Girls…We must remember that these days, a picture is worth a thousand lies!

The other day I was googling something, when one link led to another, etc, until my curiosity got the better of me and I ended up on a site with pictures of celebrities before and after being “photoshopped.” I was truly shocked. I mean… I know that most pictures are airbrushed, but I must admit… It’s hard to remember that when glancing at them on the glossy covers of magazines.

Thanks to the advanced photo editing programs no good publisher would be without, not to mention the ones we are carrying around with us on our own phones, today’s perception of beauty has become overly warped. Wouldn’t you agree? Check out this picture of Madonna:



She is showing her age in the picture on the left. Of course. She isn’t twenty anymore. But when those of us who also aren’t twenty look at pictures of her, it makes us wonder why we aren’t as smooth and wrinkle free as she is. We forget that in reality, her body is aging too.

Look at this example of George C.

And how about this picture of Penélope Cruz? She is absolutely beautiful on the untouched version – but the average woman doesn’t get to see her slightly imperfect and freckled skin.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for looking our best. And I want the pictures shown of me to be the best they can be. I’m certainly not above using what is available to keep my roots from showing and my skin a-glowing. What I’m NOT willing to do, however, is to let myself think that the images we see in print and on screens are the real deals. Because when I begin to think that, I always end up comparing myself to those perfected images… and I’ll never measure up.

Pay attention to how Katie C. is trimmed up:


The picture below was on a site about celebrity weight gain. The caption states: “Aishwarya caused a lot of stir after her delivery for not losing the pregnancy weight. Though it is okay for new mothers to take time to get back in shape, we think it is not alright for them to ignore it completely. High time Ash did something about her weight gain.”

Seriously? I honestly can’t tell which picture is with and which is without the weight. I think she looks beautiful in both. When girls like this one are labeled as overweight… something is seriously wrong.

We girls know what true beauty is, but sometimes we let our hearts convince us that the world’s photo-shopped standard is how we should measure ourselves. We must constantly remind ourselves that this is a lie! The old saying, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” should more accurately be, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies.” As long as we can remember this, we can continue to enjoy the celebrities and modern media… Enjoy them without condemnation.

So, ladies… (and gentlemen)… the next time you begin to compare yourself with a celebrity, remember this 34 second video of a photoshop transformation:

Don’t depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful.

Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet.

This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special.

1 Peter 3:3-4 CEV

PS: This is the link to Sunday’s Smelling Coffee Today TV program. Our second one ~ so if you watch it… grace, please. 😉 Smelling Coffee TV April 28, 2013 (You will need to click on “Smelling Coffee Today” – the link at the top of the page.)


About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two college kids, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at


  1. Great reminder, Jennifer! Love the photos too. Reminds me of the magazines you see in the line at the grocery where they catch stars without their makeup.

    Supposedly, there are some Christian videos that teach teenagers about how “airbrushed” everyone is. Emily’s Bible teacher showed them recently. I’ll try to find out the name of these videos for you!

    Thanks for being a blessing!

    Love you…

  2. Love this! Of course, I’m going to borrow the concept, too. Thank you for taking the time to research and illustrate. I’ll be linking to this in the future.


  1. […] link to these incredible pictures of some incredible places around the globe. However, in light of this blog post I shared last week, I can’t help but wonder if there has been some photo-shopping going […]