This Newsweek article was one of the main stories on MSN.com on Friday. It is about the trend toward excessive manipulation of celebrities’ photos in magazines. I am partially at a loss of words. Yet, at the same time, I have so many words that want to come out I don’t know where to start. I didn’t really know about magazine airbrushing until Rob told me early on in our relationship. Initially, I didn’t really believe him. I was completely unaware of that form of computer technology. Also, I really thought that people made it into magazines because they were physically perfect and free from flaws. If that weren’t the reason, why was one person picked over another? Couldn’t anyone be morphed to fit the parameters?
Women used to squeeze themselves into corsets in order to fulfill a contrived, and otherwise unachievable, silhouette. As distorted as that image was, women actually saw other everyday women using corsets and joined the trend. Today, I don’t bump into celebrities in my daily life. I also don’t subscribe to any fashion magazines. Yet, I still run into magazine covers at the grocery store and billboards along the roadside. I see women whose bodies come in shapes and sizes I will never see in the mirror. Until now, I thought that magazines would simply airbrush out a blemish or smooth over some wrinkles. In fact, they actually lengthen torsos, slim arms and legs and augment breasts.
Why do we let this continue? Computer generated bodies will never be attainable with healthful eating and exercise. If you are frustrated with media images of illogical bodies, send an email to the company that is paying for the advertising. Or, cancel your magazine subscriptions and boycott the companies that use these disfigured images. Beauty does not appear when flaws are removed; it emerges when we love bodies and everything that makes them unique.