Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Likes



Most women are more sensitive about their looks than their feelings. Criticize how she looks and you risk hurting her and hurtling yourself out like yesterday’s chapatis. And how do you gauge her sensitivity? It’s simple, just try clicking her pic. Slowly take out your camera, aim and wait for the miraculous transformation. Watch her eyes turn into limpid pools of kindness, prepare to get blinded by her dazzling smile. But not before she flips her hair, turns her face 45 degrees north (her best angle), pinches her cheeks and smiles her mysterious smile. The one that makes her look like Monalisa minus the mumps.
Monalisa minus the mumps

You see, she wants the world to see what she sees in the mirror.

Candid clicks are a big no and you can’t get away with just one shot. You are expected to click her again and again from different angles. It’s not because she doesn’t trust you. Experience and many ugly mugshots have taught her that you and your camera take time to warm up to her loveliness. So, she is willing to say cheese 17 times, just for the sake of a priceless capture. The one she can proudly show to her grandkids, when she gets old and wrinkled. Then she will grandly inspect all the shots you took and make you promise to delete the unflattering ones. If you don’t, you risk her wrath. If you upload it on Facebook, you risk getting killed. 





We women have a secret pact – thou shalt not tag/upload any ugly shots of ours. The moment a friend takes out her mobile and aims, we exchange that secret look. “You will make me look the diva that I really am”. Photos that inadvertently capture Christmas indulgences spilling out of our jeans or make us look like a hungry hippopotamus, are meant live happily ever after in the recycle bin. Since most photos are clicked for the sake of Facebook, we make sure each one of us is informed once they have been uploaded. And then we wait for the comments to follow. Look aghast when only 15 friends like it. Pretend to blush when someone gushes about how we look.
Follow the instructions carefully.

In my distorted opinion, we women spend 33.3% of their lives complimenting each other about our looks.

One look at a new profile pic on a social networking site and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Out of the 55 comments she gets, 49 will be from her girlfriends – Ooo, you gorgeous thing! Again there’s a secret pact. In a parallel universe it’s called reciprocity. You praise me and I will praise you back – get it?

I blame social networking sites. Before Facebook, we’d quietly click a few dozen pics of us frolicking in Gulmarg, stick them inside an album with a floral cover, wait for relatives to come over and pounce on them. They’d leaf through the albums, sip Rooh Afza and make a few appreciative noises. That was it. To be called beautiful, we had to solely rely on the free services provided by roadside Romeos. Of course, verbally challenged Kamal Kumar could only express his appreciation by whistling. And that was perfectly okay! 


The Hungry hippopotamus look.


And now thanks to our 567 online friends, who spend all their waking hours waiting to like you and your pics, how can you not believe that you are God’s gift to mankind?

Men seem to be under the impression that we dress up for them. Let me roll on the floor laughing before I shout – you are so wrong! Nope, we dress up for other femmes. Only a woman is capable of noticing the finer nuances of our appearance – the all new plum shade of lipstick, the perfectly tailored trouser that sits so flatteringly on our bum, the brand new clunky watch! And it takes us exactly 10 seconds before we furnish this appraisal. Now turn towards your man and all he will be able to muster is – looking nice, babe! We try our best not look affronted and smile painfully. Yes, it hurts to be called nice. It hurts more if someone calls you cute and it hurts the most when someone has the audacity to suggest – Erm! You look better in your photographs.

Try saying that and you will be hurled out like yesterday’s chapatis. 


It’s because all of us would like to believe, that we are prettier and slimmer than our pics. But if you want to risk lifelong affection from us, try looking for our inner beauty. We are suckers for men who appreciate us for the person we are.

Also published on Huffington Post, India


123 comments:

  1. 33.3% of your lives complimenting each other's looks and 66.7% of your lives getting clicked, Purba? :) (And now I know why in a pic of 4-5 girl-friends, one or so is not tagged :) The wrong pose shot for that diva :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I finally unraveled greatest mystery of all - the missing tag.

      Delete
  2. hahaha !
    Loved it Purba Ray !
    I have few teenage friends on whose pics only <3 s and hugs are typed. I am glad I didnt enter FB wen I was a teen :P
    Aptly told
    Loved the post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had Facebook existed during my teens, I wouldn't have passed a single exam!

      Delete
  3. Bowing lady...truth and nothing but the truth!

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  4. HAHA How true!
    Women dress for other women. Not men at all. It's so funny how men rarely get that. :)
    Happy blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Men like to believe otherwise! Whatever makes them happy :-)

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  5. Bang on target! BTW you look gorgeous in the pic captioned Monalisa w/o mumps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blame the husband and half a dozen shots :-)

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  6. LOL... Looks like men are mislead, again. Super!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look! we never tried to mislead you. You chose to believe it and we never bothered to clarify.

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  7. BANG ON Purbadi! Laughed my ass off on this one :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mwah! great to see you after such a long time.

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  8. Very true, every line. :D Cool post !

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  9. Nice (oops) write up Purba ji !

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  10. 1) I asked my husband to sit next to me and read your post, he did. I told him to take ideas as to how he should be clicking my photos from your posts. He said 'what the hell, I will click as the way I want, you look good to me in all angles. If you think you are not that good looking, that's your problem. I will take your photos as I wish, if you want to take million photos before reaching to a 'perfect' one then you click your own photo's. :-( But I am glad he think I am beautiful the way I am :-)

    2) Regarding the dressing part, I don't know why I am quite strange, I dress to impress men (good looking ones if possible :-p)
    If they look twice at me, my confidence boosts to a new levels. It makes me feel, I have 'still got it' :-p
    No, I do not wear make up as I look terrible with it. It is just mascara, eye liner and compact (to get rid of oiliness from my moisturizer) lip gloss and nice dress to suit the occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Between I just loved your third photo in this post :-) :-p (the hungry 'not hippopotamus' look)

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    2. Darling! your husband is a gift to womankind. Too bad you can't share him with us.

      And I'd still like to believe it takes a woman's razor-sharp gaze to notice the finer nuances of our appearance.

      Delete
    3. well, of course he is strange that way! :-)

      To other woman's razor-sharp gaze, I would say 'whatever' :-)


      Delete
  11. Great tips and stats! What I can say is - since social media became the mafia that controls our lives and every rectangular object that measures 3x4 inches became a phone, men and women have become the same. There is nothing that symbolizes gender equality than the wrath inflicted on the person who takes a bad DP on Facebook!
    And now, please go and hit like on my new profile picture where the 45 degree angle of the sunlight on my face is making me look like Tom Cruise from Mission Impossible 1.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you are the original Tom Cruise! The other one is simply a poor copy of yours.

      Delete
  12. Truth and nothing but the truth. Loved your hungry hippo pic. Candid capture.
    Remember what you said about reciprocity.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The hungry hippo pic was taken by a dear friend. When she uploaded it on FB I threatened to sue her :p

      Delete
  13. hmmmm one real interesting post this.....loved reading it.

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  14. I am too camera shy to pose! This goes for confident girls :) and the men they inspire! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No darling, getting photographed is an embarrassing experience for most of us. But when we have no choice, we give it our best shot.

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  15. I m sorry but u lack the accuracy of statistics..get real!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I miss those days when we used print photos and stick them in ablbums ! I hate having my pics taken :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IHM clicked some fabulous shots of yours. Stop cribbing!

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    2. Ah she creates magic with her camera !

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  17. Do u mean men shud flatter women rather than speaking d truth??? but i hv to say this- d first pic of urs is mesmerizing n i m nt flattering u ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And despite your protestations I am feeling flattered.

      Delete
  18. yeah so true..we are our own admirers and any candid shot (unflattering) can be disastrous enough to ruin a relationship....

    reading your post... i am reminded of instances when shots did not come out good taken by the hubby and i said you cant take good pics..he just quipped..jaisi ho vaisi hi photo ayegi :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pssst..did you add extra chillies in the daal and made him regret?

      Delete
  19. "Nope, we dress up for other femmes."
    "It hurts the most when someone has the audacity to suggest – Erm! You look better in your photographs."
    Haha , a truly hilarious post. You caught the nerve, Purba.

    Silly Smiles... Take you Miles :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Purba,
    Good to be here again after a bit gap.
    This is really an interesting piece on pics, especially about the lovely faces LOL
    Your concluding paras are really interesting, all these day i was having and impression of women dress up for men, but you revealed the truth the other way round interesting information, now i feel that, that is true, they dress for their counter parts LOL
    Keep posting
    Keep inform
    Hope you know about this years A to z blog challenge i did few posts on this issue pl. join in and air your view thru a to z blog challenge
    Happy blogging
    Best
    Phil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am aware of the A to Z blog challenge but not brave enough to take it up.

      Thank you for visiting my blog :-)

      Delete
  21. You look so beautiful in the photos, Purba!! :P
    You are absolutely right about the posing, and secret pact!! I believe I am especially sensitive now as I approach my 40s...keep anxiously checking my photos for signs of wrinkles and crows-feet! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Darling, don't worry about the aging bit. We are women, we get better with age!

      Delete
  22. Hey Purba, Have you been spying on me? Might as well let you in on a secret - this old chappati has had real bad luck with photographers. Heehee, great post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It takes one to know one :p

      Delighted you enjoyed reading this post :-)

      Delete
  23. Purba ji, Nice to read your post.

    ReplyDelete
  24. hehe Spot on! Seriously why do people click terrible pictutes and then tag you to make you feel depressed for days ;-). Reciprocity -- yeah that works! How else do we find really ugly looking women hot and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously! one look at those ugly fat pics and you start believing the worst.

      Delete
  25. To get over the depression, Gurdev promptly provides a fab picture that he has clicked of me/us so that I don't crib for days :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gurudev is such a sweetheart :-)

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    2. So much to learn, and so little time!

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    3. You dedicated an entire post to your love, Subho!

      Delete
  26. I want to LOL...hehehahaha....hey, but sometimes, I dress up to impress men :P no hypocrisy here..truth..nothing but truth...OMG, I just realised I am not taking enough pics of mine :( need to take more to show to my grand kids :) btw, you look really pretty in the pics..not nice..more than nice....hahah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We all dress up to make ourselves feel good. If it makes someone else happy, why not?

      Thank you. Please upload your pics for me to click like :p

      Delete
  27. Purba, the FB has divided the world into 'likes' and 'dislikes' and sometimes biased opinions when you really have no opinion,based on the trend! This brings to forefront the need to maintain looks of Marlyn Monroe, and smile of Mona Lisa to have maximum like button pressed in favor:) Lovely writing and a delightful read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a sad trend. We are turning into attention seeking individuals, hungry for approval.

      Delete
  28. It is the social media wave that has inspired a whole new genre of ''profile picture photography''... (i.e. girls posing in front of the mirror holding their cellphones, usually sporting a duck face) :P

    Nice clicks, btw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a duck face pic too. A friend was clicking me and I was trying to be Jolie :p

      Delete
  29. haha :D bang on Purba... I loved the hungry hippopotamus look :D And I am about to upload a new pic on FB that will make other femmes jealous :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It took a lot of courage to publish that pic and that too on my blog ;-)

      Delete
  30. ha ha ...too good a read..so candid.... :)lolmaxx

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  31. Ha..ha..ha:) Cool indeed:D
    Made a wonderful read!

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  32. Purba, I find your blogposts have become more and more cheeky and more insightful...I had seen your tweet on the profile pic piece thingy and I had been wondering when you would write on it. I know how our identity can be tied into the profile pic thingy and the tensions and distortions that emerge therein. So agree with your very apt post. But I also believe it is how one utilizes any medium. For me posing is a transformatory exercise--I enjoy giving myself to the camera in new ways. And I like to affirm photographers by posing appropriately. I notice some folks consider a photo authentic only if it is candid and from unflattering angles. It is their philosophy in life. As far as I am concerned--I like to see the best in others and I do the same to myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust you Bhavana, to be so perceptive. It's usually my tweets that trigger off thoughts for a new post.

      Your profile pics are more about you and not what you want to project. All I see is those peaceful eyes.

      Delete
  33. This post should be tagged "The Harsh Realities of Life". Brilliantly written!

    Also, I've noticed that some girls maintain a certain pose across photographs, across locations and across years! The same goddamn pose!

    At least you see both sides of our stubble. Huh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The faint tilt of the head, the rehearsed smile - cameras bring out the worst in us!

      Sometimes I look at my pics and wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING!

      Delete
  34. Oh yes..all of us pose for that FB profile photo and wait with bated breath for the number of likes we get on it :)

    As always..funny to the core.

    Lazy Pineapple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And men are insanely jealous of the attention we get on social networking sites :p

      Delete
  35. Hahaha...look what FB did to us.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Women dress up for other women to compliment, how true...
    A real from-the-heart post!
    Keep it going!

    ReplyDelete
  37. tch tch.. only 567 friends you have??

    OMG!

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello Purba mam :)
    "But if you want to risk lifelong affection from us, try looking for our inner beauty."

    Last line was eye-(I)opener for males! ;) Enjoyed reading all your posts. Thanks for creating this blog and sharing your inner whispers! :)

    Amrita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not whispers but loud voices!

      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  39. Ha ha..but I got to know recently it's not say cheese, it's potatoes. The pout needs potatoes.
    Say it once ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to practice saying this in front of the mirror. Wish me luck!

      Delete
  40. Ha ha ha ha ha ...you could not have put it down better! Super like :P

    Padmapriya T S
    http://aalayamkanden.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  41. The "Women dress for women" line- Super duper :D And the "looking good babe" line and its effect on the woman- priceless :D
    Had a good time agreeing to this post :D

    ReplyDelete
  42. "Most women are more sensitive about their looks than their feelings"....
    Bitter truth !

    ReplyDelete
  43. And do you know what happens when the poor husband is asked to be a part of those perfect pics? He has to buy a tripod stand and pose with the wife a thousand times before they get the perfect pic. It is so tiring at times that my cheeks hurt!
    Girls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shutup! You are the most dedicated husband that was ever born.

      Delete
    2. The irony is that all the women in the world will agree with you with a single exception - my wife. Because I am a ghar ki murgi that is daal barabar.

      Delete
  44. I am one of those girls who is camera shy.......it is just another way of saying my photos do not come good :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course! no photograph can do justice to your beauty.

      Delete
  45. gee; loved it; but I would like to add we dress for that male attention too :P

    ReplyDelete
  46. Spot on .. !!! A worth read n surely worth compliments ... yr monalisa pic .. Wow .. Have all the fun in your life .. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I laughed so much at this & the picture of yous with the hair down..too mach!! loved this :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone said the pic reminded him of the Ring (the horror flick) :p

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  48. hahaha ...loved it...awesome read!

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  49. But I have many of your unflattering photos. I could upload them all *moves the cursor slowly over the upload button while contemplating*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The most number of unflattering pics clicked by any living being!

      Delete
  50. OMG!! You are bang on!! LOL :D
    Clicking a terrible pic and uploading it on FB is such a big CRIME!!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Such a lovely and frank post. You are absolutely right. Somehow we are never satisfied with the end result, we are always cribbing and cursing whoever is the photographer. My husband who used to be a very good photographer, has stopped taking photos for he says from the time I came into his life, he has lost all interest in taking pictures, especially of me. Very rarely has any photos taken of me by him has come out good( that is according to me). I also keep complaining that he should have focused in a way that didn't make me look fat, or he has taken while I was still adjusting my Monalisa smile, blah, blah...
    And if by chance I want him in the photo with me, them more pain as I have to not only look good, but I have to see that he too comes out good, which is asking too much from a man who is not at all bothered how he looks.
    So I thought the best solution is not having him with me in any pictures, and anyway he doesn't like taking pictures or coming in perfectly made up but looking very natural pose with me.
    Now I take my own photographs, nothing is lost as whatever comes out bad can be deleted.
    And don't we all know when we are looking good and when we are not looking so good?
    I specially find it very difficult to look good when I am going out in a hurry, I am sure we all go through this , for we are all the same deep within.
    It was really very good to read about our weaknesses and obsessions in your blog.
    Btw you look very good in all the pictures, is it "practice makes perfect"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rama, I am far from photogenic but having a loving and patient husband helps.

      My selfies come out worse, my face appears conical, so, I have no choice but wait for him to pick up the camera :-)

      Delete
  52. Hey Purba,
    I am a big fan of your musings...enjoy alll of them.Never knew the truth can be presented inn such a tummy tickling manner too. Way to go. My best wishes are with you. Keep musing us please:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love big fans, they always keep me cool :p

      On a serious note, thank you. Your comment made my day :-)

      Delete
  53. Ahh, that one about looking better in your pictures. I am one of the cursed few who have a photogenic face and often look entirely different in my pictures. Many an online friend has avoided getting a punch in the face by diplomatically declaring that I look 'a little different' in my pictures :D

    ReplyDelete

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