My senior year in college I did an independent class with my friend, Whitney. We developed the curriculum for our studies that quarter. The focus: The Objectification of Women in Media. We wanted to research, learn, and dig deep about what women and girls were really looking out when they looked at women in the media. Our main focus was on advertising – specifically in magazines. Jean Kilbourne was an author and filmmaker we followed; I definitely recommend reviewing her work. We went to a woman’s conference where she spoke. We did interviews, peer groups, and sessions with freshman women. We lived and breathed advertising and we learned a lot. To this day I cannot look at an ad without picking it apart.
Which is why I love this change.org petition to Teen Vogue (why is there even a Teen Vogue?) to show their models in their real form without Photoshop. They had already petitioned Seventeen magazine with this result:
“We’re really excited, because Seventeen didn’t just promise one un-photoshopped spread a month, they went even further by promising not to change the faces or body size of their models, to listen to readers’ feedback and to celebrate beauty in all of its diverse shapes, sizes and colors.”
Rock On! I love that women and girls are starting these petitions. We should live in a world that celebrates women for their real beauty. For what they look like when they wake up in the morning. For living and being proud of our curves, flaws, and differences. By having magazines print photos with models in unrealistic ways, it makes girls and women think that they will never achieve that level of beauty. The fact is they will never achieve it, because many times it is not possible. Even for the model in the photo.
We need to advertise, publish, and present images of reality. The good, the bad, and the flawed. We are all perfect just the way we are!