Tag Archives: Models

VOD: Why Ideal Beauty is Photoshopped

Good Morning America showed this viral ad of a model being photoshopped a few days ago. The time lapse clip lasts a little over 30 seconds but you can see how one model is completely transformed for whatever campaign they plan to use the image for. It’s not just that her blemishes are touched up or maybe they add a bit of bronzer to her skin. Her eyes are widened, hair lengthened, legs and neck are extended – basically her entire body is re-done. It almost begs the question of why have a model there in the first place? It almost seems cheaper to CGI what they want.

The deeper message here is that we often hold these magazines and ads up as the epitome of beauty that we are supposed to replicate – but it’s impossible. Even the models that pose for the picture don’t meet these standards. So the real question is: why do we let images like these dictate what we think of ourselves? Let’s stop that.

What do you think of the video? Let us know in the comments below! 

Dustin Hoffman Breaks Into Tears Discussing Society’s Pressures on Women

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 10.22.16 AMThe notion of ‘beauty’ in our culture tends to be more limiting and shame-inducing than cathartic. What should be a soul-expanding experience of aesthetic pleasure gets confined to a manufactured pill box, forced down our throats by television, magazines, advertisements, the porn industry – you name it. We all suffer from this together as a society, but women, most of all, bear the brunt of the abuse.

In preparing to make the 1982 film Tootsie, Dustin Hoffman was determined to look as much like a woman as possible. If the audience had to suspend disbelief to follow the story, Hoffman explains in an interview with AFI, then it wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t until he looked at himself in the mirror, fully costumed as a female, that he realized the reality women live with every day. If Hoffman saw his female self at a party, he confesses, he wouldn’t give her the time of day. The realization brings him to tears. Take a look:

This might seem overly tidy. “Hey, Dustin Hoffman, try being a real woman for even a day and you’ll experience some truly gnarly things. And before you whine about not making an attractive woman, let’s think about what beauty really is.”

But his emotional response is more nuanced than that. Hoffman bemoans the socialized notions of beauty that kept him from approaching women who might have otherwise added to his life with wit, intellect, and grace. How many women, he wonders, did he miss the opportunity of knowing, just out of prejudice?

The question we would add to that is: Why do we as a society continue to let anything but our own hearts dictate what we find beautiful?

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Australia Releases New Code For A Healthier Fashion Industry

Yesterday it was announced that Australia is looking to take on the fashion industry to promote healthier images in the media.

Youth Minister Kate Ellis will today unveil a new body-image tick of approval, similar to the Heart Foundation’s healthy foods tick, to be awarded to magazines, modelling agencies and fashion labels that meet the following criteria: 

– Only use models aged 16 or older to model adult clothes – both on catwalks and in print.

– Refrain from using models who are very thin – or male models who are excessively muscular.

– Stocking clothing in a wide variety of sizes in shops to reflect the demand from customers. 

– Using a broad range of body shapes, sizes and ethnicities in editorial and advertising.

– Not promoting rapid weight loss, cosmetic surgery, excessive exercising or any advertisements or editorial content that may promote a negative body image.

In a world first, the Federal Government is trying to tackle the issue of body image so ordinary Australians do not feel pressured to attain unrealistic cultural ideals of beauty. Ms Ellis said she was determined to stop the glamourisation of unhealthily thin women, which has been blamed for children suffering eating disorders.

"Body image is an issue that we must take seriously because it is affecting the health and happiness of substantial sections of our community," Ms Ellis said.

News.com/AU

Along with these new suggested guidelines, the Australian government is contributing $500,000 to The Butterfly Foundation, an eating disorder support group, to create new education programs. The government has also committed to training 2,500 educators in the fields of positive self-image, self-esteem as well as media literacy to talk to thousands of students, ages eight to eighteen.

And what a breath of fresh air! Although over the years Europe has been talking about banning too thin models and siting photoshop work done in magazines, it doesn’t seem that much has changed. But with two of the biggest Australian publications- teenaged aimed Girlfriend magazine and Australian Women’s Weekly– already agreeing to and endorsing the new code, hopefully the encouragement of more natural body images will spread globally and lead to a healthier future for women. 

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