I spend a lot of time on Tumblr because it’s a happenin’ place.
Last night these photos were in my feed.
At first I thought, “Wow. Look at these beautiful swimsuits and these beautiful women modeling them. I’m so happy to have some body diversity up in here!”
Then I looked closer.
BEFORE I GO ANY FURTHER WITH THIS POST I WANT TO STATE THAT I THINK THESE WOMEN ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.
I’m upset that I have to use their bodies as Photoshop examples, but I think what I’m going to say is important for ALL women.
The above photos are from Monif C, an online retailer “that offers designer plus size clothing for modern and confident plus size women.”
Unfortunately they have been caught red handed by ME for photoshopping cellulite off their beautiful models.
How can I tell they used Photoshop?
Well, for those who don’t want to just “trust me” from a few pixelated images (even though I can CLEARLY tell the smoothing tool, surface blur and other photo manipulation tools have been used on these women) I will offer you another, probably better, example.
Here is a picture of model Denise Bidot in an advertisement for Monif C Swimwear.
Here is an ACTUAL picture of Denise Bidot.
What I am pointing out is not that Denise Bidot has cellulite, but the fact that Denise Bidot does NOT have cellulite in the advertisements.
Monif C, a plus size fashion retailer, is guilty of using the same played out tactics to sell women unattainable beauty standards that we’ve been seeing for years.
I’m torn because this store sells really cool clothing to women who, until recently, didn’t have access to these fashions as they weren’t made in their size, so for that, I applaud them.
But that’s where my applause stops.
Let me show you an example on the completely other end of the spectrum.
This is model Karlie Kloss.
This photo was printed in the magazine Numero.
Now here’s the REAL Karlie Kloss.
What do all of these photoshopped images have in common?
(Jeopardy theme playing in background)
They tell viewers that cellulite isn’t beautiful…that ribs aren’t beautiful!
THAT WOMEN’S REAL BODIES AREN’T BEAUTIFUL.
These magazines and these online retailers are using bodies that AREN’T EVEN REAL to sell you things.
KARLIE KLOSS AND DENISE BIDOT DON’T LOOK LIKE THAT!
And neither do any of the other millions of women we see in mass media every year, brainwashing us into feeling bad about our own bodies
I’m just….so…..tired of it.
WE ARE ALL GREAT!!!
DON’T YOU GET IT?
We need to start having real representation of women in the media, not just some “idea” of beauty setting the standard for us all to aspire to.
Let’s make #LOVEYOURCELLS a trending hashtag on Instagram and Twitter!!!!!!!!
Cindy Crawford once said, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford,” when referring to her image portrayed in the media.
I recently found this unphotoshopped image of model Brittnee Blair on Tumblr.
Now THIS is a step in the right direction!
I want to buy what she’s selling!
If I have a daughter I want her to be able to open a magazine without feeling ashamed of her body. I want her to see other women that she can relate to, whether she is fat OR thin.
As it stands right now? There’s no way in hell I’d ever let her near a Vogue.
But if we could just remove the computerized perfection…If we could just see bodies for what they really are…bones, fat, flesh, skin…
Last summer I did a photoshoot at the beach, but never posted the photos because you could see cellulite on my butt.
Well, I put everyone else’s body under a microscope, so here’s mine.
(you might not see much, but I was very upset about my body when I first saw this…remember, we all have our “stuff”).
But shit, look how much fun I’m having!!!!!
So Dear Monif C, I challenge you to do what Modcloth did and sign the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers.
What is the Heroes Pledge for Advertisers you ask?
Here are the direct quotes from their Pledge Form, which I personally signed this morning!
Recognizing the part we can play in protecting children from the effects of “photoshopped” ads, we/I sign the Truth in Advertising Heroes Pledge agreeing:
1. To do our best not to change the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical features, of the people in our ads in post-production.
2. That if we do materially change* the people in our ad(s), we will add a “Truth In Advertising” label to these ads to ensure consumers, in particular children and teens, do not confuse an advertising “ideal” with what’s real.
3. Not to run these ads in media where children under 13 might see them.
* Material change means only changes to a person’s shape, size, proportion, color, removal and/or enhancement of individual features. If you want to Photoshop a blue sky bluer; clean up a fly-away hair; fix a dog’s smile…have at it; because no harm results.
Come on Monif C…YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And on that note, I leave you with this :)
Great post, Dana. Keep people aware of who we are and what we really look like and feel.
I LOVE YOU GRANDMA!!!!
Thank you so much for taking a stand! I grew up in an age where you HAD to look like those models and now suffer from terrible, self-degrading low body image self-esteem as a result. Realizing that this is an issue for me, I have worked VERY hard to be sure that my 20 year old, plus-size daughter does not suffer as I did. I really appreciate your cause and will be sure to share this post with her!!
I’m sorry it took me so long to reply to this. This comment made me feel so amazing and I just want you to know that. Sounds like you’re doing an amazing job with your daughter, and thank you for sharing this post with her <3
Very inspiring. I stumbled across your blog by accident, and I’m so glad I did. It’s the highlight of my day when I get an email with a new post. It also helps me with my own body issues….YES as a woman on the thinner side, I have them too! We all do!
Megan I’m so glad you found my site! Thank you for taking the time to write that. Feels so great to know this!!!!
I was just thinking about this today. I recently saw a new campaign of bathing suits from Gabi Fresh on instagram and she look flawless and without any cellulitis! I’ve a very good knowledge of Photoshop so I immediately knew they have used some tools to modify her skin. Felt a little bit disappointment, because they are supposed to be selling the idea that you should feel good about you body, but they use Photoshop for your catalogues and the models looks curvy but without any imperfection …Sorry, but that’s not real and it means they are as any other fashion brand :/
Exactly!!! I’m glad there are others out there who “get it!” I’m so happy you’re one of them!!!!! Thanks for pointing out Gabi Fresh. I hadn’t seen it before but as soon as I looked i had the same disappointment as you :(
Thank you so much, not only for pointing out that photoshopping people’s fat is wrong, but also to show the “skinny” side of that. Sometimes social media focuses too much on that magazines shouldn’t photoshop to make models look thin. Well, for some of us, who have a high motabolism, that can feel really offensive, and it is awesome to see you show that there is actually a problem on the other side too. We should all accept our body and be happy with it, no matter if it has fat or not, and remember that our weight does not define us, it is what we think about it, that does. People are not fat, they HAVE fat, and that is ok! Thank you!
aww Charlotte, thank you so much for taking the time to write that. I have a friend who is the same…high metabolism…and even she deals with body image issues. It’s a universal feeling that all women need to join together to fight <3
Hello, just come across your blog! Only read two posts so far but I’m loving it so far. Settling down to some serious reading. I’ve TERRIBLE body image issues and, I can’t work out why I can’t get rid of them. I know you are not defined by any one thing, certainly not your shape, and yet…this nags away at me all the time. I’m an intelligent, happy, confident woman and yet, sometimes I’m crushed by my body issues. Sad. I just decided to sign up for online dating and that has thrown the whole thing into the spotlight, you are defined/categorised by exactly that kind of thing and, searching through the profiles, honestly, 90+% of them men say they want a slim woman and some have even put their upper weight limits. It’s funny though because the weights are so off, it’s like…if you had a woman who was that height and that weight, she would be SERIOUSLY underweight and quite likely anorexic. But these ideas are being informed and cultivated from somewhere…..
Anyway, I think I’m going to love this blog.
Oh yeh, I’m planning on featuring myself on my blog more and more (I had started to on my old blog and was finding that it was really helping with my image and acceptance of myself) and, I certainly won’t be photoshopped – coz I can barely use it!
I’m not sure that I disagree with getting rid of a little cellulite though, you know, or a spot here or there. I suppose the difference is where to draw the line. I think that post production on photos fullstop (and all these filters etc) is odd, and I think if we accept that it’s okay to change the intensity of the colour of the sky, to alter the truth, then….hmm. I dunno. It’s a complicated matter.
Sorry for the essay! And thank you for the post.
I was just making these very same comments on a website – complaining that there is no way these beautiful women don’t have cellulite at the size they are. I started getting it around size 9 (140 lbs) and it got worse and worse. I’m currently an 11/12 and my thighs look like a bag of marbles. I am eating healthier as I’m getting older and it is improving – but lets all get real. Skin is NEVER smooth and there is nothing wrong with showing the truth of what we all look really look like in magazines. Love this and shared it on my Facebook page! The fight goes on for self acceptance and to make changes in the advertising world. I’d bet a company would get TONS of new customers if they got honest in their advertising.
It is really incredible that you point out in this post not only the use of Photoshop to make women appear thinner and more toned, but also to make women who are thin look less more full. I find it outrageous that images used in media and advertising set standards that literally no person of any body type is able to meet. This unobtainable projection is exactly what causes body image distortion especially in young girls. You reinforced the distorted perception even more when you included the quote from Cindy Crawford, stating that she wishes her body looked like Cindy Crawford’s. Her very own body that is portrayed in media is not even obtainable for her, which is a very powerful message. I have never heard of the Heroes Pledge For Advertisers perviously, but it is exactly what we need in order to start sending positive messages that all people of all shapes, sizes, and colors are beautiful.
Yay! I’m so glad this post resonated with you! Thank you for commenting, and you’re absolutely right that we need to start sending positive messages in media! One day!!!!! Sending you love and light from NYC, and thank you again for taking the time to comment my dear!
Been checking the pics on their Facebook page. You’ll find two different having the same body… They are selling lies…