Friday, May 14, 2010

On Airbrushing..

Britney Spears has certainly lived out a few ups and downs in the public eye, but over the past year or so, she has remained relatively under the radar. Think what you want of Britney--this isn't an opinion piece on the life and times of Miss Spears; the purpose of bringing her up is to highlight something that she did recently that will hopefully impact many women all over the world.

So what did she do? She shot some photos for Candies, a clothing/shoe brand, as part of their new ad campaign-- and allowed the brand to release the un-airbrushed photos alongside the digitally altered photos so that we could see the differences that exist between these photos. In a society where unrealistic standards of beauty continue to be perpetuated, this act is a breath of fresh air in that it provides women of all ages a very clear example of the way that what we see is not always real! For a culture (ours) that exalts the beauty we see in print ads and pictures in magazines, it is pretty disturbing that most of these images have been doctored and are not representative of reality. I think on some level we may realize this, but seeing it really drives the point home.

Let me just say... Britney looks great in both photos. While the difference in the two pictures is very small, it is important for women to see that even Britney Spears has a little bit of cellulite. Does that keep her from being beautiful? No! Does that keep her from being successful? No way! So then why is it that we are prone to think that a little cellulite can keep us from being good enough? Or beautiful? To view the pictures of Britney before and after, follow this link. Scroll all the way down to see both pictures. I wish I could post them on my blog but I'm too tech-unsaavy to figure out how to do it :-).

Celebrities acknowledging and releasing un-airbrushed photos has become somewhat of a trend lately- Kim Kardashian, Kelly Clarkson and Faith Hill have all spoken out about the way their photos have been altered in print. I think the take away point here is that we have to be discerning about what we see. When we see pictures in magazines (etc), we must remember that what we see is not always what is real. Considering how much value we often attribute to these images and the lengths to which so many of us go to in order to look like these women (and their bodies), ... it is a real wake-up call, since even they do not have these bodies! We might say that our culture has created an unattainable ideal of beauty, but just to be clear, it is actually unattainable! It is manufactured via photoshop! While it is pretty difficult to avoid these images, I would urge you to view media with discerning eyes because what we see is not representative of reality. So next time you are flipping through a magazine, just remember that what you are seeing is more than likely not an accurate representation of women, beauty and bodies.

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