Airbrushed models perpetuate impossible beauty standards

As I breeze through the magazine aisle of my local supermarket, I see people across magazines who appear absolutely perfect.

The women on the covers have long and luscious hair, full lips, clear skin, thin arms, large breasts, tiny waists, and nice, even hips. The men are tanned and toned, with large muscles, perfect hair, great eyebrows, and even skin tones.

Everyone appears to have super-human looks, whether they are on the front of a fitness or a beauty magazine, or almost any other.

It’s true that men and women feel that they cannot live up to the standards that celebrities hold. But we need to realize two things: 1.) These people can afford personal trainers and special cooks and 2.) Photoshop, makeup and hair crews, and airbrushing are in constant use among magazine editors and photographers.

Most of what we see in magazines and movies is completely distorted.

Most of us know that what we see in the media is retouched, but I don’t think many of us know how much Photoshop is really manipulated. It’s not used simply to make men and women thinner and more toned, but it is also made to make those who are “too thin” appear larger.

It is used to make those with light skin tones tanner, and those with darker skin tones “whitewashed.” Buttocks that are too small are made slightly larger and ones that are too large are made smaller.

Women’s arms are made thinner — even one-third smaller on arms that are already considered to be “in shape,” while men’s arms are made more muscular and more defined.

Cellulite, brushes, scars, marks, aging spots, wrinkles, under-eye shadows, dimples, lines, cuts, scrapes, crow’s feet, and even laugh lines are removed from the faces and the bodies of the people portrayed on magazine and movie covers.

Eyes are made larger, waists are brought in smaller than most possible standards, hair is lightened, thickened or thinned, and made longer or shorter, backs are toned and smoothed, and body parts are shortened or elongated.

By having magazines portray people in such a different way than they are, they are teaching people everywhere that they will never be beautiful naturally. It is no longer about embracing your natural beauty, but rather about doing everything you can to look more like somebody else.

It is really sad that children everywhere are growing up with the belief that they will never look good enough and that they will never hold a candle to celebrities until their skin, hair, face, and body is glowing in perfection.

No one who is middle age is naturally wrinkle-free. It’s just not possible. But because of the media and advertisements, people of all ages tend to feel that in order to be “sexy” and “healthy” they have to look like life-sized versions of Barbie and Ken dolls.

Until the media stops digitally enhancing the looks of famous people, both with and without their permission, people will continue to hate themselves for the way they look. There is nothing wrong with a little wrinkle or cellulite here and there, and there is certainly nothing wrong with being thin, curvy, or big if that’s the way your body is without manipulation.

Make up is one thing, but distorting someone’s looks is another.  Making people look unnatural and even inhuman is wrong and never will it be the right thing for the people in the photos or for those admiring them.