Sunday, November 23, 2014

Don't get fooled by Photoshop

Photoshop claims yet another victim. Seriously, this woman
would be incapable of standing if her thigh muscles were
really that non-existent.
There’s no diet in the world that will make you look like the models you see online and in magazines. The models themselves don’t even look like that.

See, there’s this little thing called Photoshop.  And it turns out that, no matter how skinny a model or actress is in real life, the people who run the magazine or website want them to be even skinner. For their skin to be even clearer and their breasts to be even bigger. Wrinkles? They don’t exist in Photoshop land – a quick brush with the blur tool and they’re gone forever.

Sometimes, you don’t even need the “before” picture to tell. Those shots where the skin on their face looks so smooth and tight you could bounce a quarter off it? That’s not a magic skin crème – it’s someone in the art department who went a little too crazy on the computer. Not even Scarlett Johansson has that kind of face in real life, and if she can’t manage it that officially proves that it’s impossible to pull off.  

Besides, would we really want to? It kind of makes them look like aliens from another planet.
If someone ever invents a Photoshop that works on real life, they will immediately earn a gazillion dollars and legions of people would happily bow down to them as their new overlords. A quick swipe with the erase tool, a couple of taps on the “bright” slide bar, a little judicious stamping, and we could all look like those poor half-naked women draped over the couches in all those high fashion ads.

But right now, in a world where that kind of miracle technology doesn’t exist, we have to stop looking at those fantasy images and thinking that they’re something we need to work towards. That we need to be as skinny as those models we see in advertisements. That our chests need to be as round and as perky. That we can age in such a way where wrinkles don’t exist.

Those things are just as unreal as the idea of waking up in the morning with wings growing out of your back.

Think of those glowing, alien pictures of non-existent women in the same way you do paintings of nubile warrior women or ridiculously sexy space babes who were always inexplicably attracted to the hero. You’d never think you had to actually be one of those women, would you? If nothing else, those metal bras always looked incredibly uncomfortable.

Remind yourself of that, every time you start looking longingly at a Photoshopped waistline. Tell your sisters, friends, daughters and granddaughters, and repeat it until you see it start to sink in. Trying to twist, tighten or shove your body into a shape that doesn’t actually exist in nature can only bring you pain. At best, it leads to heartache and constant frustration. At worst, it leads to eating disorders and the kind of self-hatred that can screw up entire lives.

Exercise so you feel healthy and strong. Use that skin crème because you love the way it makes your skin feel silky soft. Change your diet because you want to wake up with more energy in the morning.

Whatever you choose to do, you’re showing the world how awesome, beautiful and powerful real women can be. In the end, that’s so much more amazing than any magic Photoshop can pull off.  

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