We wanted to report on what we have always felt was a very non-chicgeek practice – that being the tendency to overly retouch photos of already beautiful women (+ girls) to make them appear almost beyond ‘humanly perfect’ (sometimes referred to as getting shooped or photoshop’d). We really feel this practice often leaves the majority of aspiring fashionistas + fabulous people out there feeling a little deflated, jaded, possibly even neurotic. And yes, while we here at chicgeek are huge fans of what software can do, we feel there is way, way, way too much photoshopping + photochopping.
And who better to back us up on this than the American Medical Association who apparently spoke out against such practices (http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/news/news/a11-new-policies.page). The AMA feels the type of message that overly retouched photos convey is bad for ones health – we personally agree. Sorry…but no matter how many hours you log at the gym, you will never be able to compete with what photoshop can do to a woman’s body in just minutes – the results can not only be disheartening but also dangerous + detrimental to young women + many others affected by such images.
“The appearance of advertisements with extremely altered models can create unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image. In one image, a model’s waist was slimmed so severely, her head appeared to be wider than her waist,” said Dr. McAneny. “We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.”
Apparently the photo of Kim Kardashian wasn’t slim enough, light-skinned enough, or smooth enough to sneak past the perfection goalie – thus the need for virtual enhancements. Keep in mind, we heard this was only discovered when complex.com accidentally published the wrong version + was not able to replace it BEFORE it got into the public’s hands! You can check out the article here.
Fortunately, Kim’s comments on the whole incident provided a breath of fresh air…she admitted she is aware of her body + proud of it! To put it as only Kim can – “So what: I have a little cellulite,” Kardashian wrote in a blog entry entitled “Yes, I am complex!” “What curvy girl doesn’t?!”
Personally, we truly feel Kim looked fab BEFORE the retouching. Now granted, we understand the need to correct for certain small details such as snags, hanging threads (I mean – the outfit HAS to be snag free unless a deconstructed vestment), but why so many other changes to the model’s bod? Right down to her skin tone?
And being chic + geek + into fashion, we really do understand how common the retouching of photos is…around every corner there awaits a photoshopportunity. perhaps there is a fine line that needs to be determined as to what is appropriate without sending a mixed message to so many susceptible viewers. Either that or a disclaimer of some sort! We just find it kind of upsetting that in an age where we are constantly being told by advertisers to “celebrate ourselves” + “feel good in our own skin” + “be proud of who we are” that the very people telling us to do so are the same ones changing the skin tone, size, shape + whatever else seems fit on some of America’s already most beautiful women. If THEY aren’t good enough for print, where does that leave everyone else? That really sends a confusing message to everyone – especially younger people. This is especially dangerous when it concerns health + fitness pubs!
We send out a big chicgeek applause to the AMA for formally recognizing + condemning what many have sensed was an unhealthy practice for so long (photoshopcrockery). We also felt that at the very least, the accidental leak of the Kim image is a healthy reminder that we are all human + that human is almost always more beautiful when it is genuine + un-retouched. Whether you are large or tiny, dark or light, strong or meek, or find yourself somewhere in-between, there is something in each of us to celebrate…and to put it bluntly, overly retouched attempts to reproduce that sentiment are fake…and fake is always, well, fake.