Thursday, January 2, 2014

Much Ado over a Selfie....

Much Ado over a Selfie....

Have you ever been called ugly to your face or to rephrase it, your face has been called ugly to you? Well, I was - last night in a Facebook chat. Now before you start dialing my mobile to demand that I provide you with the name and address of the one who called me so- let me add that the conversation was with someone who is just an online acquaintance and i haven't had much interaction with in the real world. So rest easy and leave at home those hockey sticks and cricket bats you were intending to bring to my defense, but hey, thanks for the support.

Anyway to start from the beginning the conversation was kicked off by a recent change of my profile picture on Facebook- a picture shot by one of my photographer friends showing my face at close up- in black and white. It had been a few months since i had changed my profile picture and so I though it would make a nice change to show my current face as on date as my profile picture. What I hadn't bargained for was such a response to that innocuous change.

In a few minutes I got a chat message from a Facebook friend about the picture change and the chat message went on to ask "how do you bravely put up such a close up picture of your face?” Now this was a loaded question which could at a superficial reading be taken as a compliment to my courage but on a deeper analysis the question is "how dare you show your ugly mug to us at close-up range". I immediately replied that "all things considered the answer is because it is my face and it is my profile and if I don’t put up my own picture on my profile whose should I put up?" which was an unsubtle dig at the person who asked the question who hides behind a generic ClipArt avatar as profile picture.

Later on, actually this morning over a cup of tea at the canteen, I thought back on the whole thing and came to the conclusion that I was an idiot to even answer that question. The person who asked me the question is obviously not normal but must have mega psychological issues if they prefer to hide their identities behind either celebrity photos or other nature scenes like flowers, fans and even cameras. A real person (as opposed to someone who has a fake online ID) has no reason whatsoever to hide their face behind anything or anyone else's as long as they aren’t a criminal and have their mugs on a most wanted poster.

And the obvious reason that such people use these generic nature pictures are that they are sick- they are not confident of themselves and they hate their own faces. They think that more people would prefer to deal with them if only they look like actresses Trisha or Samantha or actors like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. And I can’t help but wonder how much they hate themselves and their own faces if they won’t even show it out in public. These are damaged persons and to respond rationally to them and expect them to understand is usually a waste of time, but what the hell, let me at least try.

My friend - my face in close up or long shot is mine own. I was born with it, i live with it and I prefer to show it as it is - in both real life and the online world. I agree with you when you say that I am not handsome, pretty beautiful or anything of that sort- I am just about average and normal. But being normal is nothing to sneeze at. You just don’t know how lucky a person is to be born normal and average in the great genetic lottery of birth.

In my profession as a cosmetic surgeon everyday I get to see patients whose most ardent wish is to look normal without any facial deformities (like cleft lips) or disproportional growth of the face-lopsided face. As such i am very happy with my normal, ordinary face and wouldn't do anything to change it. If by your logic only beautiful people should take close-up photographs of their faces then 5 billion or so people can never take a Selfie - for the odds are heavily in favor of the ordinary over the pretty.

And so I am happy and proud to go around town showing my perfectly ordinary face and society's arbitrary standards of beauty be damned. And finally the definition of manliness doesn’t require a pretty face, being a man, a real man requires something else and I realize that you just don’t get it....

And if you still aren’t convinced, take this, in your face...

the controversial selfie of the post


  1. Glad that the acquaintance was just an online one, otherwise the hockey sticks would've been splintered. Next time, count on me Herr Doktor! Thookidalam!

    1. awww....thanks for the vote of confidence susan..have one on me and mail me the bill.....