Saturday, October 1, 2022

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Joe's Neighborhood

Social media updo


“Dad, isn’t FaceTime a great way for us to talk during this weird virus time?”

The smiling face of my daughter locked down in England greets me. Lively, personable and true to real life.

And then I make the mistake of looking at the small screen in the right corner.


Who is that person? When did I leave the room?

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Someone has hijacked my computer.

I elongate my neck and look over my reading glasses at the imposter. One, two, three chins. That’s got to be some kind of record.

“So how’s Grandma doing in lockdown?”

Perhaps it is the angle of the camera. I have such a large head. Maybe if I bring the computer closer.

Yikes! Too close.

“And Mom? You know how she had all those water containers and duct tape ready for Y2K.”

Do my ears look even larger than I thought they were?

I turn sharply to the left and then to the right as I squint out of the corner of my eye at my profile. Wow, have I become part of the unusual vegetables exhibit at the Iowa State Fair?

“Dad, when do you think you’ll be able to travel again?”

But then there’s my nose (oh my) and teeth (are they yellow and going crooked in old age?) and the spot on my cheek (cancer or freckle?).

There’s a pending disaster at every angle of the camera. Aargh.

I blow a kiss goodbye to my daughter and tell her I’ll call back tomorrow.

Time for a social media updo.

“4 Beauty Tips You Need to Look Your Best on Social Media,” by Rachel Krause.

This looks good. OK, let’s see.

“Even if you’re going for the #iwokeuplikethis vibe on social media — regardless of whether you actually did wake up like that — we consider well-groomed brows to be the bare minimum.”

Brows? My lord, I hadn’t even thought about brows.

“Tweeze stray hairs that the camera will pick up, then use a small, angled brush and your product of choice to fill in your eyebrows.”

My product of choice? That would be a glass of wine. Maybe a beer during this barbecue weather. Clearly, Rachel is from another world than me. I need something a bit more basic.

“How to Look Bomb on FaceTime,” by Emily Gaynor for TeenVogue.

“Even though FaceTime means up-close-and-personal, don’t go too crazy when it comes to covering up, or contouring. FaceTime is about quick and easy contact — you don’t need to get red carpet-ready for a quick convo.”

After reading this sentence several times, I resort to Google Translate.

Let’s see, “c-o-n-t-o-u-r-i-n-g.”

“Contouring, baking, and extreme highlighting didn’t come from your BFF who’s, like, super into makeup. It actually originated from the drag community decades ago as a way to shape the face with makeup.” Brook Shunatona for Cosmopolitan.

“Shape my face with makeup”? Like with a putty knife and joint compound? I don’t think I’m ready for advice from Cosmo.

And that’s where I am today, folks. Cosmo and TeenVogue have failed me. Am I just one more unusual vegetable among the kohlrabi?

Merriam-Webster defines beauty as “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”

Great. So in this time of lockdown, I go to every member of my household to see if I “give pleasure to their senses” or “pleasurably exalt their minds.”

OK, two dogs, a cat and my wife. Without a doubt, both dogs and the nasty cat all vote with their tails and purr that I “look bomb” and bring them pleasure. As for my wife, a much more skeptical voter, I make her a cappuccino, tell her I will stop following her around the house, and for sure will never again follow her into her closet. She also purrs.

The obvious conclusion from this flawless test? I am a media darling. Beauty personified. One hot dude.

Or not.

Which is why you probably need my latest app, ladies and gentlemen. Today only. Half price. Free delivery. Friendly to whatever platform or device you love. It is cleverly named “the carefully placed face-mask draped over your screen.” No digital skills required to install.

And voila! Social media updo.

You’re welcome. ♦

Joe Weeg spent 31 years bumping around this town as a prosecutor for the Polk County Attorney’s Office. Now retired, he writes about the frequently overlooked people, places and events in Des Moines on his blog: www.

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