Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

The PhotoShop diet

Posted by Ron Coleman on January 20, 2008

If only it were this easy:

A mailer from a congressional candidate’s campaign contains a photo of his head attached to an image of a different body that makes him look thinner.

The photo is presented as a true image of Dean Hrbacek, a Republican former mayor of Sugar Land. In reality, it is a computerized composite of Hrbacek’s face and someone else’s slimmer figure, in suit and tie, from neck to knee.

Yes, it is dishonest, especially in a society where we not only prefer to have pretty people around us than un-pretty ones (has there ever been a different kind of society?) but one where we make pretty firm affirmative moral judgments about people based on their weight.

Is it more dishonest than wearing a hairpiece? I’d say so, yes. The hairpiece, like any cosmetic appliance, changes how you really look. So does getting a tummy tuck; if Hrbacek had done that, he’d be a slimmer guy. But playing with pictures is a tad more of an acute angle on that slippery slope.

And, being a blogger, you can be sure that this is all about me! A few weeks ago I was playing around with Yahoo! Avatars and I came up with this decent, from a distance, approximation of my own animated self:

Ron Coleman Yahoo! Avatar

Actually not bad, unless you look close up — I don’t have a real chin as my avatar does. No, but the real issue is I have never had that narrow of a carriage in my life. (Have you read a betterMe euphemism today for “I’m fatter than that”? “Narrow carriage” — sounds a little like the opposite of a “wide stance.” But then again, it would.)

After rather diligent searching, however, I concluded that Yahoo! didn’t offer a 45 – year – old – Jewish – lawyer, er, “fuller” body option. That’s interesting in and of itself. You know, Yahoo! — the whole California thing.

So, I had a moment of doubt about using the icon, but then I figured, well, first of all, it’s a cartoon — been there, done that, right? So you know it’s not really me. Plus, I’m not running for anything, am I? No, and I am quite sure I never will. (Too fat and bald — two reasons right there!) Okay, I felt a little funny about it, but now the truth is up there along with the fact that no one has probably even noticed the avatar, tucked as it is at the bottom of the left-nav bar.

In fact, having rid myself of this guilt, I think I feel my appetite returning.

Ultimately, I don’t need any of you. I have Oreos.

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2 Responses to “The PhotoShop diet”

  1. Don’t the latest version of programs like PhotoShop offer a filter to trim a bit of weight?

    I’m now 50 pounds heavier than when I left university. But I’m also 50 pounds lighter than I was at 14. As long as I keep it <200 lbs, I’m happy.

  2. […] But when is it politically dishonest? […]

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