I always cringe when I see my stepdaughters (ages 19, 23) reading fashion and female magazines. You know the ones–they consistently have some heroin-drug-skinny female striking a pouty pose and looking like the vast majority of the women in any society will never look like.
I recently showed one of my stepdaughters the shocking image difference between two ad campaigns featuring women in bras and panties. One company showed very thin women in lingerie, the other showed more curvaceous women in lingerie. As I discussed my shock in the difference of the campaigns my stepdaughter said … nothing. And then I knew that I had failed her as a female influencer in her life.
As someone who struggled with eating disorders when I was young, I’ve graced both ends of the spectrum in those pictures. Because of this, I was determined not to pass body image issues onto any of our three daughters. I wanted them to love themselves and their bodies without judgement–on themselves or others. However, did I fail by being too quiet about it? Should I have discussed it more?
I’m worried about our daughters–all of our daughters–and the unachievable images we give them in the media. And, if airbrushing women to be skinny wasn’t bad enough, now we’re airbrushing them to make them “fatter.”
We’ve lived with magazines and ads shaving pounds off of models for years. Now, in order to confuse our women (especially our daughters) even more, the new “editorial trend” is to airbrush celebs and models to have more curves, bigger breasts and generally appear heavier.
As far as I’m concerned, creating big boobs, little waists and curves is just as harmful to women battling body image issues as is the skinny slimming done digitally.
“The practice of airbrushing models, whether to make them look bigger and bustier or smaller and thinner, reflects poorly on the fashion industry. These techniques are all about creating an illusion and distorting reality. It sets a bad example for women watching these celebrities because now they are vulnerable to comparing themselves to highly manipulated photo art, not a real photo of a real person. Though the photos aren’t real, they have a real and tangible negative effect on women who, bombarded by these images, are led to feel they aren’t meeting up to the standards of beauty,” Jena la Flamme, founder of Pleasurable Weight Loss, told FoxNews.
Hey, here’s an idea: Why don’t we just let women look like women … no matter their size or shape? Enough of this crap already.