Lindsay Kite, Co-director of the Beauty Redefined Foundation
Source Title: “Curvy is the New Skinny, Thanks to Photoshop Phoniness”
Last Modified: 03:45 a.m. EDT, 05 May 2013
The latest trend in image alteration might surprise a few people who are familiar with the power and pervasiveness of the thin ideal. Known as “reverse retouching,” this new trend has editors now adding curves and inches in specific areas of women’s bodies to create more voluptuous figures.
But we’re here to tell you there’s nothing “reverse” about this retouching.
It’s more of the same old crap. More carefully chosen young women’s bodies that STILL aren’t quite beautiful, appealing or sexy enough for marketers. More illusions that accumulate in the public’s consciousness to form a new standard of normal and attainable for women’s bodies. More unnatural and unachievable beauty ideals for real-life girls and women to fall short of.
Here’s the deal: we’re all for breaking out of the trap of thin ideals being used to sell EVERYTHING from running shoes to fiber supplements. The endless stream of tall, thin, young, white women’s bodies dominating every type of media, from advertising to all genres of entertainment, has done more harm than doctors can measure.
We live in a culture that prizes female thinness above all else, as a key to attractiveness, health, desirability and success in every way. That same culture contributes to the epidemic of eating disorders and all forms of disordered eating, where approx. 10 million women are diagnosable as anorexic or bulimic in the U.S., with another 25 million more suffering with a binge eating disorder (NEDA, 2010).
That culture of appearance obsession that centers on thinness also contributes to the fact that the majority of women in the U.S. claim to be “disgusted” by their bodies, and where 60 percent of girls believe they’d be happier if they were thinner. That exact same body shame is a major contributor to chronic health issues like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, since one of the major reasons women avoid exercise is fear of being looked at or fear of looking fat. We’re so over the tyranny of the thin ideal.
So is Photoshopping to add “curves” a step in the right direction? Absolutely, undoubtedly, without question, NO. Here’s why.