It’s extremely unfortunate that images of women in the media are so dramatically manipulated these days. As a result, many women grow up feeling like “beauty” is something that is less and less attainable everyday.
It’s important for women today to understand how magazines manipulate the female body to perpetuate false body images. Some women spend years chasing these unrealistic images and subjecting their bodies to a variety of unhealthy practices along the way.
Consistent media reinforcement of these false body images can have a significant impact on women’s confidence levels pertaining to their appearance. In fact, one study suggested that looking at a popular women’s magazine for just sixty minutes could serve to effectively lower the self-esteem of more than 80 percent of women.
This problem is especially exacerbated amongst young girls desperate to find their place in the world. Fortunately, something can be done about this disturbing trend, whether it’s changing your own habits so that you personally don’t buy into false body images, or you are concerned about teaching your daughter to appreciate true beauty. Here are a few key points that will help you look beyond these false body images set forth by the mainstream media:
Turn a Critical Eye
Whenever you turn on the television or open a magazine, you’re likely to be bombarded with images of women that have been altered via Photoshop. It’s important for you to scratch beneath the surface of what you’ll see from the typical media outlet. This will help you find images of real women and stop wasting your time or energy comparing yourself to an image that doesn’t actually exist.
Take Back Control
As in many situations, a healthy dose of humor can serve to put you back in the driver’s seat. Don’t be afraid to point out images that are particularly unrealistic or only serve to narrowly define beauty to one type or standard of appearance. Taking a comic stance with this image manipulation can help you stay in control.
Understand the Full Extent of Airbrushing
It’s important that you understand that airbrushing isn’t simply covering up unsightly spots or blemishes. Airbrushing can be used to lengthen legs, inflate breasts, swap heads onto different bodies, enhance cheekbones, trim waists, and much more. In many cases, so much is changed that you might not even recognize the real model if you ran into her on the street.
Be Familiar with Image Manipulation
How much do you know about image manipulation? Of course, every model has a team of stylists, makeup artists, and photographers that are working diligently to create a “desirable” image of the model they’re working with. Make sure you know how much images can be changed in post-production as well, via the use of a program like Photoshop.
Seek Positive Examples
When trying to redefine what true beauty means to you, you need to find positive examples of truly beautiful women, both in the media and in your everyday life. True beauty includes all the strengths and abilities of a woman, not just her appearance.