DON’T PHOTOSHOP MY ASSets - I LIKE THEM!
Keira Knightley did it. So did Jamie Lee Curtis before it was a trend. A few days ago Cindy Crawford did it too, touching off a firestorm on social media. Even my all time favourite, Cate Blanchett, she of the razor sharp facial features and sublime skin, has done it. Big name celebrities who depend on their looks as part of their business, showed us their real stuff; untouched tummies, asymmetric boobs, wrinkles on the face, bags and good heavens, pores on facial skin and other imperfections. Contrary to scrutinizing them even more closely, I instead said “Bravo!” and love them even more for it. So did everyone else. Know what didn’t go over so well? That Photoshopped butt of Miss Kardashian that was obviously too cartoonish for words. And are we to believe the backside of Miss Coco is still growing as she claims? Oh and those images of obviously African American women who don’t look so African American anymore after a heavy dose of Photoshop - excuse me Kerry Washington on InStyle’s March 2015 cover , is that you?
The gig is up. We know what people really look like. We know what we look like. I’m no celeb but I’m heartened to know I’m okay, I’m enough, flaws and all. If celebs are cool with being real, then we can all take a deep, cleansing breath (yoga term) and show up as ourselves every day. I confess, I get pimples, I have crow’s feet and I sweat. I’m real so take that. I’m up for the new trend towards authenticity - realness.
Although we live in a world, particularly the fashion world, where Photoshop is a perfected art and every cover image is subjected to its’ disappearing tricks, I believe the time has come where the gig is up. We’re onto you Vogue with your heavily edited works. Remember Adele’s 2012 cover, where she was so worked that we didn’t recognize her? But in the fashion industry, Photoshop is a fact of life because apparently reality doesn’t sell.
The pendulum is correcting back to the real woman. With the Internet Age, the advent of The Selfie and grab shots, there is nowhere to hide and looking real has become a matter of fact. Today not every photo we take can be edited, even though Queen Bey edits her selfies (groan). Women particularly see the female form on display daily, relentlessly. We interpret those images as a challenge to keep up with but we don’t remind ourselves that most of these images have been “perfected” through Photoshop and other photo magic. It’s impossible to keep up with such tricked perfection, right out of the gate. Comparing our own bodies to those of the fantasy world sends girls and women of all ages into a negative tailspin.
These girls and women are our daughters - I have four of them, sisters - I have one, sisters-in-law - I have 2, aunts - I have 26 of them, cousins - I have 75, mothers - I thankfully still have mine, grandmothers - both are deceased, friends - I have many and am blessed. I also have an ever widening circle of women whose lives I touch. My world, like yours, is rich with female energy and we must accept every sister into our community as being enough, perfect as she is, as long as she is seeking her best self. A beautiful woman is one who is on the evolutionary path searching for her strengths, knowing her weaknesses and loving herself despite it all.
A beautiful woman knows her worth, her value, does not measure it by accoutrements, measures it by her contributions and her daily health care self practice. She eats clean foods that serve her body, exercises not as punishment but to train, prepare and maintain her brain and her body, knows that mindfulness is part of wellness, asks the best of herself every day challenging herself to “show up” in full, all the while building a resilient self able to face challenges, not breaking, but bending.
Give me the beautiful face of my mother, who will be 80 years young this year. I can see her age but feel her wisdom, her presence, her courage to be exactly who she is and proud of it. Show me your butts, curves, naked faces and sweaty selves. Let’s unveil ourselves as Crawford and Blanchett did and say out loud, “I’M ENOUGH!”
Other untouched celeb covers include:
Marie Claire featured an unairbrushed (and supposedly makeup-free) Jessica Simpson on its May 2010 cover.
Harper’s Bazaar featured a fairly natural-faced Lady Gaga for its May 2011 issue.
Glamour pledged to tone down its use of Photoshop.
Make Up Forever even did an entire unretouched ad campaign.