February 21st, 2007

vibrant blue berries

Now I'm just ranting.

Models are dying after subsisting on tomato-and-lettuce diets, but us Western women think we're fat unless we look like them.

I can't think of a better way to say "your diet is extreme" than dying from it. Why do I want so badly to look like that? It's inappropriate, and I know it, but I want.

Then there's the topic of Photoshop. There's a billboard I pass every day, with a before-and-after picture of this woman. The pictures are uncannily similar, which makes sense, because it isn't actually a before-and-after transformation at the spa. What happened is someone took a photograph of this woman in bad lighting looking all ugly, photoshopped in her makeup, colour-corrected her skin, digitally removed her blemishes, changed her hair colour using a paint tool, and now they're trying to pass it off as a good makeup-and-hair job at the spa.

There isn't a shred of reality in that picture. She's been so digitally altered she's more an illustration than a picture of a person, but they're trying to tell you that you can look like that... after you've forked over the money.

I hate it when beauty photographs have been digitally altered so as to look perfect, because then every woman who doesn't understand the concept of digitally altering photos will wake up, looking all ugly after a night in the sack, bed hair and bad lighting that is the bathroom, sigh at herself in the mirror, and tell herself she's ugly because she doesn't look like Kate Moss.

They prey on us. They prey on our insecurity. They tell us, like abusers tell their battered partners, that nobody will love us unless, that we're worthless because, that our feelings of emptiness and nagging anxiety are because we aren't pretty enough, thin enough, or talented enough.

The sick part is that we buy it.

I wonder how much of womens' obesity could be traced back to depression regarding body image? We're killing ourselves both ways, with our depression and our obsession. But how hard it is to let go of the idea that our "beauty", in some way, reflects our worth as a woman. We fail to see our real beauty. And it's tragic.