Today I came across an illuminating article in the Daily Mail online (yes, yes alright, it’s my guilty pleasure. I love to hate it.) Obviously I work in the industry and am all too aware of the level of retouching involved in every shoot that takes place. No-one is left un-retouched anymore. But even I get sucked in when I see perfect images of beauty plastered across fashion magazines. It’s hard not to. We are hard-wired to believe what we see with our eyes, our brains are very easily tricked.
So the next time you’re having a bad hair day / bad face day / fat day, just take a moment to remind yourself that you can’t possibly live up to these images of beauty BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT REAL! Far better to build up a robust sense of self and one’s place in the world than agonize over the size of one’s thighs / drooping eyelids / frizzy hair. Easier said than done I concede, but nonetheless, absolutely imperative for a happy life.
Let’s just take a look at La Moss (who, I might add, I absolutely love. She has always been one of my favourite models for myriad reasons, and I think she’s looks amazing in the before picture, but this is just to illustrate my point…)
This is real-life Kate un-retouched, looking like a sexy 30-something woman. A few wrinkles, a few furrows, all normal stuff for a woman of her age.
This is Kate in a Spring 2011 Longchamp campaign. Perfect. Flawless. Eternally youthful. And I wonder, how many of us would actually like to see Kate in the Longchamp campaign looking exactly as she does in real life? Do we prefer her to appear supernaturally immaculate? Is there some part of us that takes a perverse pleasure in mentally comparing ourselves and endlessly falling short?
One of the first things that women (models not included) usually say to me when they sit in my make up chair is “Sorry Aly, you’ve got a right old job on your hands here!”. It never fails to amaze me that the very first thing a woman will do is put herself down. I think it’s almost built into our collective female psyche to self-flagellate. And dare I say it, I think we sort of enjoy it. If you were in charge of the world, would you ban retouching altogether?
I’d love to know what you think about this.
You can read the full Daily Mail article here.