I draw an avatar for myself on my website. I’m not the best drawist in the world but it’s kind of nice to spend time and do stuff with colours and paper, because I spend so much time writing and reading. It’s a bit of a hobby that means my clipart is mine and bits the bill. But I’m not great at drawing.
It’s my little avatar and I’ve grown quite fond of my little avatar’s style. She has good jumpers, nice t-shirts when she wears them and her hair is badass. I love my avatar’s hair (spoiler… I draw it!) so I got myself a fringe cut in. I had one a while back, which is probably why I draw it in, and I liked it at the time. So here we are now and I have a fringe. I like it. It’s lovely and my hair colour isn’t to shabby with it either. So essentially, I got myself ‘updated’ and beautified so that I look like my online-self.
But there are people that actually do it. They actually do stuff with filters and online-digitised versions of themselves, and then get surgery and stuff and all things scary to make themselves look like those filtered, avatar-ed unreal versions of themselves. That makes me so sad for them. I am glad I’m online wrinkles and all, lots. I have a face that’s nearly 40 and it looks nearly 40 (next year is the big birthday). And I’ve lived a live, which shows. I’ve done a lot and I look my age give or take a day or two. I think I’m quite lucky that I’m fairly confident that I look my age can pretty much cannot be bothered to ‘fix’ my face. We also can’t afford it. But really is more that, I just can’t be arsed.
But there are people who are wobbly and who aren’t confident. There are kids who sense pressure to look just perfect online. There is airbrushing. There is contouring. There is botox. There is just so much utter rubbish that people can put in their face because of the burden on aesthetics. And that it heart-breaking. People shouldn’t feel that they need to filter themselves to oblivion and then try to make that filter real.
I’m not a great drawist, but that doesn’t matter. I have an avatar because I like making it, I like having my own clipart and cartoon-me is fun to have around. But me, actual me, I’m online too and I’m OK with that. Not everyone is. That makes me sad and worry for the pressure they feel.