A common statement made by models, referring to their photos, is “I don’t even look like that!” Although there are some people who just naturally take a good picture, no one looks perfect in pictures, or real life, all the time. I debated inserting one of those videos here that shows the before and after pictures of celebrities. While pursuing appropriate videos it suddenly dawned on me how disrespectful that would be. I don’t want a terrible image of myself displayed publicly so why would I want to do that to someone else? Self esteem should not be about having to berate someone else so we can feel better about ourselves.
Having said that, it is prudent to remember that photography is an artistic endeavor and to also remember that it reflects a brief moment. Take the photo to the right. Just before the camera snapped to capture this shot Kim, the model, was laughing hysterically at me. “So… you want me to hang off the tree AND look natural? If the branch breaks don’t blame me!” Then she quit laughing, locked eyes with the camera and the moment we digitally captured does not reflect the hysterics of the moment. It’s a great shot, but it’s not reality.
Shortly after that photoshoot I was sitting in an airport when I heard someone calling out my name. I turned around to see a figure boisterously running towards me. It was the model you see here. I wish I had a photo of Kim from that day. Standing there in her Birkenstocks and pigtails she looked lanky and childlike, almost ordinary. She looked very different from the exquisitely striking six foot woman you see in these photos.
My point is to remind you that even Kim doesn’t look like that! Well… at least not everyday!
Another VERY important point to bring up here is that some photo sessions leave the realm of reality completely and head straight towards fantasy. Sometimes the fantasy is created in the shooting and sometimes it is created in the photo editing. This is important to note, because people tend to judge themselves harshly against magazine pictures that are quite often an illusion. Judging yourself against a fantasy is completely ridiculous but because the public is not aware of the level of fantasy that magazines engage in, these images can become very real.
PLEASE watch the following videos and PLEASE spread them around. They are old videos, produced in 2006 and 2009, but are still relevant and should be shared again. They depict how “fantasy models” have been created with photo editing. Truly, not even the models look like this on ANY day! They are photoshop creations akin more to manga animation than real bodies. I personally don’t understand this approach to fashion and beauty and I don’t agree with it. I believe that we are responsible for our own thoughts but this type of advertising does play havoc with our sub conscience minds by delivering subliminal messages. This type of marketing is made to keep us feeling flawed and to keep us engaged in the “beauty fixing business.” Spread these videos around particularly to young adults so they understand the unreal images they are weighing their appearance against.
We are not flawed and it is time we celebrated our uniqueness rather than aspiring to a fantasy ideal!