"Picture" Perfect

Remember that little case of 'house envy' I was having a couple of weeks ago?  Well...Let's just talk about it for real okay?

I love to peruse magazines and watch television for home décor ideas. Yep and I like to look at home bloggers as well.   Too often I begin to focus on the perfection of everything and start to feel as though my own home doesn't measure up...and truth is, it doesn't!  But it's not at all the lack of big bucks to spend on my home, and I mean that sincerely.  It has a lot more to do with professional stylists arranging and refining before shooting photos with perfect lighting.

I know this....but why it doesn't stick in my mind is beyond me.  No, I look at that perfect picture and my heart is just plain filled with loathsome envy for a moment or three.

I have followed a couple of bloggers who have lovely homes.  Not big pricey homes but lovely little homes that they have lavished with all their inspiration and care.  Three of these have been featured in magazines over the past couple of years.  Do those magazines portray the rooms I've come to know so well?  No....Yes, I said 'No'!  The stylists come in and rearrange and remove items the owners have used and put in new items, alter the pillows, add rugs, sometimes even paint the walls (and then turn around and paint them right back to the original color!).  They add flowers and fruits, remove light fixtures, clear surfaces...That magazine spread bears some resemblance to the bones of the room but it's no longer the blogger's inspired room, it's a stylist's vision of the same space.   Well really it's not that different than having a professional makeup artist and hairstylist dress up an other wise pretty girl and make her over as a glamour queen for a photo!  Anyone remember Glamour Shots?

Bess was reading off a list of tricks food stylists use to make those magazine (and television) spreads of food look so lovely.  Barely cooked chicken brushed with soy sauce, whipped cream on pies made from shaving cream...Doesn't sound in the least appetizing does it?   But we look at those photos and wonder why our end result isn't as lovely.  Because our end result is the edible version of the recipe, not the food stylist's vision of food we see on the magazine page!  Think of that next time you think you're no good in the kitchen because your version doesn't look as lovely as the magazine spread.

I once was part of a conversation about modern day actresses versus the old movie stars.  "And those women were just naturally lovely back then!" claimed one participant.  I laughed.  Read a biography or two and you soon discover how 'natural' that look was.  Ever wonder why Judy Garland didn't translate well in her 'live' appearances?  Per her own words, in film she wore false veneers over her teeth, had nose rings inserted to flare her nostrils and was often corseted to either hide natural curves or to create them when her dieting had proven too successful.  Other stars speak of taped ears and eyes to hide wrinkles, thick pancake makeup to cover blemished skin, etc.  The makeup used for a black and white film was not the same as that used for a color photo either.  Today's bronzers and highlighters are all part of the old studio makeup designed to create the effect of high cheekbones and shorter noses and disguise a slight double chin when lit just so...

But it's not all a sad and sorry thing.  We too can learn to 'style' our homes, our foods and our faces and clothes the same way professionals tweak things.  We're the lucky generation with our connection to the world wide web and the ability to discover just how to make everything look just so.  Use this knowledge to enhance your own abilities...but let's keep the food real, okay?


Anonymous said…
I love that you are writing more! You are making me think more and I am taking a sharper look at my home. It is well loved and shows but it is clean and that is important. But I am challenging myself to do more with what I have. Thanks for your encouragement and ideas. Just reading what you do helps my creative juices to flow. Jennifer in Ohio.
Rhonda said…
I like your points. Seems to me some of the big bloggers do a lot of rearranging and cropping.

I promise if I serve you pie, it will have a delicious topping, not shaving cream 😂😱

Bobby took Sheena to the hospital late last night with contractions, I'm up early, waiting on news.
Anonymous said…
I love to study those decorated rooms too. But if you look close could you live in some of those rooms? They put boards over sinks and things on them and things in the way of foot traffic and so on. If you look hard you realize no one could actually live in some of them. But they are pretty. and I do look for ideas on how to use what I already have or could make. We do the same thing when we go t a good antique store. Those people who have those stalls really know how to put together displays! And since these things are often just the same things I already have we sure get ideas. i take a little notebook and sketch them. ..or else I forget! I think we all get house envy. sometimes it is over just having another closet or a room where we can be alone that is not a bedroom. Something big or small but we don't have it. I keep reminding myself that even the wealthiest people can find something they would change in their own self designed homes once they live in them. We knew a construction man who built a house and his family would live in it then he would build another and sell the first. He said each house they tweeted to add the extras that could make a family home better. He said they would probably tweak forever. And then too each of his clients would still find something to change later!! When I read of the people in other places and what they Don't have. One lady only owned a pack she could carry on her back..that was all the house hold things she had forever in her life yet she made a home out of it and raised a family....and was grateful for it. Our little homes people in other countries call castles. Remember when the soviet leader {K...I can't spell his name! :) } came here and marveled at our grocery stores? He was the leader of his whole huge country! To him our grocery store was a true marvel. All that food in one place!! We have no idea how blessed we are. Yet still those magazine and blog lay outs do look beautiful....... I wonder if I moved this to.....

Yes many people have natural beauty that is not really all natural!! Sarah
Anonymous said…
Now you've made me wonder what bloggers with little homes you are talking about. ??????? :) Sarah
Lana said…
Sarah, My husband sponsored a Russian lady who came to the USA and it was very opening to see our lives through her eyes. She was awestruck by the grocery store and our homes. But, she also thought we were ridiculous in many ways and she was often right.
Anonymous said…
Have you ever noticed how tables are shoved in front of couches just to make them look bigger!Noone could possibly sit down. All the clutter? Who can cook in a kitchen with every surface covered? How realistic is it to have flowers and candles on the bathroom sink, but no soap? I will keep my own comfortable, but definitely not magazine worthy home and be thankful everyday for a hubby who worked hard you get it for his family. When I worked as a volunteer at our local helping hands, there were way too many women coming in with black eyes and bruises looking for any kind of beds for their children and had no hope of sleeping anywhere but on the floor themselves. Sure puts things in perspective!As I sit here writing this there is a news station on asking for donations of clothes for inner city children to wear to camp who won't be able to go because they don't even have sneakers. Gramma D

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