Today is the second day of the Keep It Real Challenge; time to talk about how this issue affects me personally.
My whole life, I've been surrounded with girls and boys saying the same things: "I have to lose weight," "I need to to work out," "I wish my nose looked different," and especially, "I wish I looked like (insert name here)." I myself would say things like that as well. Because we were surrounded by the media yelling at us that no matter what we do we'd never reach that unattainable beauty, we all want to look a different way. We feel as if who and what we are isn't enough. The fact that young kids are exposed to those thoughts and ideas should be alarming, and honestly, people don't treat it that way.
Magazines such as Seventeen Photoshop photographs of their models, girls of only 16 and 17 years of age. I think it's shocking to think that their natural beauty isn't enough. It's sad that editors think it's necessary to change any aspect of these girls physique; they're perfect the way they are. Seventeen boasts that they include women of all different shapes and sizes, and from what I remember, they do have articles that try to appeal to all women. Their fashion articles have tips for women of all sizes: tall, short, thin, curvy, petite, full-bottomed. It's a shame that they refuse to include this mindset to the photographs as well.
I don't think a Photoshopped picture makes a difference in marketing. If I see my favorite celebrity on the cover of a magazine, I will buy it regardless of what they're wearing or what color their lipstick is; I buy it because I like her, not because of how the magazine makes her look. As a matter of fact, if I see that the magazine took their Photoshopping too far, I will be less likely to buy it. I find it offensive that they found it necessary to force an already beautiful woman into their ridiculous standards.
I’ve been using Photoshop for years and I know all the tricks of how to make myself “look better.” I won’t lie and say I’ve never taken advantage of that; I have. For my birthday last year, I had a small pimple right above my lip and I really didn’t want that coming out in all my pictures, so I took to Photoshop to fix that. My brother recently graduated, and unfortunately for him (and funny for me) he broke out the night before his graduation and you can clearly see the clump on his cheek in every single picture, including the professional ones, so I took the liberty of clearing that out for him. I think Photoshop can be a great tool if used correctly. There’s no need for my brother’s pimples to taint otherwise beautiful photographs, just like there’s no need for pimples to ruin a spread in a magazine; that’s understandable and even suggested. It’s when editors decide to change the color of someone’s skin, the shape of their nose, and the width of their legs that things go bad.
We’re all beautiful just the way we are.