There's been a lot of talk lately about teaching children from a young age that the standards of beauty in magazines and media are unattainable because they are simply not real. The extent to which irresponsible journalists and sensationalist tabloids will go to edit images into anything they like is coming to light and challenging whether our ideals of beauty are even possible. With some hope this could alleviate problems many teenagers (mostly teenage girls) face with regards to self esteem and eating disorders.
I came across this link on headspace's facebook page. I think it is witty, perfectly ironic and extremely true.
This form of photo manipulation for consumerism is quite clearly obvious and irresponsible. But I take issue with advertising further. Fashion advertising (and, actually, most of advertising) all by itself is designed to specifically make you feel inadequate about yourself or your life so that you will be convinced to buy clothes, or beauty products or gadgets in order to somehow be successful and happy. This is the less obvious side of manipulation, but if you think about some of the latest advertisments you've seen, you'll find this absolutely everywhere. With the frequency that I saw them, last season I found myself wondering if Jennifer Hawkins and Miranda Kerr are the only people at all who look good in department store clothing. My ideas are substantiated in Bodies Talk, an article by Caryn Frankline written during London Fashion Week 2010.
Is it really enough to be happy to be blonde, thin, wearing an extravagant hat and gambling money on horses being mistreated?