More airbrushing nonsense

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Advertisers certainly don’t want to give up the power to screw us over without us knowing.

Ralph Lauren imageFollowing an earlier article I wrote on the subject, I was pointed at this article by a Second Cherry reader, about a campaign to have digitally altered images labelled as such.

It is only a shame that, as usual, the moves to force the use of more realistic imagery of women in advertising are so heavily blocked by corporate interests. 

It is principally by making women feel dissatisfied with themselves, after all, that the fashion and beauty industry can continue to sell us products we don’t actually need, and they have billions of dollars invested in making us feel crap. 

Mentioned in the article is the incident last October when Ralph Lauren attempted to take down bloggers who reproduced the ghastly ad shown at top left (in which the model’s pelvis had been photoshopped to be smaller than her head). Ralph Luaren claimed copyright infringement, but BoingBoing claimed fair comment, and won. 

So, folks, here it is again, just to annoy Ralph Lauren.

I’m sure we are all well aware that ALL images are now retouched, but few people realise by quite how much. It t’olden days, every bit of retouching took a deal of time and could only be done once, so freckles, etc, were removed and eyes brightened, but there was no time to go around lenthening legs and bodies and arms and necks in the way it is almost universally done today.

The average model today has been Photoshopped to look like ‘an anorexic with a  boob job’ says one commentator, and that is about right, but so bad is the retouching on the Ralph Lauren image above that some people believe it MUST have been a publicity stunt. 

Ralph Lauren altered imageWhy then did the same company use this image (near right) just a week later in another campaign? Note the hips, which are about half the width of the poor girl’s shoulders – you can see her correct proportions in the right-hand image. 

And why did Filippa Hamilton, the model in the jeans ad, later say she had been fired for ‘being too fat’? If you want to see just how fat her size 8 figure is, click here.

The thing is, Ralph Lauren has a track record where this is concerned. Anyone much younger than me is probably too young to remember the controversy they caused in the early 1980s when they were among the first companies to use really spectacularly thin models. Their girl of choice back then was Saffron Aldridge, who was considerably thinner and bonier than the usual models of the day such as Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. Not since the late 1940s when many of the most famous models were suffering from malnutrition had we seen such angular cheekbones. But little by little we all got used to the bony look until it somehow became the norm. 

Now, though, it’s all gone way too far, when the ‘desireable’ image thrust at women is not only to be underweight and follow a body shape (wide shoulders, big boobs, very tall) that falls only to very few, but be thin to a degree that is actually anatomically impossible



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