I’m not the kind of guy who spends a lot of time looking in the mirror. Frankly, it doesn’t often occur to me, which is likely apparent to others when I’m out in public. When I do, it’s usually before going out and only then to prevent horrifying those I might run into through hygienic indiscretion (i.e. salad on the tooth or crumblies in the nostrils) or my wife by association. On the rare occasion that I do use the mirror to gauge how I actually look, as opposed to what’s wrong today, I’m usually pretty happy with what I see. I know I’m not the best looking guy in the whole world, but Brad Pitt can’t live forever. Besides, I know what’s behind the mask, and that’s downright gorgeous.
Truth be told, whenever I really looked at myself in the mirror, there’s always been a pretty amazing looking guy (humble, too) staring back, and the person I see in the mirror today is just a more distinguished and mature version of the same man. Those of you who don’t know what I look like will just have to take my word for it; I don’t need any women parked outside my house, nor do I want to worry whether my boxers have holes in them when I go out and get my paper off the driveway each morning. If this will help you, imagine in your mind the aforementioned Mr. Pitt at age fifty and you’ll have a pretty good idea of how Brad Pitt looks at fifty (I don’t look anything like him, but I bet you still appreciate the mental picture). Those of you who do know what I look like should just shut up and also be mindful that I won’t approve any comments that don’t support the facts as I’ve presented them.
Now that we’ve (okay, I’ve) established that I’m no slouch in the looks department (by the way, I will happily include comments from those of you who know me and wish to show your good taste by backing me up here), there’s something that’s really been bothering me lately. In literally every photograph taken the last few years that includes me as either a main or collateral subject, I am invariably replaced in said photo by an overweight, grey-bearded, hobo looking dude; my brain always asks the same question: Who’s the Fat Old Fart in the Picture?
Surely my mirror isn’t at fault here; it has been unfailingly reliable my entire life. How, then, are all these different photographs, taken from a myriad of perspectives and angles, in varying light and by no small number of different photographers, so consistently poor at capturing my external magnificence? Perhaps it’s my own critical eye, so used to bathing in perfection in the soft, truth-revealing light of my bathroom, now being unmercifully jabbed by the neanderthalic presentations of these hack photographers? And worse: could those around me, so accustomed to basking in the glow of external perfection whilst in my presence, be somehow unfairly swayed by these universally unflattering depictions of me?
This issue has seriously brought into question, in my mind, the credibility of virtually every printed image I’ve come across. Are things really as they seem? Can we trust anything to be as our eyes interpret them to be? Strangely, still images of those closest to me seem to reflect rather accurately their external essences; why, then, am I always so unfairly and horrifyingly depicted? I must admit, I am stumped and fairly miffed by the whole affair. I resolve, therefore, to avoid having my image captured and tortured in the future; I refuse to sacrifice the gifts that God has given me by exposing them to the cheap parlor tricks of the jealous and less fortunate.