Tuesday, January 12

non-airbrushing beauties

So, look, it's a step in the right direction, no doubt about that. But we need to go further, much further. The big shots feel all ethical and are all look-how-we-care, because they didn't airbrush a beautiful young slim model!

Jennifer Hawkins, February Issue 2010 Marie Claire

Not only is she a model, she was Miss Universe. Oh, I feel so much better.

Did you ever hear the stir around "Page 194"?

September Issue 2009, Glamour

Now that's much more like it.

Some magazine execs talk that after so much great publicity from that photo (and tons of mail expressing no less than joy) they believe that there will be more of this to come.

Let's face it, money talks. It's up to us to support this sort of thing, to let them know that we really do prefer to see real women in their magazines. Only then will they make the changes.


  1. Oh, I can't wait until the time comes that real women are displayed as sexy in mags...but do I want real women displayed at all??? Wouldn't it be good if we could get over the whole bit about having to "display" womens bodies to help sell any product?

  2. I agree with Ariad!
    also, what was striking to me was in seeing this I realized how I'd never seen anything like it before...literally... kind of a shock, when it shouldn't be a shock. Amazing how years of exposure and conditioning have affected me.
    I hear you Mon, regarding the support, it will make a difference as to whether or not they continue to put 'real' images of women in their magazines however, I just don't buy magazines like that or magazines in general due to the amount of advertising and content. Also, the disposable nature of magazines. I think I'm becoming somewhat cynical or potentially more aware of how many ways i'm being 'sold' even through articles. How relative is the content anyway? Even in alternative circles and mags, it's all just a trend and in some ways a form of manipulation. Life changes all the time and I prefer to go with my gut, so the less I see of advertising and touting of the latest this or that the better! :)
    Blogs are great as they are written by real people about their real lives. So, thank you for your blog!

  3. I remember when my mom bought me a seventeen mag at 12/13. From that point on I had a glossy image to compare myself to, and I craved more. I think there is a subtle, or not so subtle, addiction in this primarily for women. dialog: i want to see what i am "supposed" to be....but then feel bad in multiple ways because i can not measure up in all ways.

    and back to your point...i like page 194, but i don't care how other women are shaped, and i wish we could spend a lot more time on other topics.

  4. Like Laurie, I found the picture almost shocking, just because it was so unexpected, and how wrong is that. I also remember being shocked the first time I went back to the gym after having my son (which, as a result of a dislocated knee when he was 4 months, was probably a good year after he was born, so best part of two years since i'd last been there) - the bodies in the communal changing room amazed me, lumps and bumps all over - I'd become so used to seeing the "perfect" bodies in the magazines and my own, that i'd actually forgotten what a real woman's body looked like (hence my unhealthy relationship with my own!) So sad, that we are in this position. I'm also, generally avoiding these magazines as much as possible, sticking with blogs or Country Living (and skimming their fashion stuff) - the rest just make me too miserable!!

  5. Julie, I had a moment like yours only last night when I was watching a TV programme where a comedian visited a naturist camp (Paul Merton, for anyone reading on the UK). The women were slim and normal looking, but they still had lumps and saggy bits just like me. I AM NORMAL.

    Holistic Mama is right that the only way to tell companies that we like pictures of real women is to buy their products. Unfortunately I am not about to go and start buying Glamour every time it features a "real" naked woman. I guess that's maybe the problem - we're not really the target audience.

  6. I loved that image of the woman. If only all magazines and billboards and music videos showed women in all shapes and sizes as gorgeous.

  7. Cave Mother - I don't suggest we buy their mags, but rather than we speak up in support when normal women are shown. And if inclined, speak up in protest at airbrushing.

  8. agree on speaking up - and thanks for pointing out an opportunity to do so. like others have said, we aren't in the audience, so it's hard to know when positive change is happening! i once wrote to self magazine because they had airbrushed away a model's belly button! they fessed up to it, but didn't publish my letter.

  9. Because belly buttons are gross?!!? *blink*

  10. I think she looks gorgeous! So much more so than Jennifer Hawkins. Made my day, seeing a woman looking so naturally radiant like that!

  11. What could possibly need to be airbrushed in the first one?

    Can't wait to see more of this sort of thing. Not that I ever read these magazines...but you know. :)

  12. It's nice to see a picture of a young healthy-looking woman, who is still slim and beautiful, but also very realistic.

    I don't buy those kinds of magazines, either, but lots of young women do, so I think this would be a good thing.

    I spent my youth thinking my body wasn't perfect enough (I was really skinny and still thought I needed to lose weight because not everything was firm and flab-free). Then Jennifer Lopez and Kate Winslet became popular--they showed me that beautiful and stick-thin did not have to be one and the same. I allowed myself to gain about 15 pounds without feeling bad about my body.

    Nowadays I am just grateful that I've come across so many pictures of "tribal" women baring it all...otherwise I might have had issues with my post-pregnant body. Pictures can be so powerful.

  13. That is a step in the right direction. I just wish that advertisers would stop with their body obsession focus in their ads. It all seems too superficial.

  14. Just watched a doco about this exact issue actually... so bizarre that all that airbrushing and the way women are portrayed is apparently done FOR women because men actually prefer 'real' women (and apparently men magazines reflect this??).
    So who are these women who vouch for the skinny airbrushed version?

  15. I see this every day in myself, & in the perfectly beautiful shapely women in my life, but when I see it on that glossy page, it does startle me a little. We are accustomed to airbrushing, in this bizarre society of ours, and seeing that much real life amongst all the shiny happy ads and other models, it's not something you see every day. We absolutely should, though.

    True story...

    I have butt and thigh dimples. (I'm amongst only friends here, right?) I have had them since the birth of Dylan. Before that, my tooshie was so freakin' awesome, Mon. Really, I should have appreciated it more. You know, taken pictures of it, wore nothing but thongs...Anyway, I always cover up as much as possible when out in a swimsuit. And, short shorts, or a short skirt? Forget about it. I'm the girl that walks to the edge of the pool with something around her waist, drops it, and dives in immediately. But this summer, an older female friend of ours mentioned to my husband that she would give anything to have a body like mine again. She told him that I have one shapely little booty and that I looked awesome in my two piece. I couldn't believe that she'd said those things. What about my dimples? The truth is, it made a difference to me. I walked all around her pool, many times, and didn't grab a cover up once. I made peace with my dimples. Finally. It just took a different perspective to get me there. In another twenty years, I would probably kill to have these dimply thighs back. Might as well enjoy them now...

  16. I love Cam's story. Made me think about our trip to the pool yesterday. I was feeling self-conscious (though only because my swimsuit was too small and not covering the way it should), but I noticed all the women there not worrying about what was hanging out. I'm talking all shapes and sizes here. And I was really appreciating it, actually.

  17. Great story Cam. You really should have taken more pics, chuckle.

    I've made peace with my body, but I still don't have the confidence to wear a swimsuit, not that I'm much interested in it anyway.... but still.
    Funny thing is, because I struggle with weight, when I'm down to a comfortable size, I don't worry about things like dimples or weird bits, becuase it feels so great to be slim again.

    And I know that very large women, who get to MY personal over-weight size are over the moon and will gladly wear a swimsuit.

    Yep, it's all perspective.

  18. on a related note, I just joined Curves here, which is a ladies-only gym, and mostly caters to senior women...it has a good location for me (near preschool!) and the price was right, so I decided to do it and so glad I did! it is so wonderful exercising surrounded by real women of all shapes and sizes...so much more relaxing them my old gym which had a lot of actress and model wannabes...and although I shouldn't care, it IS kind of nice being the youngest and slimmest in the room some days (and believe me, I am not young or slim by almost anyone else's standards...)


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