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I told you so!
skinny girls 
6th-Apr-2006 11:26 am
JKR Gryffindor
I know everyone has probably had their say on the topic of JK's views already, but I had to weigh in too.

I am regularly appalled by the... what's the word? ...Worship? of the skinny, androgenous, pre-pubecent figure. Of magazines promoting wafer-thin sexless bodies as the ideal for girls and boys to set as a goal. But it is a ludicrously unachievable goal as this ludicrous advertising demonstrates -

This is a prime example of the ridiculous Photoshopping the advertisers do on the models! The purple lines I've added as a rough estimate of where I think her body really was and you can see by the lighting changes where she was cropped.

My point being that not even the models are thin enough! They're promoting figures that cannot be achieved in Real Life as the ideal. What does this do to kids who have no idea that a figure in photo can be manipulated like that? I have seen women's ragmags simply stretch pics on actresses - widthways when they want to flail at them for being fat, lengthways if they want to point the finger at them for being too thin. Seriously WTF?

And, of course, being that wafer-thin means no boobs, so implants are required. Or, as is now the trend in Hollywood, the poor actresses who do happen to have some cleavage are getting breast reductions!! (Jennifer Connelly leaps to mind) Because the andrgenous look is what keeps them working. *head desk*

Look at photos of Marilyn Munroe - all womanly hips and breasts - she would be laughed out of Hollywood today for being horrifically fat.
Which, in my mind is silly and tragic. Women have hips. Women have breasts. They have been designed by nature (or God) to bare children and need hips and breasts to do so. Yet it is the pre-pubescent girl figure that is held up as the ideal, which I find extremely disturbing.

It's not just girls either. The ideal male must either be musclebound or boyish, both with no bodyhair (again with the pre-pubescent).

Why is this? The paedophilic overtones creep me out, and I can't help feeling it's like some weird sort of anti-promotion of sexuality - we're not permitted to show you images of sexually mature males and females because, godforbid, you might think about sex! But we want to use sex to sell our product so we'll use models who look pre-pubescent so that you don't notice. O.o *sigh*
5th-Apr-2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much for posting this and being absolutely blunt about where the picture was altered. I can no longer stomach mass-market media for the very reason you point out in the altered picture. Size is one of the most clear alterations but the reality is that it is not inches that are shaved off but anything that makes people look human rather that plastic mannequins.
My 9 yr. old son worries about being fat - this the kid who is in perpetual motion and I have to buy everything in slim sizes already because he is very wiry build.

We are leaving a very sick legacy to the next generation if we don't expose this cult continuously!

*rant over - slinks away*
5th-Apr-2006 07:49 pm (UTC)
I wish I could find this site again, where the owner showed how he altered photos to make them glamourous or better for ads. The changes he made were amazing.

Leela's right: the model in this pic is unreal.
5th-Apr-2006 07:50 pm (UTC)
I suspect the body hair thing has more to do with the get clean thing--body hair holds odor, and you know, humans are supposed to be totally odorless. Also, it absorbs light, so you can't make someone look shiny like a Greek statue. I'm not a huge fan of lots of body hair, but at the same time, the removal thing has gotten way out of hand. Going to the gym and seeing butterfly shapes made of neatly combed hair where no woman should have a butterfly shape made of neatly combed hair... eep.

Interesting analysis of the way the light was falling. Even knowing that pictures can be altered, I wouldn't have caught it because I don't observe the way light falls particularly well.
5th-Apr-2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
Totally agree with everything you said.
(Deleted comment)
5th-Apr-2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Ack. I'm glad there was nothing to link to under that "hardcore bones" shot. AAAAGH.
5th-Apr-2006 08:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's very true.

Yes, even models photos are altered. Nearly every year they do that SI Swimsuit 'behind the scenes' show. Their photos always take out an inch or so of thigh, alter the arch of the behind, etc.

I believe there has been a huge push in our culture to sexualize children (the pedophilic overtones you refer to) and the look is also a part of that. No breasts, no curves, no hair. Girls who look like boys, boys who look pretty.

When one opens their eyes to it, you can see it everywhere.
5th-Apr-2006 08:26 pm (UTC) - Agreed
I for one am not a fan of the skinny, skinny girls. I am not a "skinny" chick though. I had a photography project for a class a few months back where we had to take pictures of ourselves but not as ourselves. It seems confusing but it's not really. I opted to exploit myself in the most tasteful way possible. Since I am a woman of curves, I stepped out of my comfortable zone. My friend dressed me up as a greek goddess and took pictures of me in positions that a greek goddess would be in. I got praises in the class saying that I was brave to expose myself this way. They compared me to Marilyn Monroe and the olden days when it was a GOOD thing for women to have curves. Anytime somebody sees my pictures, they love them so yea. I'm thinkin that you're right on the cropping of the picture.
5th-Apr-2006 08:42 pm (UTC) - Re: Agreed
Go you for having the guts to do that photoshoot of yourself! :~D Marilyn is still classed as a sex-goddess, so it seems ridiculous that someone with her curves just wouldn't be taken seriously (as a model or actress) today.
5th-Apr-2006 08:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, I hadn't seen JK's comments so they were new to me, and I appreciate you leaving the link for it. I applaud what she said and she's absolutely right. And I sincerely hope that all her female fans out there (especially the little girls) see that, too.

As for the photoshopping....gaah, you're so right! They do it all the time. I even remember seeing an episode of Oprah where she showed a magazine shot of her and pointed out all the parts that some editor had 'altered' without her knowledge. I remember her being like "Look at that! THat is NOT My arm!" They had, of course, made it thinnner.

And then there was that spread that Jamie Lee Curtis did a few years ago. The one where she insisted on being photographed as she *really* was. Meaning, she posed in her every day clothes, without make up, and she specifically stated that her photos were not to be airbrushed in any way.

And the truth is? Yeah, ha ha, she looked kinda bad. But only 'kinda bad' in comparison to the faked up way they usually made her look. In reality, she looked like a normal, everyday woman. Someone you'd live next door to and bitch about your kids with. Anyways, I always thought that was really cool of her to do. Especially since there are other celebs who throw fits if you happen to photograph them from the wrong side. I guess it was her way of trying to get the message out about the 'unrealistic ideal'. Or whatever.

I used to have much more interesting things to say about this, but my sociology major seems to have faded from my brain. ;)
5th-Apr-2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, and they airbrush the models' skin so it looks flawless. Look at face of any model on the cover of a magazine - no pores. ;~P
5th-Apr-2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of the stuff media shows us about women's bodies is just scary. I remember watching America's Next Topmodel a while back, where these girls compete to become a top model. All the girls were thin in my eyes, which makes sense in the fashion industry, alas. However one of the girls got told off by 'experts' (fashion designers and such) since her clothing size was one size bigger than the rest of the girls'. My mouth literally fell open, because this was a thin girl, and yet she was told she was too 'fat' by professionals on TV. What kind of message does that give the kids these days? *shudders*
(Deleted comment)
5th-Apr-2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
It's sad what woman are expected to look like today.

I'm trying to loose weight for health reasons, and I talked to a trainer. She told me I should weigh 118 to 114 pounds. I turned to her and said "Really? because the last time I weighed 118, my doctor told me if I dropped three more pounds he'd reccommend me for eating disorder counsling."

She back tracked really quickly on my "ideal" weight but I was shocked that I was being told, by a nutritionist no less, to strive for a weight that my doctor had been concerned about!

I was watching another show and this stylist was complimenting Mary-Kate about her new "adult" figure and for "loosing the baby-fat."
This show had been taped prior to Mary-Kate (I hope that's the right onew) admitting the eating disorder but it was funny/sad to see the compliments she got before she came out with how she'd lost the weight -_-
5th-Apr-2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
I had to comment on this. I have seen people work in action to completely alter a photo...NOT BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, but because the art director or whomever tells them to. Look at any Graphic Designer's Portfolio who has done this sort of work. I have listed creepy examples:

This is one of a portfolio shot of a woman made to look younger

Here is an altered model wearing a bikini

Men are no exception!
5th-Apr-2006 10:46 pm (UTC)

And I felt guilty for airbrushing a pimple out of a shot of me once...

I loved the guy whose hair got taller. It was like he was storing extra hair under his sweater, and the photographer just unstuffed it.
5th-Apr-2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
My God, that really creeps me out! It's so disturbingly fake and unrealistic. I just don't get it at all! I guess the big question you would ask, would be: Why? Just why? Gah.
6th-Apr-2006 12:47 am (UTC)
Not to mention the issue of "body hair" and the lack of it in certain areas men have come to expect... hair that's suuposed to be there.

Once I learned a little about Photoshop I completely believed how easy it was to crop the hell out of someone.

And the sad part is that even when you say "oh, men don't want that" I don't think that is as true as it used to be. I think it's starting to rub off on them too.
6th-Apr-2006 11:09 am (UTC)
The sad part is that I think men (a number of them anyway) do want that. And so fantastic and beautiful women are overlooked because their ribs don't show.
6th-Apr-2006 01:18 am (UTC)
Urg, the girl in that pic looks really unreal -_-

May I link to this when I update my journal next time?
6th-Apr-2006 01:20 am (UTC)
Sure! :~)
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