The first decade of the 21st century was apparently the decade of Photoshop. Here, Newsweek magazine takes us through some of the decade's most egregious Photoshopping as applied to women's bodies.
We know this kind of overzealous retouching happens, of course, but seeing it drives home the point: When it comes to women's bodies, our culture is seriously fucked up.
Because really, who is the Photoshopping for? Do men really prefer women who look like praying mantises to women with, well, normal proportions? Or is it women who judge one another (and ourselves) so harshly that we demand an unattainable beauty ideal for ourselves, damn it?
Well, neither. You know who loves images like this? Advertisers. Media advertisers. They're the ones trafficking in fantasies. And what is an unattainable beauty idea if not a fantasy?
So how can we respond? We can boycott the offending advertisers. We can consciously look at slideshows like this, reminding ourselves that the images on the left are not any less beautiful than the ones on the right that have been retouched. Au contraire--in pretty much every case I find the unretouched image far more powerful and moving than the ridiculously overdone fantasy on the right.
**Thanks to Christen Brandt for finding the slideshow!