Another click, another swap. I see a more beautiful model, A less beautiful me! There is that perfect flawless skin and my epidermal layer feels more dry, a little more textured, which I never noticed before this. Suddenly I feel the presence of that recent acne bringing unwanted and bad attention on my face. Perhaps thats because I need to pluck the extra hair strands near my eyebrows and upper lips, which has hindered my identity in the face of visible world.
I see myself but through the lens of the other. I see what I was made to see but also through an elimination method which was perhaps self-initiated by the unconscious of my mind.I want to paint a perfect self portrait, the epitome of beauty but how will I do that without knowing what not to put in it visually?
Who am I as the perfect human avatar? For that assumption to exist I have to make another assumption that what I have already is not imperfect/non-perfect/ not even close to what perfect can be.How did I come to this decision? Can I say it was just an aesthetic value that I wanted to associate myself with or maybe it does go deeper than that. Perhaps Its not how I am seeing myself but how I eventually want to be seen.
How does one attaches the idea of actuality and ideal/ perfect to a body when ideal itself is simulated into the ‘unrecognisable‘ to begin with? There must be many factors and variants that subsidises or informs our understanding of these complex visibility patterns.
A desire projected, proclaimed and represented the personification that I call as my ‘self‘. The simulation of my copy is ‘more real’ but I dont want it to be the reality that defines me enough for me a public image to be viewed. As French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan says:
“The Real is what resists symbolisation absolutely”Jacques Lacan
This project started with me trying to interpret a dark time in my life, when I felt left out based on how I perceived myself or how I thought others might be perceiving me based on how my body or face looked like. Yes, I was way too camera conscious, hesitant, less likely to engage in social interactions because I thought I wasn’t up to the mark. That unreal mark my mind executed as the standard to compete with. A reflection that didn’t exist anymore. An image that wasn’t there in the mirror but I saw what was in my head instead!
As much as I was tempted to create beautifully attractive characters/avatars of myself digitally but I consciously tried to create the worst visual versions of myself, to mimic the internal trauma and fear associated with projected ‘image‘ of self. These images represent the thought process and how it changed for me, working this chain of thought for a week. Slowly I was more comfortable with creating worst versions of myself as a way to appreciate what I am/have already.
– Analysis of 6 Perfect Versions:
The six pretty versions of my picture, according to how my mind interprets beauty.Perhaps this is how I want to be seen but 3 of them are way too plastic, now that I see them again. The first looks like a game character, second looks like my elder version with shorter hair, 3rd and 4th looks like some warrior or viking version of me from some other dimension, 5th one could be my daughter as she has my genes and last one looks like some Bollywood actress version of me. All of them are far from my features, an unreal beauty standard that I am setting for myself.
Analysis of 12 Worst Versions
For me, these 12 worst versions, as I liked calling them are more real relatable than those perfect human forms. I tweaked into genes option to generate subtle shifts in my photograph to create 12 non-perfect versions of myself, which I feel are insecurities of myself, that I had somewhere in my head.
It was interesting to see that while I made all of the generated visuals public and accessible to edited by others, only the Bollywood star version somehow gets all the likes, as seen on the screenshot of notifications that I received. Many people bred with this perfect version of me instead of all the others which I find extremely amusing from the psychology point of view. I guess it also talks about how everyone is looking to generate their perfect versions and thus they are in search of a perfect reference, it wasn’t just me ! 😀