“This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty.”
I watch a lot of fashion/modeling-related television, and I have to say often times the retouching on models is frightening. In episode 3, cycle 3 of America’s Next Top Model the models had a portrait taken and they were judged based upon how much retouching they required. The video below is a montage of the retouched/natural photos from the shoot:
At 1:13 the model was retouched to look more ‘white’- or at least less ‘black’. At 1:33 another model’s puffy eyes are reduced and 1:43 another girl’s moles were taken away. All of these models are beautiful women, moles and all. Tyra is always telling them how beautiful they are, what special girls they are, but then their photos are retouched. You would think that since this episode happened that it would have made some kind of difference in future seasons. Nope. They are on cycle 17 and as airbrushed as ever. Even the plus-size models they have had on the show were retouched to look thinner.
What does this mean for millions of young girls who grow up bombarded by these images? I can’t tell you how many models on ANTM have confessed to eating disorders or other forms of self-harm because of their body image. As I grow older and am thinking more about having children, I worry more and more about how I am going to handle these issues.
I don’t have any real answers to these questions. Perhaps there is no right answer.
How do you change societal standards of beauty?