Not to sound too provocative, but if you're like I was then you're thinking about getting your picture taken all wrong. You may even be suffering from a few common but totally fallacious ways of looking at portrait photography.
So, this is an important topic. A lot of men and women feel nervous about the retouching work done to their portraits, wondering whether or not the finished result will look like them or some plastic doll version instead.
A portrait is about accepting that we are awesome. Accepting that we're seeking our goals, striving to be true and facing struggles on the daily. It's about taking a stand against stereotypes and other people's expectations...about saying "this is me and I'm damned proud of it."