I ran across a blog today that talked about airbrushing magazine photos. We all know it happens, so commonly I nearly browsed right past the piece, until I saw it was about Redbook magazine, and the photo in question was of Faith Hill. Wait a minute, I tell myself, I have that issue! Curiosity got the better of me, and so I stopped to read.
Faith Hill is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. She is one of those gals that men want, and women want to be. She is 39 years old, and looking better at that age than most of us will. So why oh why did Redbook feel the need to airbrush out every single thing about her that might make us think she is a day over 20?
This animation was done by jezebel.com, thanks to them for putting this in such context!!
The lines around her eyes are completely gone, her arms are suddenly stick-thin, her face is thinner, and her waist is gone, amongst other changes. Although I’ve seen what can be done, I still tend to think these photoshop jobs are usually minor things, getting rid of blemishes and such. Had Jezebel not gotten hold of the original photo, I would never have realized just how far this has gone.
We can say it doesn’t matter, but deep down I think it does. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, to find out where we stand and how we rank in the world. We probably shouldn’t, and we know this. Yet still we continue to do it. Most of us can look at the Paris Hiltons and Nicole Ritchies of the world and laugh, and know we could never look like that, even if we wanted to. It’s not realistic. They however are not the ones usually gracing the covers of the magazines the majority of American women read. Magazines like Redbook know to put strong, positive female celebs on their covers that everyday people can relate to in some way. We read the pieces and think how normal they are, how they deal with so many of the same issues we do. Then we look at the pictures, and think if they can look like that, surely we could too. After all, they are just like us…right?
It’s treading dangerous ground to make these kinds of comparisons, because as the photograph above demonstrates, what we see is not real. It’s bad enough we have a tendency to compare ourselves to people with personal trainers, personal chefs, and makeup artists. Now we have pictures so touched up we might as well just start calling them digital art, because I don’t think they qualify as actual photographs anymore. To strive to look like that is about as fruitful as wishing we could sprout wings and fly.
I’ve been pleased to see more ‘normal’ sized women featured in these magazines, but obviously the publishing industry still feels we would rather see some fictional, inhuman representation of a celebrity than the real thing. Oddly enough this is in direct contradiction to what other women have told me, and how I myself feel.
So what do you think? Is this kind of ‘art’ acceptable? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to magazine photographs? Do you see this trend changing anytime soon?