April 2012 – I totally get this one. I do. Warped female images in the media totally mess with our minds. Trying to emulate them is incredibly unhealthy on so many levels. Blah, blah, blah … I know the theories behind what’s happening on those billboards and in those ad campaigns! And I also know of some great people fighting back. (If you’re not familiar with Beauty Redefined, check them out!) I understand all of this with my brain. But it’s still really hard not to fall into the trap. I still tend to compare myself to the mag covers, celebs, etc. It’s almost like I can’t help it. to feel it in my heart — in my core. I guess I just haven’t absorbed it all to the point that I “get” it. Does that make sense?
I’ve learned even more about the media ruse since I wrote that blurb nearly two years ago. In fact, I was able to see Lexie and Lindsay from Beauty Redefined present in person at The Togetherness Project last year, and WOW was it ever enlightening! I mean, I knew they airbrush models for magazine covers, but I didn’t realize how bad it was.
I saw a before/after shot of Faith Hill on a mag cover in which they shaved several inches off her shoulders, arms and waist, creating an image that literally could not physically exist. And this is Faith Hill, who is in amazing shape as it is. Lexie and Linsdsay call this “photoshopping ourselves out of reality.”
But what about TV? Surely that provides a clear picture of reality. NOT. The camera doesn’t add ten pounds anymore–actually it can remove weight. We now have technology called CGI that allows a technician to airbrush a person while they are moving around on camera. Brittany Spears, who has gained a few pounds in the past few years, used it for her latest music video. So while fans watch her slender figure dance around onscreen, how can they doubt it’s really her body? It’s not It’s all an illusion. (Want to see a dumbfounding demonstration? Click here or view the video clip below.)
Believe everything you see on the news? DON’T! Did you know news anchors and celebs have clauses in their contracts that disallow them from appearing on camera under certain circumstances–like poor lighting or sans makeup? Really? Even Katie Couric, who recently appeared ‘without makeup’ on camera to prove a point was likely required to have a filtered lens/lighting adjustments to help soften the blow to the audience. “Big names like Oprah and Tyra Banks almost never appear without soft lighting and a filtered lens,” says Lexie. “These days, it’s hard to look to media to ever see reality!”
It’s interesting. After I left the Beauty Redefined presentation, I felt so empowered. I thought now that I know the magician’s tricks, they won’t affect me. But I was wrong. I still find myself wishing ‘if only I looked like that …’ and feeling dumpy and inferior in the face of the images that constantly surround me. I’m working on it.
WHY? Why–if we know the images are fake and unhealthy–do we fall for it? Why do we still torture ourselves struggling toward the ‘ideal body’ portrayed in the media when we know it’s not humanly possible? It’s really sick.
Do you fall for it? Have any tricks up your sleeve to help you cope? Please share.