March 15th - Worth A Thousand Words

Pictures are imperfect things. They are only representations of the real. Like many kids, I went to Disney world when I was a child. There are photos of mousey little Elizabeth with massive glasses and buckteeth. I hadn’t quite grown into my ears yet either. It was a great look. Those photos don’t tell you that I got a Pooh Bear dressed as an Easter bunny from my grandparents on that trip that I fell in love with instantly. Or how much pizza I ate at the pizza planet arcade. Or how my brother and I didn’t fight much on that whole trip (much to my mother’s relief).

Those photos don’t depict who I am now. I grew into my ears, learned how to do make-up, fixed my eyes and grew another two and a half feet. Even current pictures aren’t me. My current Facebook Profile picture makes me look like an old world, old money, diva. I am not any of those things.  

This idea is perfectly described by a wonderful piece of artwork by René Magritte called the “Treatchery of Images”. It’s very fancy. If you haven’t seen it, the image is a wonderful painting of a pipe. Below this simple wood pipe is written the phrase ‘Ceci n'est pas une pipe’. For those of you who do not speak French, it translates to ‘This is not a pipe’. It is only an image of a pipe and not an actual pipe.

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ by Oscar Wilde is a critique of society, art and human nature. It might be the only image in history that is not treacherous. Dorian Gray is a beautiful young man. After having is portrait painted, he makes a wish that he would remain youthful while is portrait will age and decay. Little did he know his wish would come true.

literatureElizabeth Bird