Airbrushed photos and the myths they perpetuate

At the risk of starting myself off on another rant, I was sent a link to this photo-shopped photo of Kim Kardashian and the subsequent blog post around it and it got me thinking; why do we still accept this?  Why do women still buy magazines, look at photos like this and why on earth do women take such digitised images as their ideal role model? Any why oh why does the beauty/fashion industry still think this is acceptable, no matter what the celebrity actually thinks?

If you look at the two pictures of Kim and also the two oBritney Spears the differences between the before and after are so clear to see and to be honest the before pictures of both look more “normal” and realistic yet the image that makes it Candie'sto publication is the retouched, airbrushed one. And that is the one that women look at as their role model, that is the one that women (and men) use to judge other women by  but the image isn’t real, it doesn’t reflect what a real woman really looks like.

Is it no wonder that women of all ages have skewed ideas of what other women look like?  Is it no wonder that we all obsess over our weight, our ages, our wrinkles when we are surrounded by so-called-perfect images of celebrities bearing none of the faults that we all perceive in ourselves.

Our children are growing up with an image of the perfect woman and aspiring to look like her; they have some impossible view of what constitutes beauty, a skewed idea of how thin we should all be and a belief that beauty only exists between 20-30. And the appalling thing is that, in general, its other women in the fashion and beauty industry who perpetuate that myth.

Why are there no really good role models out there who get publicity for their talent not for how much cleavage they show? Why is the idea of an image of a strong, fit woman not mainstream instead the suggested role models are often some minor “celebrity” with no discernible talent whose photos are then manipulated to make her appear taller, thinner, curvier.  The Barbie-like image of a tiny waist, huge boobs and long hair persists years after we all thought we knew better!

There are some amazingly beautiful, fit, strong women out there and to be really honest most of them have never been anywhere near a magazine cover let alone a professional photo shoot – we should all embrace the beautiful woman (or man) that we are and understand that the images we see are not real and should not represent any kind of aspiration for us and more importantly, for our daughters or our sons.

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