That’s My Face!

“But you don’t understand, they’re using my face!” I shrieked down the phone. The ever soothing voice on the other end crooned,

“That must be very distressing for you sir. Perhaps you could clarify.”

And that’s when I realise I’m speaking to a program, a program written to placate and calm irate callers, but not to fix anything. I angrily put my phone in my pocket (I want to slam it down, but its expensive) and look again at the advert on the Tube station wall: A sunny beach, a happy couple on a sun lounger, and a spotty geeky twat leering in the background. And that twat is me. It’s not the first time this has happened either. I’ve appeared in adverts for toothpaste, shoes; this one is for an alcopop. And I’m always the goofy fool, the comic foil. Maybe if I was portrayed as the sexy one I wouldn’t complain, but still it is my face, it should belong to me alone.

So how did it happen? Well, let me tell you a few secrets. Adverts don’t use real people anymore. They haven’t done for some time, you see real people are expensive and computer programs can do the same job as effectively, more cheaply and without all the fuss of going on location. But the faces that computers create are an amalgam of features, generic representations of personality, age, gender. That’s why they all look more or less the same, even people of different races conform to a generic appearance – you’ll see Chinese people, but not too Chinese. African, but African with just enough Caucasian blended in. They play with the different possible components of face and body and come up with some whole new being. Supposedly.

But it seems like whoever wrote the algorithm is as lazy as the rest of us and instead of inventing properly new faces, they just repeat the same generic stereotypes. And one of those stereotypes is me. And how do you think that feels? To know that I am the spotty generic sad-case?

It makes me feel angry. Not like the kind of angry when you get tricked into watching a ten minute video that promises to tell you Five Foods that are Making YOU Fat, but doesn’t; the anger goes deeper than that. It makes me feel slighted and the rage gets right into my blood. It makes me want to fight back. Because they never expect the spotty sad-case to fight back. They think fighting back is for the generic, tough, good looking ones. They think that people like me haven’t the gumption, they think that I am going to behave within the confines of their stereotype. Well, gumption is borne of rage, and now all I need is a plan.

12 thoughts on “That’s My Face!

  1. I can actually see this sort of thing happening in the future. They’re already halfway there, really; magazines and advertisements are already photoshopped to kingdom come. Not much reality happening in them! Even in films, they can easily create people- and alter them- with CGI. And machines are replacing humans in every field, more and more every day…. there’s not going to be anything left for people to do …(unless they’re computer nerds) . I’m all for useful technology, but we’re all forced to be dependent on it now……i sound like a fuddy duddy, but…I don’t like it! :/
    ( i like the story, though 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, that’s what I was thinking. You watch TV or films and everyone is so homogenised and bland looking, I like a bit of variety! People are great because we don’t all look the same, it makes things interesting. Glad you liked the story ! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely; variety is the spice! I was actually discussing something similar with someone else here in bloggyland, and how that’s the reason why i’m such an anglophile when it comes to comedies on TV. I’m sure there’s still an element of the crappy one dimensional thing over there, but in general, it seems that people are actually allowed to look human in UK comedies. They don’t need to look like underwear models, they just need to be good at acting and being funny. The fact that they look like people i might see down the street makes them relatable and believable. Over here, it’s a bit more the other way around….talent is secondary. Not QUITE as bad as a certain country that i won’t mention but rhymes with Hamericka..
        Anyhoo. Good story 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sadly UK TV is becoming less human as time goes on, but we still have a few small pockets of reality 🙂
        Thank you for reading!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I did have a vague idea of tying it in with a few other stories, so maybe it will continue one day. As for raging against the machine – I wish I knew how, too. If I ever figure it out, I shall post immediately! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂


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