i Editor's Letter: The camera never lies


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The Independent Online

They say the camera never lies. I know it’s not strictly true given the iPhone and its clever apps, Photoshop and other digital tools, but we know when it’s fibbing.

So I was, to put it mildly, a little upset at how a) jowly and b) plain tired I looked in those otherwise very joyful i reader party pictures from last week’s event. Then, the inevitable phone call from Ma endorsed those unhappy voices, and spurred me to do something about it. Reader, I joined a gym. Again! We only have our health, right? Well, that, and our vanity.

If you doubt that, read Simon Kelner’s column (p16) in support of the campaign to have people offer a kidney to a stranger. He has written previously, and with eloquence, about his brush with cancer, and is more matter of fact about it than I could be.

In my own family background it was heart disease that proved to be a (multiple) killer. But then the south London Hatfield men of my late father’s generation had few of the advantages I now enjoy – most of all: health education. Working class to the core, if their daily diet of full Englishes, lard, sweet and savoury suet puddings, butter on everything and endless cups of Yorkshire tea with full-fat milk and sugar(s) wasn’t going to kill them, then their lifetime without exercise, but with a constant fug of cigarette smoke would. And, sadly, it did – all six brothers.

So, by the time you have read this I’ll have had my first session. In the meantime here’s a couple of tips for how to avoid all the time and effort I’ll be spending just to get fit: 1) Don’t let the photographer EVER shoot you from below; and, 2) Don’t get snapped beside a Miss Reading (2007) finalist. You will thank me.