Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Body image, or why women feel fat no matter what we do

I saw an excellent video today that reminded me why I will probably never look in the mirror and see what I think I should see; in our culture, women in photographs aren't real. They've been edited, polished, thinned out and turned into something very unrealistic; we see these photographs every day, and they influence our perceptions.

The picture on the left is me. Today. As I really look.

The picture on the right has been photoshopped, following the guidelines used for publication. I've been smoothed, my legs have been lengthened, my bust-line is perkier and my waist is thinner. My wrinkles have been touched up, my lip-line redrawn, and my hair is a bit fuller. My neck is longer and thinner; my arms are slimmer. I didn't spend a ton of time on the retouching, so it's not perfect, but you get the idea.

I'm not real anymore, but most people would say I look a lot better.

I will never look like that in real life, no matter how much weight I lose, no matter how many weights I lift. There is simply no way to make my legs get 30% longer. But it's what we see in every magazine, it's how we grow up thinking we should look, and when I looked at it, even I thought, "Yes! That's how I should look."


Not, not, not, not, not.


BooBeads said...

Cindy I thought the original looked 100% better actually!

You look great :)

I've never been one that thought everyone needs to be a stick though.

Even myself- I need to lose quite a bit of weight myself but I wouldn't never get down to the suggested weight for my height. I think I would look a bit sickly!

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Cindy, the real you looks healthy and fit, vibrant...the "should be" you..."Should not"...looks like a Barbie doll...and we know how real that is...NOT!

Bianca Velder said...

My niece has gorgeous coffee coloured skin, courtesy of indian and swedish parents and she feels she is ugly due to all those dang girl magazines.

All those expectations and struggle, I like what you have done here to show the fallacy. Whilst I look at Kylie Minogue on the televisoin with a botoxed forehead and no expression at all. It is freaky what we do to ourselves.

Shame photoshop can't manipulate a better voice though. Meow.