undermine

hly2004

Banned
chinese
Hi, everyone:

Sometimes a photo may just ____one's real image.

Could I use "undermine" in this sentence?

More explanation:
I'm trying to express the idea that the person in a poorly shot photo may not look as good as person in real life

Best wishes
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, everyone:

    Sometimes a photo may just ____one's real image.

    Could I use "undermine" in this sentence?

    More explanation:
    I'm trying to express the idea that the person in a poorly shot photo may not look as good as person in real life

    Best wishes
    I get your idea but, no, "undermine" won't work here. Such a photo poorly misrepresents how someone looks or it may just "distort" one's real image. There are probably a number of words you could use here but "undermine" isn't one of them.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    You might use "tarnish," but that's might best be saved for a picture that shows one behaving incorrectly or immorally. Ditto with "sully."

    The problem is that "image" is very often used figuratively, to refer to one's reputation than to someone's appearance.
     

    Joobs

    Banned
    Glasgow, Scotland - English
    Hi, everyone:

    Sometimes a photo may just ____one's real image.

    Could I use "undermine" in this sentence?

    More explanation:
    I'm trying to express the idea that the person in a poorly shot photo may not look as good as person in real life

    Best wishes
    I'd drop the just as it doesn't really fit.

    Sometimes a photo may not reflect one's real image.
    Sometimes a photo may inaccurately portray one's real image.

    You could also substitute "true" for "real"

    As mentioned undermine won't work - it actually means to injure or weaken or cause to collapse. (usually in an insidious manner). Think of the words it is composed of (Mine+Under) and you'll get the idea. It would be used in a sentence like:

    "The constant criticism only served to undermine his already frail confidence"
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi, everyone:

    Sometimes a photo may just ____one's real image.

    Could I use "undermine" in this sentence?

    More explanation:
    I'm trying to express the idea that the person in a poorly shot photo may not look as good as person in real life

    Best wishes
    Hi, hly.

    Are you talking about the way the person looks, or a person's reputation?

    Something (probably not a photo) might undermine a person's hard-earned reputation, but I don't think a photo could have a permanent effect on a person's appearance.

    If you are really serious, maybe you mean a photo may insult a person's image or may be unflattering to a person?
     

    hly2004

    Banned
    chinese
    Hi, Forero:
    I'm talking about one's image (not reputation)
    I'm saying a poor photo may make viewers think the person is not pretty or even ugly.
    They will find the person prettier if they meet him/her in person.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi, Forero:
    I'm talking about one's image (not reputation)
    I'm saying a poor photo may make viewers think the person is not pretty or even ugly.
    They will find the person prettier if they meet him/her in person.
    That's what I thought. "Undermine" does not fit, because the photo doesn't change the way the person really looks.

    We might say, "Sometimes a photo just doesn't do justice to one's real image."
     
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