OK - so we're both 51y now. I get a couple of months each year to be mr ebb's younger piece of fluff before I catch up numerically. Last year was #thisis50 ... this year, well you do the maths!
... and the selfies continue; age is no barrier.
As a semi-avid selfie taker, I have dealt with the usual comments on vanity, narcissism, purpose, constructive use of time, but as a budding portrait painter, older mother, expat and trailing spouse, career-changer, and so on, I usually have a witty rebuffal.
And now there's the age thing apparently. What's the cutoff for selfies as a woman ages? and is there any protocol for choosing what to share? In the many ways that society seems to think it has a right to tell older women what to wear and how to look, is there also a set of rules regarding the sharing of selfies? I've found myself being a little more critical of my sharing - chin up, don't share the suggestion of double chin; bump up the exposure to smooth the complexion; vignette on flattering body parts; emphasise the jewelry; twinkle!
But why? It's only human to want to be acceptable, but is it authentic? What is happening to my body and face is an authentic process--ageing--so why should I hide it? IMO that would be vain.
A recent Facebook share, where I posted a #thisis51 selfie altered using the Prisma app, stimulated some interesting reflection for me on what is and what isn't permissible in being a woman, getting older and gender/society norms.
My reply? read on ... and please chime in with your thoughts :)
"I've thought long and hard about this reply, as there seem to be several questions inherent here. What am I aiming for here? Most simply - I'm messing about with the Prisma app; it's a Deep Dreaming type of algorithm set up that plays with the digital structure of a photograph. When I first noticed friends using it, I was immediately drawn to the way it presented an image, rendering different painterly effects that I thought inspiring for my own art practice. Since I paint a lot of portraits and use myself as a handy model, I try out Prisma on my selfies to explore some creative inspiration.
The slightly more complicated Qs posed are to do with age, appearance, gender norms and stereotyping, repression and age, with the implication that I am permitted to post only youthful, non-aged images at my stage of life. First, I'd like to state that I am enjoying my age and stage, and that my appearance has nothing to do with this fact. Whether I am wrinkled as heck or possess the cheeks of a baby does not influence my selfie postings. In this digital space I explore what it means to be a woman at 51y, showing it in all its glory or otherwise, regardless of society's opinion. I hope that sharing this journey helps other women,in the way that what they have shared has helped me. I also hope that younger friends take notice and see that life does not finish digitally at 35y or whenever. And lastly, I hope that continuing to explore creatively and personally as I age shows that women do not have to grow invisible as they head into the sixth, seventh, eighth and more decades of life." Thoughts?
another year - older, wiser, ?
Sound track above is the bell in the Mayne Island Japanese Garden (which I didn't get back to sketch in grrrr) and the sound of Rosco panting ... quite an apt birthday soundtrack methinks. xoxo