As someone trying to make it in a creative field, I don't love shitting on someone out there creating. Honestly, I don't think I am being too hard here because some of these are pretty good, but this "As If Nothing Happened" project is flawed at best. Plus, it's not like someone created these from scratch and poured their heart and soul into it. These are basically fucking photoshops.
What the heck am I talking about?
So today, during one of my many bathroom trips, I was scrolling IG and saw this series of pictures that project what certain dead celebrities would look like today "as if nothing happened," aka they didn't die prematurely from murder, drugs, alcohol, or potentially their own hand.
Now, AI is fucking terrifying when you think about how it can be used for evil, but there's a plenty of fun to be had before that day comes. If you haven't messed around on Craiyon yet, I highly recommend it, but let's focus on these photos created with AI and a number of other software tools. For each picture I will assign a letter grade based on how accurate it'd be if the subject was still alive.
Diana, Princess of Wales; Death Age: 36; As If Nothing Happened Age: 61
The death of Diana, Princess of Wales, is one of the earliest memories I have of my childhood. I was five then and can vaguely remember watching TV coverage of the tragedy at my dad's old house. That doesn't really matter while grading this image; I just have to find a way to make everything about the passing of time during my lifetime.
From what I know about Princess Di, she was beloved, beautiful (despite her Pete Rose haircut), and a champion for human rights. Had Diana of turned 61 years old in 1964, maybe she would've looked like this. There's just no way with modern medicine and the access she had that her skin would be so bad at 61. Did she smoke thirty bundles of sticks a day? This progression feels too harsh. MAYBE she'd look like this if she was forced to watch her car crash on a loop for 25 years. We must remember how hot celebrities in their 50s and 60s can still be nowadays. Have you seen Heather Graham? They've got Lady Di looking like Mae the barmaid from Ted Lasso when in reality, I think she'd be more on pace with a Julianne Moore or Julia Louis-Dreyfus in terms of aging finely.
Freddie Mercury; Death Age: 45; As If Nothing Happened Age: 75
Speaking of making things about my life, Freddie Mercury died just three weeks before I was born. Of all the images in this series, I think his progression may be the most accurate (despite his skin being much better than 14 years younger Diana's). I doubt at 75, his hair would be that full. Maybe the lack of stress from seeing how much more tolerant society has gotten towards the queer community (there's still a ways to go) since 1991 could of helped him save that salad? It's a shame that elder statesman Freddie never got to see a single episode of the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He would've loved Thom and Kyan.
John Lennon; Death Age: 40; As If Nothing Happened Age: 81
Like Freddie, I'd imagine John Lennon would have this much less hair at this age, especially when he'd be in his early 80s. Between dealing with Yoko and the strenuous Beatles reunion tour schedule in the late 80s and early 90s, I'd suspect more thinning. His face feels somewhat accurate based on 80-year-olds I've seen in my time on this planet, although statistically and stereotypically speaking, his teeth would be in much worse condition (cuz he's British).
Grade: A solid B, as in the Beatles
Heath Ledger; Death Age: 28; As If Nothing Happened Age: 43
From this point it's all black and white like the colored ink of this AI and number of other software tools ran out. Heath Ledger was a certified hottie. Not to me (more of a Jake Gyllenhaal guy), but to millions of people across the globe. Under the assumption that these people would still be alive today I feel like this progression did him dirtier than his dick in Brokeback. He'd only be 43. Maybe this would be good for 63? But he looks more weathered than Creed's third album.
Jimi Hendrix; Death Age: 27; As If Nothing Happened Age: 78
This is where things get dicey because there's such a massive gap between death & would-be-alive age. The black and white photo does me no favors in the grading process. It's sort of an old bohemian Frederick Douglas vibe. There's a fair amount of aging for a 78-year old, but his hands look like they have makeup on them. Major open casket funeral energy. Also, I'm a long hair guy, but do we think a 78-year-old Jimi Hendrix would have it that wild pushing 80? Even in the 60s there were times Jimi kept his 'fro surprisingly tight (look at Woodstock). I'm choking here thinking of more comments, but this is far from the most egregious progression in this series.
Kurt Cobain; Death Age: 27; As If Nothing Happened Age: 55
I'm not too fond of these black and white pics because it makes the photo much tougher to grade since it's harder to make out specific details. Even with that, this one stinks. Sure, Kurt was addicted to heroin which is notoriously bad for you, but this feels more like Joe Walsh than Kurt Cobain. It has his eyes, but the face looks too beat, even for an addict. Plus, had he survived, he probably would've ended up going sober by like 2003. When you look at fellow grunge guys who are still alive (and there's not a ton left), they all look better than this. I think Kurt would, too, if he hadn't killed himself/been murdered by Courtney Love.
Michael Jackson; Death Age: 50; As If Nothing Happened Age: 63
When you say "as if nothing happened," does that include switching races? I get it, Michael was burned in a Pepsi commercial and had vitiligo, but he also died most recently of everybody in this project. June 25th, 2009 to be exact.. I remember because it was the last day of my junior year of high school and coverage was on every TV at Twin Willows. Poor Farrah, all-time death upstaging.
I'll say it. That's like Michael's 1978 nose. The dude died in 2009. Did the AI and number of other software tools forget that '09 MJ looked like a Guy Fawkes mask? This guy looks like a cool cat to smoke a joint with (assuming he never...ya know), but it does not accurately portray a would-be 63-year-old Michael Jackson. Maybe, Lamar Jackson?
Elvis Presley; Death Age: 42; As If Nothing Happened Age: 87
There's low effort, and then there's whatever this is. The Nathan For You age progression was better than this. Elvis would be 87 years old today, and they've got him here with full, dark eyebrows, the arms of a 17-year-old, and better skin than Diana. There's not a wrinkle below his eyes. I guess Elvis got the lap band too because he looks like a weighs 160. This is borderline the worst progression in the bunch. Also, I know it's not the spirit of the exercise, but if Elvis didn't die in 1977, there's no way he makes even 1980.
Janis Joplin; Death Age: 27; As If Nothing Happened Age: 79
The later we go into the "As If Nothing Happened" series it feels like the AI and a number of other software tools stopped trying. Admittedly, I know the least about Janis Joplin of everybody on this list, but I don't think she'd look like a hippy Mrs. Doubtfire if she made it past 1970. At least everybody else on this list (even if the picture stinks) sort of resembles the person. This could be any Oregon grandma with a platysmaplasty.
Tupac Shakur; Death Age: 25; As If Nothing Happened Age: 51
This won't receive an F because it stayed somewhat true to Tupac's facial features; I just don't see Tupac getting that fat or having Al Sharpton's forehead at 51. I know 26 years is a long time, but he had way too much to lose with the location of his "THUG LIFE" tattoo. Pac would've kept it tight. He'd be one of those celebs you can't believe is in their 50s. This photo is more like "what would Kirby Puckett look like as if nothing happened?" If Pac ever sees this (20% chance), you're about to feel the wrath of a menace @âalperyesiltas.
Well, that was a fun way to kill a couple hours. R.I.P. all these dead folks. Credit to @alperyesiltas for making this photo series, but would it have killed you to keep using color photographs? Don't take my shit talk personally. It's all in good fun. What do you think about the "As If Nothing Happened" series? What famous dead person would you like to see shoddy age progressions of? Sound off in the comments!
I'll end on a positive. This Amy Winehouse progression is the best one yet. It should've definitely been included in the post I used to make this blog. She looks better here than she ever did alive. #would. R.I.P.
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