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Monday, May 10, 2010

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

This is an airbrushed photograph for a Ralph Lauren campaign. The woman in the photograph is not really that skinny, as you can see in the contrasting photograph. The ad campaign apparently needed airbrushing because the model "wasn't skinny enough".

Airbrushing is a scary thing. It can create a bust, reduce a curvy bottom, get rid of a slightly protruding stomach or erase cellulite. Not only that, it can erase acne, crows feet, skin imperfections, remove freckles and shape eyebrows.

I'll tell you, finding out all this made my eyebrows raise a tad.

But, that's not all, it can also re-shape jawlines, add cheekbones, whiten teeth and the white of the eye, change nose shape, sculpt hair, slim the waistline and remove splotches, jowls, under eye bags and raise eyebrow height.

After these "before" pictures were accidentally released untouched, there were gasps and disdain towards Kim Kardashian for what appeared to be... CELLULITE!!


Call out the National Guard!!!

Go to code red!!!

In response, Kim Kardashian said "So I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn't?"

Nowadays, people often see a picture in a magazine and take it on face value. Photographs are not what they appear, and are becoming more extravagantly airbrushed as time goes on.

For example, Faith Hill is a naturally beautiful woman. Why do they feel the need to give her the Barbie treatment?

So many times I have heard other women say "oh, I wish I looked like that" when they see a picture of a celebrity in a magazine.

Perhaps they don't realise that these celebrities don't exactly look like that either.

With professional hair, makeup teams, wardrobe consultants, skin technicians, personal trainers, professional photographers and the magic of airbrushing (or some might say, Photoshopping), you would probably look pretty amazing too.

This is not an exercise in cutting tall poppies down to earth. Actors, models, you name it, they have natural beauty and their own uniqueness.

The purpose of this article is actually the reverse - for ordinary women and men to realise that they don't have to be perfect to be attractive. Our expectations of how people should look have reached new heights.

Stars get cellulite, acne, bad hair days and baggy eye days just like everyone else. It's just that we can't see it under all the airbrushing. Some celebrities probably look at their own publicity photos and say "why can't I look like that" when they have just crawled out of bed in the morning.

The debate about airbrushing has caused such a furore that French Elle Magazine has opted to grace their cover with stars without makeup and no airbrushing as a backlash against this worrying trend.

The women featured are shown as who they are.

Sans airbrush.

Perhaps one day we will be kind to ourselves and enjoy being who we are. Without expectations.

Recommended reading:

The Beauty Myth
Succulent Wild Woman


  1. I've noticed that many models have had their dimensions changed - stretched vertically in Photoshop, so that they appear to be 7 feet tall.

  2. I know what you mean. Some of these pictures make me feel short...
    And I'm quite tall...

  3. I learned a long time ago that these perfect people are not that perfect. It is shameful how the world views these beautiful pictures and then looks down on the average person who in there own right are very beautiful without all that airbrushing and makeup madness.

  4. @TheFlyOnTheWall - This is so true, it's one thing to compare yourself to a beautiful person in real life, but we are comparing ourselves to images of people that only exist in a photoshopped fantasy world.


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