To my dear not photoshopped comrades,
Today, I went with my mom to a store that shall remain anonymous to buy some shorts, t shirts, and swimsuits because I grew again. Unfortunately, I have learned that I need to buy swimsuits at a place with 2 criteria: 1, you can mix and match the tops and bottoms for comfort, flattery, and fit, and 2, the lighting doesn’t make you feel not as good as you know you could look.
I’m sure lots of you have had this experience: You’re in a dressing room, trying something on, and all of a sudden, you look in the mirror. For some reason, the lighting is enhancing your least flattering feature, giving you wobbly thighs or lumpy feet or 8,000,000,000,000,000 freckles or green skin or hairy ears or whatever your least flattering feature is. (Do not be ashamed of these. Every non-photoshopped person has them.) The light is almost acting like a spotlight on everything not magazine cover worthy. In 30 Rock, they called this the Grocery Store Milk Aisle Light. I call it the Bad Self Esteem Light. Either way, it captures a feeling of annoyance.
Why would a store chose to have that lighting? It does not convince people to buy stuff. I know from experience that it actually made me not want to buy stuff. I’m sure that not all of the swimsuits looked as bad as they felt, but they felt bad because the lighting made me self-conscious.
While I’m on the subject of imperfection, let me bring up the subject of photoshop. I hate photoshop. If you take a look at these websites, they show celebrities before and after photoshop. (Note: a few of the pictures show women not exactly fully clothed.)
If you don’t want to look at them all, here’s the one I find creepiest:
It’s actually quite shocking. This woman is way to old to have the “perfect” skin on the right, and honestly, even my 13 year old skin has more wrinkles than that.
I find it so awful to be living in a society where it’s not “pretty” to have wrinkles, slightly uneven skin, not super glowy skin, freckles, or basically any sign of aging or non-tonedness. I’m not saying that everyone is absolutely beautiful and stunning and should be a model. I am saying that its not right to have a society where people end up starving themselves because they saw a photoshopped model who was size 00 and wanted to look like her.
Here is an article where a size 4, 5’10, 120lbs model, Filippa Hamilton, was fired for being “too fat.” She was also photoshopped down to a creepy nib. If you don’t want to read it, here are the pictures.
On the left, there is a picture of her unphotoshopped. On the right, she is creepishly photoshopped. I think almost everyone can agree that the picture of not photoshopped Filippa Hamilton is way prettier. She was fired for being too fat.
The average American woman is not 5’10 and 120 pounds. I am about 5’5 and almost 12o pounds. I am not fat. I know lots of women and girls who are not 5’10 and 120 pounds who are not fat, including my friends, teachers, mom, aunts, grandmothers, neighbors, and friends’ moms.
If a 5’10, 120 pound, size 4 model is fired for being “too fat,” what does that do to everyone else’s self esteem?
Here’s what I think: I think it basically sucks for their self esteem. And this isn’t the only way where it’s hard to not be insanely skinny. Fashion magazines, posters in the mall, mannequins, and the internet are telling us that it’s good to be absolutely skinny and it’s ugly to not be.
Now, it’s perfectly fine to be a 5’10, 120 pound, size 4 woman. But it should also be okay to be a 5’3, 140 pound, size 8 woman, as long as it’s a healthy weight. Different people have different body types and heights, and I wish that magazines made it less taboo to have a supposedly unideal body.
It would be nice if magazines could feature all of these body types and more and not just single out the most unachievable kind.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and hopefully this gave you some food for thought.