Saturday, 22 June 2013

When Will Girls Realise Models Are Not Real?

While it may be common knowledge that the photos we see in magazines have been edited, how many of us ladies feel disheartened when we look in the mirror and compare ourselves to celebrities and models?

Alarmingly, my friend's son (he's going to kill me for mentioning this) received a picture message last week from one of his friends. The photo was of a girl with the following text underneath, "Do you think I'm thin enough yet? I want to be much thinner."

Reading this broke my heart. Why does a 13-year-old girl feel this kind of pressure? Why does she feel it is so important to be thin?

Yet even more disturbingly, after my friend's son had reassured her that she did not need to lose any weight, her reply was, "I am not perfect I want to look as good as a model."

Without a doubt, the dreaded media's perception of what is "perfect" has tapped into a young girl's insecurities and now she is chasing the false reality of trying to look like a Victoria's Secret Angel.

Because of this - and for so many other reasons - I want to use this blog as a pedestal to spread the word that there is no such thing as perfect skin, nor does anyone have the perfect body or perfect hair. All the images you see have been enhanced, airbrushed, photoshopped and edited so much that they are completely different to the original image.

The picture below was kindly sent to me from Juliet McKee photography. After Juliet has finished Photoshopping this, the model looks a lot better. Her skin (which, before, has lines and circles like all of us) becomes flawless, while her hair becomes the most amazing shade of ice blonde. But none of it is real.

Like you, if I saw the image on the right I would think, "Wow she has got amazing skin," then pause to wonder what light-reflecting foundation she may be using. But while I am envious of her skin and fresh look, in reality the only thing which does make me envious are her gorgeous juicy lips. That's it.

juliet mckee photography
Credit - Juliet McKee Photography

Now look at the photo below. I certainly don't stand in front of the mirror posing like this (in fact, when I am in a state of undress I avoid mirrors at all costs), but I find the editing they've done to this image very subtle - in most magazines, they would have edited this model to appear slimmer. Sad but true.

If you pick up any magazine, you can see where the lines have been smoothed out, the skin is glowing like there's a beacon shining on it and the thighs will have straight sides which are impossible to have.

How many of us are chasing these impossible 'realities', desperate to achieve what we can't achieve and desperate to look like this?

photoshopped image

Now, here's three (naturally) beautiful ladies who all of you will recognise. They look stunning in these candid headshots, but take a look at how much their skin changes after it's been edited for the close ups. Have you ever seen anyone in real life with skin like that? 

Of course you haven't and you never will do. It doesn't exist. It will never exist, and I wish so much that teenage girls could see this.

models before after

This final image shows you how much editing goes into one image. A lot! 

Look how skinny her upper arms are in the after shot. Shocking!

debenhams model

As a blogger, I am all too aware that some of the things I write about can have an effect on our readers and I hope that this feature has a positive effect. Please share, show and tell any teenagers you know. 

And kids, listen up - there's nothing wrong with wanting to be fit and healthy. While she isn't a model size zero, beautiful, toned Jessica Ennis is the perfect role model, thanks to her healthy, balanced diet and incredible determination. Just remember this - a size zero figure isn't maintained if you eat the recommended daily amount of 1800-2500 calories a day and a size zero figure will most definitely put your BMI on the dangerously underweight scale. 

There's nothing cool about starving yourself. There's nothing cool about being thin. There's nothing more stupid than aspiring to look like a model from a magazine. You have the same chance of looking like a cartoon character as you have of looking like you've stepped out of a top fashion magazine.

And parents please promote to your children to have confidence in their appearance. Every time you moan about your bum looking big or your muffin top is bulging over your jeans then please think who is listening! If a child's role model, YOU, is not happy with their body shape then what do you think your child is going to do?

Teresa x