Retouched: The True Face of Hollywood (Before & After)
The True Meaning of "Picture Perfect"
We've heard it all before- that the images we see on tv, in magazines, and on billboards are altered, airbrushed, retouched -but without visual proof, this important message gets lost in the daily barrage of "picture-perfect" people we see in advertisements, movies, and music videos.
Cindy Crawford once stated that she wished she looked as good as her photos do, but now, such alteration is a given, not only in the fashion industry or advertising business, but in our everyday lives. I remember being excited over software that could remove red-eye in photographs. Today, "to photoshop" is a verb, meaning to retouch one's own photos.
- Greg Apodaca's Digital Portfolio
Amazing before and after shots of complete retouching, from shrinking the waistline to airbrushing out the pores.
Pushing Beauty Beyond the Bounds of Reality
I know more than a few women who would give years off their lives to look like the model on the site at right, never mind the final version of the photo that will be published, post-retouching. The image we are faced with in the media has been nipped and tucked and shaded and brightened and trimmed and filled out and flattened and rounded and smoothed, down to the last hair on her stomach and the veins in her hands. In the end, we see a reflection of someone not even the model can claim as her own.
The danger is clear: these are the role models we have set up to emulate. This is what we agree that beauty should look like. The problem is, that standard is unattainable, even for those held up as examples.
Retouching is everywhere. Not only models, but actors and actresses, musicians, dancers, and even news anchors like Katie Couric routinely have their photos extensively altered (see Before/After below). The allure of beauty is that it is potentially obtainable. But increasingly, we find, it is not.
Celebrities: Before and After RetouchingClick thumbnail to view full-size
"Evolution," A Video from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
There is resistance... Teri Hatcher pulling out her hair extensions during the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year 2006 Awards... Tyra Banks' "So What?" campaign... the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (see video "Evolution")... but still no national outcry.
It's up to us, to you and me as individuals, to think more critically when we look at that Victoria's Secret spread, and less critically when we look in the mirror. Gain awareness by reading books like Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth, and support body-positive companies like Dove. In the end, we'll be better people for it. And, in my opinion, that is what makes us truly beautiful.
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