Real Life is Unretouched

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Feby is a huge fan of  the Keep It Real Challenge in partnership with Spark SummitI Am That Girl  and Endangered Bodies .  This is what feminism is, women helping other women.  This speaks to me on every level; as a woman, wife, mother, sister, consumer, thinker.    It started out with a 14 year-old girl, Julia Bluhm who launched a petition through change.org to get Seventeen magazine to use one real, unaltered photo spread per month. She wanted to see real girls like her and her friends reflected in the pages of the popular magazine. The petition has 83716 signatures as of today.  Julia was invited to meet with the editor-in-chief Ann Shoket but did not get a commitment to stop the photoshopped and airbrushed ways. This is unfortunate.  So together with  Women showing other women how they are being manipulated, degraded and damaged by pictures in magazines that are digitally distorted and as a result, so is our consciousness (sub or otherwise) of what beauty is.  The best part of this campaign is that it offers a solution to the problem; contact the magazines guilty of mass fraud and call them out on their practices.  Use social media to ruffle the sails of traditional media.  The plan of attack occurs over three days.  Yesterday was the first day and participants were  encouraged to tweet to editors of popular culture and beauty magazines using the hashtag #KeepItReal. @Febytweets proudly joined the trending movement on twitter:



On the second day we are to blog (which is what you’re reading now) and here are some excellent ones around the web; Peace & Love KaleidoscopeBig Fat Feminist and Small Strokes Fell Big Oaks.

Tomorrow we are urged to take pictures of what real beauty is using Instagram.

I agree that this photoshopping crap has to have a line – pun intended – drawn on the screen.  At it’s core photoshop and other programs are fantastic graphic design tools that make it possible for the creator to follow his imagination.  Problems occur when that imagination is targeted on distorting the images of girls and women to a point where the majority of the image is now forgery, usually in the goal of selling a product that purports to make such perfection possible.  It’s fraud served up straight.  For those of you not familiar with what photoshop can do, check out this video   The Photoshop Effect To make matters worse these images are force fed to a young female audience by magazines that claim to be ‘for’ them and yet because their readers can never attain the fake ideals they presented in their pages,  girls are prone to depression, dieting, low self-esteem and eating disorders.  Doesn’t a magazine have the responsibility to represent its readers in a realistic and positive manner?  Call me naive but one would assume its mission statement is to empower and enlighten and entertain its readership ( or something similar) NOT to intimidate, bully and delude them. At this time mass media is the biggest bully around and it is invariably young girls who are the victims.  The statistics are frightening;

     “32% of teenage girls admit to starving themselves to lose weight”

                        ”The number one  magic wish for young girls age 11-17 is to be thinner.”

             “3 out of 4 teenage girls feel depressed, guilty and shameful after spending 3 minutes leafing through a fashion magazine.” 

There are so many important elements of being a living and breathing human being; how we feel, what we think, what we say, what we do that are far more compelling than how we look.  Yet because we are women we are trained and manipulated to feel less than whole if we are not impeccably toned, groomed, dressed, accessorized, coiffed and made-up.  Sadly,  the contents of most magazines focus on esthetics and how to achieve the best possible you , on the outside.  The advertisements between such articles show beautiful women with extremely long eyelashes pitching mascara and yet the photo of the models’ eyelashes are digitally enhanced.  Or we see perfect skin on a pretty girl who in real life has pores and freckles and blemishes, even when wearing the foundation being featured.  How is this even legal?  Why are we selling impossible ideals to young women?  It can only serve to harm their self-confidence, self-esteem and general well-being. So, we implore all the editors and staff at womens magazines to stop or reduce the amount of digital interference on the images on their pages, to reflect their readers in a realistic light and not sucker them with falsification.