Toying with perfection

Pop quiz: What's wrong with this picture?
Jake Gyllenhaal gets the pixel treatmentAt first glance, nothing, right? How could there be? It's Jake, after all.

Ah! But to pureblood, hardcore, rubber-room Gyllenhaalics like me, something is a little...off. Zoom it to full size, and you might see what I mean. These photos have been retouched, and it's obvious if you look at Jake's forehead. Where's his little round scar?

When I first glimpsed the photos from this shoot, the combination of the intensity and surreal clarity nearly knocked me out of my chair. After a few seconds spent regaining my composure, however, I realized that it wasn't just the sharpness of the images that made them surreal. They're the most egregious case I've seen so far of digital manipulation.

Despite all the modern backlash against unrealistic physical ideals, photographers and magazines are still perpetuating this social prejudice, to the point that they feel it necessary to airbrush images of the most beautiful man person creature thing in existence. Really, if Jake isn't perfect enough for them, there is no hope for satisfaction. They may as well hang themselves now.

Super-sexy Jake in all his unedited gloryMy favorite pictures of Jake are the ones in which I can make out all the little details, like this one. I love the fine hairs on his arm and cheek, the freckles, the tiny zit. Seeing a red spot or a scar or some other blemish reminds me that he is flesh and blood, a real human being like me and not just something pretty.
Jake's been pluckedThere's another form of Jake-tweaking that kinda drives me nuts, and that's this. Those are not Jake's natural eyebrows. The makeup artist or director or whoever decided that Jake's manly brows were too much for their film, and reduced him to this. It's been done before, I've noticed. Come on, people. I know those with weak hearts might not be able to handle the sight of untamed!Jake, but to try to give him girly-brows goes beyond grooming. It's arrogant and foolish.
Stop messing with Jake. You cannot improve upon perfection.

All photos: IHJ.

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