblance to that previously featured hideous head shot, living or wishing-I-was-dead, was purely coincidental.

For what it’s worth. Of course, I come from a long line of women who believe that a picture tells a thousand words - all of them bad.

I’m convinced that those vintage photographs many of us lovingly display in our homes today survived the ages only because our ancestors before us loathed the way the platter-sized hat and stiff collar made their ears stick out or their noses look big.

So they stuffed the photos in a trunk for 100 years or so to avoid embarrassment.

With disgust. When my ancestors were presented with the first every photographs - a miracle of modern 19th century alchemy – I don’t doubt my great-great-great-grandmother glimpsed the drama that was this newfangled art capable of capturing the magical moment of light and substance for all eternity and – grimacing – averted her eyes in disgust.

Maybe she was mortified that the bustle made her butt look big.

Just think, that hated photo that makes you appear for all the world like a beached sea mammal could one day be prominently featured above a descendant’s mantle.

Picture it. Instead of whining like a bunch of ingrates about truth in advertising, we should all make like Kate and put our best photographic foot forward.

Not to mention our best hair, teeth, thighs, and chins (one to a customer being a nice rule of thumb for photos).

Knowing that as a society we tend to value style over substance, it’s probably not the real you but the illusion you leave behind that will largely matter in the end.

With the beauty being that the “large” part can be purely subjective and – thanks to the wonders of the digital age – apparently easy to fix!

(Kymberly Foster Seabolt looks nothing like her photo. Or so she hopes. She welcomes comments c/o P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460 or kyms@localnet.com.)

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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