The Media’s Photoshop Problem – and this Lane Bryant Model’s Perfect Photo Clap Back

Scrolling through my social media feeds and flipping through magazines, I’ve questioned my fair share of photos for their authenticity. Airbrushing, tightening, whitening, and everything in between HAPPENS, and probably a lot more than we think. We all look at these perfect people depicted in magazines or on Instagram gawking at them, but do we really know how many rounds of photoshop that picture has gone through? Nope, we don’t.

I recently came across an Instagram photo of a Lane Bryant model, Denise Bidot, and man is it refreshing. It’s refreshing because she looks like a normal person, and she is definitely not airbrushed – the stretch marks on her stomach are completely visible (and beautiful, might I mention). Her caption says, “Loving this new image and how real it is. Thank you @lanebryant for loving my body, stretch marks and all.”

I love it, I love it, I love it. Okay, can you tell I love it? I love it because we’re all so conditioned to think the way perfectly airbrushed bodies in the media look is ‘normal.’ It’s not. But this photo from Denise Bidot IS normal – and in my opinion, her stretch marks shouldn’t be considered not normal. A lot of women have them, and they’re perfectly okay. So why do so many of the media make these ‘imperfections’ not normal?

I’m sure you’ve all witnessed instances of celebrities being photoshopped, but this article outlines some horrible ones. A few highlights – Katy Perry’s stomach being smoothed out, thighs being thinned, and boobs being lifted in Rolling Stone, or Meghan Trainor’s waist being slimmed in her “Me Too” music video (which she corrected, thank goodness).

Thankfully, some celebs call people out when they notice the nipping and tucking (like Zendaya and Kerry Washington, for example). It’s great that they’re acknowledging this problem, but why does the media want to depict them as something they’re not? I truly don’t get it.

But that’s part of why I started The Curve Confessions – because our views of beauty are constantly skewed in the world around us. These kinds of photos are already changing our beauty ideals – making us think what we see from these perfectly framed women is what’s considered beautiful. But if we look at Katy Perry’s photoshop mishap in the article above, that makes it even worse. Because a celebrity like her, who is considered extremely attractive, is getting edited. I can’t help but think, what the hell would they do if I went in for a photoshoot? It’s just not okay to even have to compare ourselves to this (which is why we shouldn’t).

I love the media (reading the news is part of my job), and I love following celebrity news – it’s something I really enjoy keeping tabs on. But, I want us all to take a critical eye to this stuff, and realize that it can be a complete fairy tale land. Yes, a lot of celebrities have killer bodies and look very similar to how they look in magazine articles we all see – that’s going to happen. But next time you’re scrolling, just remember that it COULD be photoshopped. And if it’s not, you should also remember that this is not the norm, and you don’t have to strive to look like this to be beautiful.

Also, remember my post on Refinery 29? 67 percent of women are considered plus-size, but only TWO percent of them (or should I say us :)) are depicted in the media. We see things in the media that give us a completely skewed view of the real world – so let’s all make an effort to look around and remember the normal, beautiful and diverse bodies we see every day.

I just had to get this photoshop stuff off my chest, because I hate seeing all of us compare ourselves to these people who live such different lifestyles than us (and if you don’t compare yourself to these beauty ideals, keep on keeping on!). I want you all to set your own beauty standards. You are beautiful, and you need to believe it – no matter what.

PS – I think this goes without saying, but any photo you ever see of me for the rest of time will never be photo shopped or altered. 🙂 Also – you go, Denise Bidot, you go.

Photo credit: Denise Bidot

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