important calculations in society

by mandaceehb

I can see it: before the camera you are tilting your head to a precise angle of 21° to the left. You arrange your hair to fall across your right shoulder to reveal white, milky skin that encompasses your left collarbone (you’ve always found it more angular and prominent than the one on the right). The impossibly black lenses you wear dilate your irises to unnaturally huge sizes because that is what society deems pretty. But then again, society’s notions of beauty have always transcended human grasp and I guess that is what you look like now. You spread your full lips to the point where your cheekbones are lifted to highest elevation and you make sure not to smile too much so you still look doe-eyed and beautiful. Your face looks like a conscientious calculation.

If it had been a Polaroid, in a snap of spontaneity your face would have been preserved in a more natural light that no filter could have cast a shadow over. But in this manufactured moment when the shutter controlled by your own thumb falls, the essence of the photo lies not in your beauty but in your artifice.