Being realistic

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I do wish people would understand where blog images actually come from…

If I might sound off for a moment….

The first comment I get in ages on this blog that isn’t spam, and it’s from a reader complaining. Great.

The issue she has with with the pictures in an article I wrote about swimwear three years ago. 

"Very few over 40 will look like these Victoria’s Secret models," says C, who keeps her email anonymous. "Please show us something we can identify with."

Well, how exactly?

Do people not understand how the internet WORKS? Then let me be clear – this blog costs me money to run, and I can’t afford to buy images to use on it. Nor will I breach copyright on someone else’s work. Nor can I afford to go out, buy all the swimsuits, try them on, photograph myself, and post the images – I am not Oprah Winfrey.

I therefore use the pictures to which I have access, which are free to use and copyright-free, and that – in the main – means using advertising or publicity photographs.

I am sorry if these are not good enough for C, but I would have thought it was needless to say that manufacturers do not photograph their products on ‘realistic’ models because then they would not sell – advertising photography is aspirational, not realistic.

When was the last time you saw a beauty product photographed on someone fat? Or someone with spots? Then no more likely is it that you will see a swimsuit modelled on anyone over 40. To start with, where is the market for manufacturers? There is a niche market for oversize swimsuits, and you can find plenty of images of these, but the models are still young, pretty and with firm bodies. You are simply not going to see a swimsuit of any description photographed on anyone saggy, with cellulite, with varicose veins, and I think we all know why. 

If anyone can point me at a website with free-to-download flattering images (not paparazzi shots, nor paid-for editorial shots) of swimwear shown on ‘realistic’ over-40s models, I would be glad to know about it. But good luck, is all I can say.

Meanwhile, to give us all hope, here is a famous picture of Helen Mirren, age 62, in a red bikini (and note that I cannot use this image on Second Cherry because it is COPYRIGHTED). 


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