Smoke, mirrors, and photoshop magic.

The other day my friend Sarah over at Running on Healthy wrote this great post about one of America’s favorite former trainwrecks Britney Spears who has since revamped her image AND her body. Glancing at any recent photo of her, you can’t deny how fantastic she looks. Except for maybe the cover of Women’s Health magazine. Because…Britney is that even you?

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She looks fit, fab, and as Sarah pointed out, not unlike Heidi Klum. Among other things she went on to discuss not only how refreshing that seeing curvy models in print would be, but also the role that photoshopping plays in all of it. Here are these women with perfect, flawless bodies that none of us could ever achieve because, well, in most cases that level of perfection simply does not exist. I would know this because when I lived in Santa Barbara I did a year stint in the fashion industry working in advertising and marketing. I designed large displays, billboards, and catalogs, many of these featuring models that we would choose from various agencies and hire in for photo shoots.

And then? I would edit them. And edit them. And edit them. The job itself was cool, but the editing? I hated doing it.

At absolutely every job I’ve ever had there have been countless requests from people to clean up photos in Photoshop. One thing I’ve always prided myself in is my ability to edit a person in a photo so that they look exactly like themselves except maybe a little less shiny, a little more relaxed, a little less tired, etc. The man I worked for at this particular job had no shame. I would often edit the models to such an extreme degree that they were barely recognizable from the girls who had shown up for the shoot. Every single flaw, vein, and wrinkle came out. Body parts were slimmed and shadowed to create better muscle tone. Noses were diminished. Jawlines were accentuated. I changed hair, eye, and even skin color. The list goes on.

Here’s an example of one them. She really wants to sell you some Uggs:

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This is about the fakest photo I ever had to put together right down to the fact that it’s snowing in Santa Barbara in the middle of the summer. And on the bottom left are some of the fugliest boots to ever exist on this planet.

That model was absolutely beautiful in person and yet I had to spend literally HOURS erasing every tiny mark, scar, and pore off her skin.There is not one body part on this girl that was not photoshopped in some way. Those aren’t even her real knees. They’re KNEES. You wouldn’t think something like that would even be necessary, but my boss did and I guess anything you can do to make a person even more visually appealing? I don’t know. I would have much rather put the unedited photos on a store sign or billboard because I believe that realness is so much prettier than perfection. I often wondered if it makes models feel weird seeing themselves edited that way or if they just got used to it after awhile. Working there completely changed the way that I look at women in print and for that I am actually very thankful.

Like so so so many women I spent years beating myself up about my body. While the knowledge of all the Photoshopping couldn’t completely change the way I viewed myself in the mirror, it did make me realize the level of unattainability I was comparing myself to for so long. All the little things that make me so uncomfortable about my appearance probably aren’t so different from how movie stars and models look in real life.

So the next time you see a picture of some other-worldly abs in a magazine and think “wow I wish those were mine”, just think of me and all the times I sat with my eyes burning and my nose 3mm away from a computer screen, smoothing skin and toning up midsections to look just like that.

Unfortunately I did not Photoshop those boots to be that ugly though. They achieved that all on their own.

Never forget that you’re all beautiful the way you are.

xo,

Salt

#nuunlove {Team Nuun 2015!}

If you run (or bike, or hike, or do yoga, or climb mountains, or so on and so forth) you’ve probably heard of Nuun. In recent months Nuun has become my hydration method of choice for a variety of reasons. It all started out as a desperate attempt to drink more water. Try as I might, I am not good at staying hydrated because I think water is boring and I would much rather be drinking coffee. Enter the strawberry lemonade Nuun and I quickly became addicted to it. Then of course there are a ton of other flavors so I had to try some of those too (as of today, strawberry lemonade is still my favorite, especially if I let it sit for at least 10 minutes in ice cold water before drinking it). It’s rare that there is not a tube of Nuun in my gym bag or purse.

Currently I am out until I can get to the store tomorrow and you would have thought my life was over when I finished 6 miles this morning and I had to drink boring old blah water.

Some time ago I read that Nuun was opening their Ambassador program for 2015 so I quietly applied for it, crossing my fingers that I would be picked. Then yesterday the best email ever popped up in my inbox:

We are so happy to welcome you to the Nuun family! (SQUEEEEE!!!) You have been selected to represent Nuun in all of the amazing areas in which you live, work, play, and compete in. I hope you’re as excited as I am!

We have restructured our program a bit, and you have been selected as member of our competitive athletic team, Team Nuun.

As excited as she was!? My excitement level at that moment was borderline terrifying. My coworkers were afraid they would have to defibrillate me. I HAD BEEN CHOSEN!! And for a competitive athletic team?!? WTF is that!?

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Basically I will be promoting Nuun (no problem…I LOVE this stuff and I don’t care who knows it), notify them of races and my results, wear the logo in some form or another – temporary tattoo on my face? – when I race, and some other very cool details too. I am so honored, proud, excited, and a whole bunch of other really pleasant emotions about being part of the team. Nuun was already a big part of my fuel plan for Jersey and now I feel like the whole thing just got that much more special.

Have you tried Nuun? If so, what’s your favorite flavor? (I obviously recommend strawberry lemonade!)

xo,

Salt

The obligatory Christmas list post.

ONE MORE WEEK until Christmas Eve, you guys! Can you even believe it? I feel like I blinked back in July and suddenly here we are.

I’m very pleased to announce that unlike last year where I procrastinated until the last possible moment, I have been mostly finished my shopping ever since the absolutely brilliant or absolutely moronic online purchase I made Saturday night between glasses of wine and baking racks and racks of cookies:

trampolineI’m leaning toward brilliant. You all know how that girl loves her some trampolines and I’m so tired of asking her to stop jumping on the couch, the chairs, the beds, etc. Slightly bummed about the 100lb weight limit, but you can’t win ‘em all . (What sold me was that protective net around the outside because trampoline head trauma.) There’s also a talking minion, Hungry Hungry Hippos, kinetic sand that I know I’ll be kicking myself for buying when it ends up all over my floor, dress up clothes, and a couple other fun odds and ends stowed away in the depths of my walk-in closet ready to be wrapped up in Frozen wrapping paper. And extra batteries are purchased for everything that requires them because I am NOT going to have that mom fail again this year.

Anyway as a blogger, I feel it is my duty to discuss on here all the things that have made it on to my own personal wish list for 2014.

First and foremost I would love it if Santa would bring me back at least some semblance of my former sanity. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and am thankful that I get to be so creative every day. I have some seriously awesome, portfolio-building projects on my plate. BUT…I’m a little overwhelmed and so tired that I accidentally hit “publish” on here waaay before I was ready and I apologize if you got an email about an unfinished post. The past two weeks have been the busiest of my life and I would be looking forward to the weekend if I didn’t have to work then too. 4 days off next week will be a marvelous Christmas present. If that’s all I got, I would be thrilled.

As a bonus though, I’m pretty sure this gorgeous little piece of tech will be making its way under my tree:

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I believe that Mr. Salt  – errrr I mean SANTA – picked this up for me. Mostly because we are both so busy getting things ready for Betty that there is zero mystery as to what we are getting each other anymore. When he asked me, I told him that this was the only thing I wanted. Okay scratch that. It’s really the only thing BESIDES SLEEP that I wanted. Normally and for obvious reasons I would say shoes, but I already got myself some amazing new shoes a couple weeks ago.

Although I guess there’s always room for more shoes, am I right?

My other gift to myself? MARATHON TRAINING! I start getting ready for Jersey on Monday and I’m actually going to be following a plan this time rather by flying my the seat of my pants like I did for the last one. It is my goal to do anything and everything I can to stay healthy and uninjured during this training cycle and the first step in that is listening to a professional. That professional just happens to be Hal Higdon. I’ll be using a hybrid of his Novice 2 and Intermediate plans because I’m injury-prone and the idea of consistent 5 days per week runs for the next 18 weeks? Freaks me right out.

Other than that, the holidays so far have been completely Betty-centered. So far she has visited three different Santas (and loved each and every one of them), has been finding her Elf on the Shelf every morning (I don’t have one of those elves that ruin my house though…his name is Wreck It Ralph, but he just hides and leaves her notes and little gifts), we’ve watched Polar Express about 40 times, and gone down to see the lights at 34th Street a few times, plus train gardens and cookie baking and cookie taste testing and on and on and on. I’ve always loved Christmas, but it just gets more and more special as she grows up.

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Seriously, kid!? COULD YOU BE ANY MORE CUTE!?!?

How is everyone else’s holiday preparations going? Have you finished your shopping? What is on your Christmas wish list? Visited any good Santas lately? 

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

xo,

Salt