The Flawed Side of Beauty
EVERY girl knows that a high resolution photo of you looking your very best is still worrying. Dry patches of skin, oily pores and less than perfect teeth: these are all things that concern every woman at one time or another. So why don’t our magazine models reflect this? How do they get their even skin tone and sleek hair, the like of which I can only achieve on rare occasions and for mere moments at a time?
The fashion and beauty industry would have you believe that it’s a thousand different moisturisers and products in play but the truth is it’s a tech-savvy art department with excellent Photoshop skills. Almost anyone can erase fat lines and touch up their complexion in drunken photos before they hit Facebook. For someone with an in-depth knowledge of this kind of software, creating a ‘perfect’ person is easy.
But we’re getting fed up of the less than honest depiction of women.
Clothing giant H&M faced massive controversy at the end of last year when it was noticed by a Swedish website that their latest swimwear campaign bizarrely featured the same body in every photo. But that body wasn’t even a body: it was a mannequin digitally altered to look more human. Different bikinis corresponded to different faces, but every body was a uniform slim prototype, striking the same pose. When asked to comment on the bizarre revelations, H&M said that “The message is clear: buy our clothes, not our models.”
Make-up brand Rimmel also faced some criticism last year after photoshopping indie Zooey Deschanel in one of their lipstick campaigns. The waxen looking finished photo hardly resembled naturally gorgeous Zooey.
In 2010, Rolling Stone Magazine featured Katy Perry on the front cover and six months later, “before” pictures were leaked on blogging platform Tumblr. The photos showed a pre-Photoshopped Perry looking natural and vulnerable compared to the altered photo, which had adjusted Katy’s tummy, thigh, hand position, and skin tone, as well as plumping up her breasts by at least a cup size. This disregard for Katy’s own natural beauty just goes to show that the industry doesn’t care about portraying natural beauty, and certainly doesn’t care about our self-esteem.
If you see un-Photoshopped pictures of 27-year-old Katy Perry, you’ll notice her crow’s feet and thick layer of foundation. In other words, she looks like a human being: flawed, but still beautiful. For some reason, the bosses behind fashion magazines think that we as consumers don’t want to see that. It’s true that some of us see fashion magazines as artwork but it’s also true that it’s incredibly refreshing to see our perception of beauty turned on its head.
You need only do a quick scan of the fashion blogosphere or your afternoon lecture, to realise that everyone is beautiful and very, very few of them look like they’d fit in on the cover of a glossy magazine. But that’s the industry’s fault, not theirs.
Posted by Kelly O'Brien on at 5:00 pm.
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