Meghan McCain mystery solved!

Sunday, October 18th, 2009 · 13 Comments »

First off, this post is a direct follow-up to this post and its subsequent comment thread. The issue here is not Meghan McCain or her politics or any of that stuff; the issue is simply my inability to interpret the chiaroscuro effects in her uploaded twitter photo, and my resulting completely pointless obsessive-compulsive attempt to analyze the visual data. As I said here:

Things like that drive me nuts — pictures where the shadowing or lighting or something is so strange that you can’t figure out what’s going on. And since we’re all friends and Finns here, it seemed like an appropriate place to ask other people if they could interpret the image.
Also: the reason I asked about implants is because I was reminded of the extraordinarily weird boobage pictures of celebrities with implants. God knows how anyone can find that attractive, but whatever. But with implants you get that kind of natural shadow from the crease of the body, plus the extra shadow from the implant (which doesn’t match the natural crease), plus strange valleys and depressions — just weird.

Several commenters offered possible explanations: camera angles, lighting, crappy photo software, pushup bras, body fat distributions. The President of Finland (a regular reader of the blog) suggested that perhaps the strange effects were caused by a corset, to which I replied:

Yes, but that wouldn’t explain the uppermost sharp dark line, the one high up on the right side (as we look at the picture) that curves down into her hair. See? That’s the line that baffles me. The cleavage on its own is understandable visually, but that uppermost dark line doesn’t match the rest of her.

…By the way, I feel compelled to note that my interest here is not in Meghan’s breasts, nor do I wish to add to the unseemly attention to the woman’s body. This is just me on my “what the fuck is that picture?” neurotic thing. Longtime readers may recall that in the past we’ve done this with a screen cap from South Park and an incredibly mysterious photo that eventually turned out to be glazed donuts. What can I say.

Well, people, I think the mystery of the uppermost dark line is solved.

First, here’s Meghan’s twitter picture again, but now in a larger size:


This larger version makes it easier to see that part of what’s going on is definitely a mix of form and cast shadows, as speculated (thanks to laterose for the link). The dark line that so bewildered me is simply an artifact of the lighting.

Now, compare that image to this photo of Meghan from the McCain campaign’s election night party, which I’ve reversed to match the twitter picture:


Notice that there is a similar play of shadows on her chest. This is just what her body does, no implants or pushup bras or contorted body positions required.

I conclude that the twitter image is nothing more than Meghan standing up in a tank top and looking at the camera, with the light source(s) in the room creating a few strange shadows on her body.

Okay, neurotic mystery-solving adventure over. I feel downright squeamish about having devoted this much blogular attention to a woman’s body, and am taking this opportunity to seriously reconsider the Clomipramine.

Finland can return to its regularly scheduled programming now.

13 Responses to “Meghan McCain mystery solved!”

  1. Jeff says:

    What’s a telethon without plate-spinners and dogs in tutus?

    Personally, I trust your instincts on what might provide insight into… well,…? I just know it works.

    Keep ‘em comin’.

  2. yttik says:

    Ha! I really should send you some photos, Violet, you’d have a good laugh. I’m really not scary in person but cameras don’t like me. I usually wind up with red devil’s eye and some form of ectoplasm hovering around me. They make perfect greeting cards this time of year.

  3. hil says:

    i’ve never had any beef with this blog, but i find these posts about meghan mccain’s boobs counterproductive and even ironic (because i feel like if a post such at this were found on a blog by a male author, this would warrant a post here deriding said post by said male). the post implies that there’s some kind of normal ideal of boobs against which to measure less normal boobs, and i find this offensive, possibly because i have “deformed” breasts because of a medication i was on when going through puberty, which has essentially destroyed my self esteem and ability to have a normal sexual relationship. just saying, i’m surprised.

  4. hil says:

    by the way my comment is not a poem despite funny line breaks

  5. Violet says:

    It is rather awkward, hil; I agree with you. And I’m sorry about that. This is why I tried to stress that I was interested in the photograph, not Meghan’s boobs, but still. Awkward. To be clear: I’m not judging or implying any judgment or criticism whatsoever of Meghan or her breasts or what they look like or anything.

  6. laterose says:

    haha! Good to know my art school education came in useful for something! It’s certainly not doing much for my employability right now.

  7. Dave says:

    At least you didn’t go the full Ann Althouse here, Dr. Socks.

  8. Myytinmurtaja says:

    Check. And what an epic riddle of darkness and light it was!

  9. Violet says:

    Ahem. I didn’t go a full Althouse, I didn’t go a half Althouse, I didn’t go any kind of Althouse at all. I have absolutely no problem with Meghan’s boobs or her picture of herself or anything. I think the controversy was ridiculous and sexist. That’s why I began this odyssey with a link to this post — Ways In Which the Internet Sucks — which fully expresses my feminist sentiments on the matter.

  10. Violet says:

    In fact, I have decided to rename myself Meghan McCain and will shortly be moving to Finland with my webcam and several tank tops.

  11. Dave says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply you were remotely approaching the level of Althouse’s Jessica Valenti attacks. I was thinking of her tendency to “analyze” and “interpret” photographs. The stuff she comes up with is invariably painful.

  12. Violet says:

    Oh, okay, I see. I’m sorry, I misunderstood. I don’t read Althouse, so my only reference was the Valenti boobgate. I had no idea she was into analyzing photographs.

  13. Michele Braa-Heidner says:

    You are not alone Violet, things like this drive me crazy too until I can figure them out!! And like “laterose”, I am an artist so I studied the photo with my “artist” eyes and I am convinced that the reason her cleavage is so pronounced is because she is leaning towards the camera. Otherwise it wouldn’t make sense because they are too high up. And yes, the dark portion is definitely a shadow due to the lighting in the room.