|(here's the post)|
Furthermore, criticism of excessive photo editing has long-warned of the potential influence such images have on many young people. Considering how much of magazines' consumer base is made up of young women in the 15-25 age bracket, how dangerous is it to present an image of idealized unattainable perfection that doesn't actually exist. The flaws and faults and mistakes of fashion photography -- or really, of photography in general -- could be what makes an image actually amazing and inspiring. And it could be what makes a little girl realize that her big nose or her asymmetrical ears or her curves are the most beautiful thing about her.
At the end of July, the UK was in the news for banning advertisements that have been deceptively over-edited. Notably, L'Oréal's Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington ads (for Lancôme and Maybelline respectively) were refused face-time for being excessively air-brushed.
|(Julia Roberts' ad campaign for L'Oréal's Lancôme, via The Guardian)|
I, for one, believe we've lost some perspective here. As I already said, I believe there is extraordinary beauty in the flaws and the mistakes--both the ones we are born with or develop due to life, and the ones that occur by chance because a photograph captures what happened. Often, with photography, my very favorite elements in an image are those "moments" around the subject - the what-just-happened-to-occur-or-be-there.
And beyond the shameful modification of the art itself, the distortion of reality that has become increasingly commonplace in some advertising and even editorial media carries, as I've said, potentially dangerous implications. How about this 2009 Ralph Lauren ad campaign (left) image of model Filippa Hamilton, beside a catwalk snapshot of her "real" body:
Remember when Madonna's pre-Photoshop Dolce and Gabbana campaign images were leaked last fall?
|(both Madonna images via here)|
As one comment on the GFY post points out, "All I can see are those little spaces between Chris [Colfer]’s legs and Heather [Morris]’s legs that are a totally different colour than the rest of the background. Why are magazines getting worse at Photoshop rather than better?" How did that slip through?! Shouldn't someone get fired or at least dinged in their HR file for an oversight like that?
I know this is an unusual post for me here on Owlet, as I generally like to keep it light and even silly. But I am a lover of fashion and all things media, and I hold a Master's degree in print and multimedia journalism, and I am profoundly disturbed when I see things like this. On the other hand, I am profoundly encouraged when I see these things called out. So to the UK and to GFY and to all the others who have called these outlets and advertisers to task, I say Hear! Hear! We need to hear more of this outcry.
What do you think?