Haunted By Beautiful GhostsFebruary 17, 2011 1 Comment
Every day we are surrounded by the specter of beauty. With perfect faces and effortless hair, they offer to sell us cars or gum and part of us believes that we are seeing is real.
We are told that the images are retouched, as if a painter popped in to correct the shading, but much more is being done.
The more we see all these images of impossible perfection, the more it begins to look normal. Men and women feel self-conscious about their looks because they can’t compete with the models in the ads. Sociologist have theorized that some of us are no longer getting turned on by flesh and blood humans, because we have come to expect a certain level of beauty that most people can’t attain.
This is why it is so important to understand the retouching process.
A couple of years ago Ralph Lauren came under fire for photo-shopping Filippa Hamilton into a completely alien shape. In the final image, her head actually appeared larger than her pelvis.
Most work is much more subtle. These images show the original images and the final product. In almost every photo the follow changes were made:
– hair was thickened and made shiny
– pores were made smaller or removed completely
– natural redness of the eye was removed
– pimples and birth marks were removed
– make-up was retouched
– eyes were made clearer and brighter
– finger wrinkles were removed
It is shocking to see the images flip from beautiful to kinda ugly, only to realize that if these women walked down the street in their original state they would turn heads.
When pictures were leaked of Madonna before retouching, people were shocked that the 50 year old looked so different from the ageless beauty in the final product.
The gorgeous Christina Hendricks is well-known for her hour-glass figure. Women across the world wish they had her bountiful bosom and tasteful hips, not realizing that her famous shape is the product of photoshop.
These phantom people are used to extract money from our bank accounts. Perhaps this magical trench-coat can give me a tiny waist, or maybe this make-up can reverse the aging process.
In 2009, an Olay ad was banned from the UK because of excessive retouching. The Advertising Standards Authority said that it gave a “misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve.” In these pictures she does appear to be less than 6 decades old.
Of course, not all celebrities are happy with the changes. In 2003 Kate Winslet was publicly pissed about her slimmed down GQ cover. As a famously former “big girl,” she was worried about where her thighs and stomach disappeared to.
The editor of the magazine countered, saying that the issue wasn’t her weight: “We do that for everyone, whether they are a size six or a size 12. It hasn’t a lot to do with body size. Practically every photo you see in a magazine will have been digitally altered in this way.”
All of this retouching is giving fashion magazines a bad name. There has even been discussion about adding a label indicating that the image has been digitally altered. In order to forestall a public relations disaster, some magazines are cutting back on their changes. Marie Claire went one further and featured a bared faced Jessica Simpson on their cover.
Remember — these are a collection of some of the most beautiful women in the world. Their hair and make-up is done by a team of experts. They are taped into designer clothes and are striking slimming poses. The flattering lighting is designed to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. Yet they are still not perfect enough for these magazines!
We are not seeing real people. These are phantom reflections of flesh and blood women who have pores and bad hair days.
Look in the mirror and love what you see. Don’t be afraid of ghosts — if you stop believing in them they will disappear.
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