10 February 2010

Real Beauty

C and J 2010

Aren't these two genuinely beautiful? I think so.

If you would like your blood to boil today, check out this link: Photoshop Treachery

Before you click, be warned that many of the photos show a lot of skin and are very unsettling.

I somehow managed to survive to adulthood with a relatively healthy body image, in spite of the Barbies I owned and the magazine covers I saw every time I checked out at the grocery store. Do you know Barbie's measurements coincide like this: bosom of a full grown woman, waist of a 6 year old child, hips of a teenage girl? I read that somewhere a long time ago, so it is an unfounded random statistic, but look at Barbie to see if you think it's right.

The thing that makes me the angriest about the article is the tone with which industry editors and re-touchers defend themselves, citing their work as "industry standard." If it is an industry standard to mold a woman's image into unattainable beauty, then the industry needs an overhaul. Just as Joe Camel was an insidious campaign to encourage children to smoke, these unreal photos are an invitation to young girls to acquire an eating disorder that still won't make them look like the cover girls.

I have no problem removing a temporary blemish from the face of someone I shoot, but if there were a line not to cross, I'd draw it WELL before anything in that newsweek article. Bad on them.


amy said...

Bad on them, and good on you for sharing this link. I will be presenting on the sexualization of girls' bodies at a high school in a few weeks, and this article will be a perfect illustration.

I think it's interesting how easy it seems to be for many people to miss the connection between this kind of theoretical violence to women as a theoretical construct and the real violence that takes place against real women. If women's primary function is decorative and we are"idealized" (I use the term loosely, of course) as sex objects (as opposed to sexual subjects), morphed into lies with photoshop, why would we be worthy of more than humiliation and degradation? To me, emotional, sexual, and other types of violence against women make a lot of sense in a world where women are consumable goods rather than agentive beings.

I'm saying, the concern goes way beyond the newsstand for me, and even beyond the bathroom scale, though certainly the systemic violence against women is enacted on bathroom scales every day.


Saddie said...

Thanks for the article Jen. I've been thinking of doing a media deconstruction class for RS enrichment meeting (whatever it's called) and I wanted to cover body imaging. This is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to show. Knowledge is power!

Project Maniac said...

Yes, thank you for the information. It was very enlightening. I've recently been thinking that I would like to make a few changes to the cellulite places that I have, but clearly it is unattainable, so I wont try. No, really, it helped me put what I was thinking into better perspective because I realized that in the back of my mind I was using those images as what was possible.

Queen Elizabeth said...

A huge thank you for the post. This is getting ridiculous... and we, as a society just accept it because the picture says so --- so it must be real!! Yikes. I am showing this to my girls the minute they get out of school. I just ranted on my blog about it, too. Let's start a movement! I am woman hear me roar! ;)

Jessi said...

thanks for sharing that article. it's crazy that even people like Faith Hill and Jessica Alba are re-touched. blows my mind.

Marie Says Yes said...

i read this article a week or so ago and in some ways it blew my mind and in other ways -- makes lots and lots of sense. how does anyone look like that. some of us can take it and be relatively unharmed -- like you, i grew up basically okay with myself. but my best friend didn't. after almost killing herself at 5'8" and 89 lbs, yep... i think there's a problem. our relationship didn't survive after almost ten years of dysfunction. now i know more and more adults confessing they have also struggled with self-image and self-destruction in their pasts. so sad! and yay for newsweek!

Kate said...

I know that the article indicated that Dove is a part of the problem, but I really love this clip:


Gives a nice idea of the morphing process in action.

KimJohnson said...

I saw that article too and it is so ridiculous. I mean it's no wonder there are so many girls and women that have horrible self-images. We are bombarded with the medias view of beautiful...which is always 100% photoshopped and 100% unattainable. It's sad!

sammygrace said...

rowena! if thats how it comes across on my blog i will totally fix it cuz i meant, that it doesnt apply because im obviously not attracted to girls! haha really tho should i fix it, and its ok to tease me on my blog, cuz frankly, its a comment which brightens my day:) so no worries!:) luv ya!p.s. i did check out this site you were talkin bout, it made my confidence level go up knowing they aint perfect either- even tho i knew it, seeing it was good thanks rowena.