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Thursday, 3 May 2012

‘Air Brushing in Magazines Should be Banned’ Really?!



This is a massive rant and I'm pretty sure without a face to face conversation my points won't be clear. Deal with it. 

Recently there’s been a lot of pressure on the media to stop photoshopping images, place warnings on images and to stop providing young, vulnerable girls with a false sense of body perfection.


1. Photoshopped images cause eating disorders.
There are a lot of things that cause eating disorders and generally... none of these reasons are related to being thin. Often serious eating disorders are triggered by trauma, stress and a lack of control. If you’ve ever been in the grips of an eating disorder you’ll know how all consuming it is and difficult it is to escape. Although images in the media of super thin girls will not push you in the right direction they are no more a hindrance than extra life stresses. Stop making excuses! Eating disorders are mental illnesses and cutting out all photoshop work isn’t going to abolish them! I’m also pretty sure in some eating disorder cases that other people’s bodies are not even on the radar. An eating disorder is a mental condition, a disease and obsession. Girls might talk shit about wanting to look like a model but most girls with an eating disorder have far crazier, irrational aspirations and triggers than that. 

2. We need this image of perfection to contrast with scummy tabloids
Images of celebs appearing with no make up or in their PJ’s putting out the rubbish are splashed across magazines. Size 10-12 girls SLAMMED in the tabloids over their orange peel thighs and non wash board stomach. ‘Not looking her best!’ ‘She’s let herself go!’ ‘Piled on the pounds!’
AND WE FUCKING LAP IT UP!! We revel in noticing that her thighs are dimpled and that their stomach folds when they sit or bend down and then wonder why celebrities and models are airbrushed in the magazines and adverts?! The same is true if celebrities loose too much weight –Over dieted, haggard celebrities and models are expected to look ‘cover ready’ in public, shot from afar by some dickhead pap yet magically well rounded, ‘glowing’ and healthy on the cover of magazines. Quit complaining! No ones perfect and when you see someone looking shit in a dress you aren’t going to buy it. 

3. Luxury Labels and photoshop
If you are flicking through a copy of Vogue having a look at the luxury brands ads you will notice that they all portray images of a fantastical, flawless life. Clad in opulent clothes, surrounded by beautiful people and with porcelain skin, not a hair out of place. We lust after these must have items that reflect this lifestyle. If you shot a size 12 on a sofa with no make up on, split ends, chipped nail varnish and a Prada bag you’d turn the page and think subconsciously ‘I don’t need that bag, that’s pretty much my life already.’ The economy is failing – let the advertisers ply money out of you with that imagination. 

4. Stupid People
‘Some people don’t realise images are photoshopped’. Ok well maybe people should open their eyes and assume.  In make up adverts, if you can be bothered to read the fine print you will often see the sentence ‘Model wears natural lash extensions’. So this £15 mascara does all that.... to fake eyelashes. It’s labelled. It’s right in front of you. Yet people still are surprised when their lashes remain stumpy and clumpy? Get the fuck over it and wise up! Just like buying that Prada bag isn’t going to make your life flawless!

5. Photoshopped images should be labelled in magazines
This kind of shatters the glamourous fashion image that a lot of people hold on to doesn’t it? As a test to see how this works: Try going into shops and posting disclaimer notices next to say... Christmas gifts, wrapping paper etc. Remind all shoppers: 
‘FATHER CHRISTMAS ISNT REAL AND THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE GOD ISNT EITHER’. 
Just incase anyone gets too wrapped up and starts believing in this jolly, chimney hopping time of year. (Also Christmas ads are always really happy and family orientated – don’t suicide rates soar at Christmas...?) 

I understand that awareness should be raised and children shouldn’t assume that this photoshop glamour is reality but adults should know better. Maybe we’ll develop a national scheme. All children over 11 will be sat down and told that Santa’s not real, religion is mainly unfounded, the tooth fairy is your parents being creepy and FASHION IS PHOTOSHOP ENHANCED!  (Yes... even the plus sized stuff is retouched too... it just looks better ok?!) 

One girl – a teenager from the USA petitioned to Seventeen Magazine to use more realistic images – telling us that teenagers love their bodies the way they are. Which is all well and good when you haven’t developed huge hips and a double chin all of a sudden. Other points raised included saying that photoshopped images are having  a worse effect on kids than drugs.  A WORSE EFFECT THAN DRUGS?! I saw an article today on the effects of meth. These crack heads would have looked way better after a bit of photoshop. 
Certain comments from adults and newsreaders in this video convince me that the world’s gone bat shit crazy. 

‘This image makes me feel bad about myself’ – your friends being hotter than you and teasing you about your lank hair is making you feel bad about yourself. The late onset of puberty, the pain in your heart, the weird hairs that have started sprouting from your belly button are making you feel bad about yourself!  Not to mention that sex tape clip you weren’t meant to see but think about everynight since. Teenagers are going to have a hard time one way or another.

Another article has come out in the UK about a girl who battled anorexia and is against photoshopping.  It had a negative influence on her and the article and news readers have tried to aim the blame at photoshopped culture. Hold on a minute...:
‘She first started developing anorexia at the age of 13 after her grandmother died and she started being bullied at school.’
Yes, your right it was all the glossies that triggered your condition. No other stress at all. 
Please don’t think that I am not sympathetic to people suffering from disorders that stem from aiming to be as glossy and perfect as the magazines but I feel that we do still need this glossy culture for entertainment at the very least! 
Maybe there should be warnings in magazines or on images but fashion is one big glamorous facade. From a photography point of view it’s incredible to be able to retouch away that nasty zit, smooth hairs and otherwise enhance – this is your work, your legacy and a published image must look its best! 

I have so much more I could say on this matter (like maybe we should deal with knife crime and public transport first) which started out as writing a Facebook status update and has ended in a 1000 word vendetta. 


This isn't even about being thin. It's about being perfect and everyone knows perfect isn't real either. 

Apologies. 
Jemima <3


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