Awaiting app to create airbrushed selfie

18:50, Mar 25 2014

My Great-Uncle Frank, along with everyone else's I'm sure, was fond of saying contentedly, whisky in hand, "I wouldn't be dead for quids".

"Quids", youthful readers, refers to pound notes, common currency before 1967.

Now that I am old enough to hold my own whisky I would like to say, in addition, that I wouldn't be young again for a million bucks.

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, there is an increase not only in the number of people wanting facial procedures - nose jobs, eyelifts, hair transplants - but that these elective patients are getting younger.

They are driven by the desire to look better in their online photos.

Given how much of our lives takes place now on a computer screen, and how frequently we are looking at photos of ourselves on Facebook and Instagram, we've become much more aware of our faces. And apparently a bunch of us are full of "selfie"-hatred.


I hardly saw any photos of me while I was growing up. As the second child, baby photos had lost their novelty by the time I turned up. Plus, I looked a lot like the first.

And getting the camera out was for special occasions - maybe an annual Christmas snap or something taken at the beach over summer, after which the film would be left in the camera until the following year, then taken to the chemist for developing and forgotten about until winter when you popped back to fill a prescription for the family's flu.

This all meant that, even if you looked crap in the pictures, you could comfort yourself with the thought they were taken 18 months prior and you had doubtless blossomed into something lovelier since.

Either that or there was something not quite right with your Box Brownie and everyone's head was chopped off so you didn't ever find out that you didn't have a chin.

This practice of "corrective" plastic surgery will eventually lead to some shocking revelations in delivery suites when his genes and her genes present themselves in the next generation's startlingly massive honkers and astonishingly flappy ears.

The short-term non-surgical solution appears to be "mastering the selfie".

I'm no expert but, lacking sufficient vanity to say no to a make-up-free selfie for a breast cancer campaign, I nevertheless have sufficient vanity to have just spent 10 minutes discovering the best image comes from holding the camera high (but not too high), dropping your chin a bit and saying "prune".

The long-term solution may well come from the advancing technology which created the problem.

Let's all take a breath and wait for Google Glass to create an app which makes everyone look youthful, symmetrical and dewy-skinned so we can walk around looking airbrushed.

The Press