You’ve probably seen the boudoir-style photos that some couples use to “keep the spark alive.” Most partners would probably love a gift like this, but as you can imagine, as with all kinds of photos nowadays, these shots tend to be heavily photoshopped. Considering they asked me if I wanted my pre-schooler’s school photos retouched, it’s not surprising any professional photo would offer a grown woman retouching when she’s getting photographed in her undies.
One woman went to a local photography studio in San Antonio to commission some such photos for her man for Christmas last year. The photographer, Victoria Caroline Haltom of Victoria Caroline Boudoir, told Mic the customer requested “an array of touch-ups to cover up what she perceived as physical flaws.” Three days after the woman’s husband received his gift, he sent the photographer an email, which she posted on her Facebook page. He says, “When I opened the album that she gave to me, my heart sank. These pictures…while they are beautiful and you are clearly a very talented photographer….they are not my wife.”
He says, “You made every one of her “flaws” disappear…and while I’m sure this is exactly what she asked you to do, it took away everything that makes up our life. When you took away her stretch marks, you took away the documentation of my children. When you took away her wrinkles, you took away over two decades of our laughter, and our worries. When you took away her cellulite, you took away her love of baking and all the goodies we have eaten over the years.”
He wasn’t writing to chide her, either. He says it was the retouching of all the things that make his wife real to him that made him realize how much he adores her just the way she is: “Seeing these images made me realize that I honestly do not tell my wife enough how much I LOVE her and adore her just as she is. She hears it so seldom, that she actually thought these photoshopped images are what I wanted and needed her to look like. I have to do better, and for the rest of my days I am going to celebrate her in all her imperfectness. Thanks for the reminder.”
I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying.