As women, we are constantly on a mission to prove to ourselves that “she’s not that pretty.” It’s the Instagram filter. It’s the makeup. She’s airbrushed. No one really looks like that. We delight in seeing photos of Kim Kardashian without makeup. Every. Single. Time. We’re hard on our celebrities when we see them with imperfections, and it’s totally unfair. Kate Upton without makeup is not as hot as Kate Upton with makeup–but can you really say that you without makeup is as pretty as Kate Upton without makeup? I can’t. But still, I’m fascinated by these photos. I’m fascinated when I see these people with flaws. And I compare myself at my best to the celebrities at their worst, and it makes me feel better about myself.
We hate the airbrushing. We hate the unrealistic expectations and standards of beauty. But I’d argue that, at least a little, we hide behind it. There’s a reason why I’m not as perfect as she is. It’s her job to look that way. It’s someone else’s job for her to look that way. It’s not real.
Regardless of your feelings on airbrushing, whether you hate the negative message it sends to young girls, secretly feel comfort in the excuse it provides you, or a little bit of both, it may become a thing of the past. Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lois Capps, of Florida and California respectively, have proposed a federal bill called The Truth In Advertising Act of 2014, which calls for an end to airbrushing in magazines. The bill would ban “images that alter a subject’s height or weight and erase characteristics such as cellulite, muscle tone, wrinkles, or skin tone misrepresent and deceive people into buying products. The bill doesn’t address other aspects of airbrushing such as, say, making a sky bluer smoothing out clothing wrinkles–just as it doesn’t address magazine covers, which are protected under the First Amendment,” according to Yahoo.
The purpose of this bill is not to discourage creativity or even ban all airbrushing, but to combat the growing epidemic that is eating disorders in young women, and the outrageous statistics of women who are uncomfortable with their bodies. Fifty-three percent of girls at age 17 are dissatisfied with their bodies and 91 percent of women ages 25 and older are dissatisfied with their bodies. I’d like to know who the eff the other 9 percent are, because I’ve never met a single one.
Image via Arcsoft