There is something amiss with the photo below. I’m not talking about the missing teeth on the left – that’s the right photo. The problem is the photo on the right.
Surely we have lost the plot when we start photohopping an eight-year-old’s gappy grin.
Arriving home from work yesterday, my excitement at finally receiving the boys’ school photos was quickly replaced by bewilderment. As I looked at the photos of our eldest, I thought – “I didn’t realise he still had teeth when the photos were taken”.
In the world of a primary school Mum, and one whose term two started with both kids down with chicken pox in week one, photo day in term one seemed a lifetime ago.
But then I looked at the family photo and his class photo – and there he was. Gappy McGapster (as he currently calls himself) in all his glory. At first, I thought they’d given us last year’s photo – but then I looked closer.
Nope. His mouth had been photoshopped with what looked like last year’s baby teeth swapped in.
Some people might have been angry at this point but I was just baffled. Why would anyone think to do this? At what point did missing teeth because something to be “fixed”?
Body image has not been something we have had to worry about too much yet with two young boys. But having recently finished Mia Freedman’s new book Work Strife Balance, I was reminded how often we are confronted with unreal, photoshopped images.
While I did turn a blind eye to the guy in our local photo shop in Vietnam touching up my passport photo a few years ago, I’m too lazy to filter or alter my own social media images.
But this wasn’t touching up the light on a sunset or brightening up the group shot to see everyone better.
This is a kid who didn’t lose a tooth until he was almost seven. He’s not embarrassed by the gaps and wonky teeth, he’s excited because lost tooth = gold coin. He doesn’t notice the crooked new teeth because he’s a kid and he is more interested in basketball, hockey, Netflix or finishing his collection of Marvel disks – and what he can eat next.