Having grown up in the post 60’s, 70’s, I got the idea that natural was better than processed (organic was not yet a cult and natural still had a definition that could be trusted. This is not the case now.) I believed that the girl on the Herbal Essence shampoo bottle,with flowers and herbs
streaming from her perfect hair, was the perfect kind of girl. She was so natural and so in tune with nature that it lived in her hair. I confess, I had a thing for her. From those neo-hippie values, I also extracted that make-up was a bad thing for my girl to wear. “If you don’t like your face, ‘make up’ a new one,” is what I would say, thinking I was so cool and clever. I can’t explain how I held this value and still totally loved the Farah Fawcett poster that every adolescent male on the planet lusted over for the second decade of their lives in the 70’s/80’s. Maybe Farah was the Herbal Essence girl to me, although I know that in the poster, Farrah is totally made up (literally and figuratively it turns out – a lesson learned after decades of striving to find the fantasy that ad companies convinced me of all those years ago).
Which brings me to the topic of developing photographs. The translucent, sensual tulip you see here is not what showed up when I uploaded the file to the computer. It has been developed. I cropped it, intensified the focus and colors and added a “pastel” effect (this photo is more of a “Color Me Beautiful” Spring. My personal coloring is Winter, by the way.), etc. Lots of make up here. Snapshots tend to be undeveloped photographs and I don’t like them as much as pictures that the photographer (or someone) works on to make it memorable. I spent time on these dying tulips to make a point about the beauty still present in the decline of the flower. I realize that this is my own little conceit. You are not likely to have known I was thinking about that when you saw the flowers, but I guess a guy can hope. I don’t mind that you do or don’t “get it” the moment you look at the photo. You will get what you want to, and that is good enough. If you get nothing from the photo then I have more work to do.
Also, ultimately, these things don’t matter too much. Make up or no make up, developed or raw, beauty is where you find it in yourself. I don’t mind make up and sometimes I love it – and sometimes it is awful. Whether a woman, a man, a photograph, or a paragraph leaps out to me as beautiful mostly depends on whether it leaps out of me as beautiful. I make it up myself and I make the case (or not) for everything I see. Your hair can only be beautiful if I say so, and my photograph can only be stunning if you say so. The only exceptions to this are, of course, the Herbal Essence girl and Farrah Fawcett. They are objectively and eternally beautiful no matter what you say.