(On airbrushing killing self-esteem)
By Hannah B.
Whenever I buy face cream, caution signs warning "for external use only" always catch my eye. But what I always wonder is, why caution signs warning that the models are airbrushed and starving aren't applied to magazines!
When I arrived in Jordan a few months ago I noticed how much more concerned women and men were with their appearance: Visiting the hairdresser just to get your hair dried and having a manicure at the same time is a regular occurrence among many Ammani people. I also made friends with someone who is infatuated with individual models, their style and their beauty. Since it was clear I wasn’t so enthralled by them myself I was questioned why this was the case and it made me think.
Maybe it's because I'm 162.5 cms tall and not skinny, that when I look at pictures of models I often can’t look past the fact that most of them are very tall and very thin. However, I am no longer a teenage girl who sees models as the epitome of what the world sees as beautiful so what I do feel when I look at these images is frustration at the fact that magazines portray one basic way in which girls and guys should look: taller and slimmer than average. Dilemma
Of course, average is not unusual or striking so it’s understandable that models should be something different to be a success but that there is one basic figure for them and the fact that young people wish to be them, and feel that the only way to be seen as beautiful is to be like them, is what really gets to me.
The strange thing about obsession with models is the fact that we shouldn’t actually be looking at them for the models themselves but for what they are wearing. They are moving clothes horses displaying what we should be looking at, so why are we so obsessed with individual models’ beauty?
"... I heard the case of having
boney models, masculine
sculptures, broad shouldered,
curveless... because the
fashion world is run by gay
Also, when considering the figures of most female models: tall, lean, and kind of curve-less, you realise that this isn’t very feminine. One argument I heard a while ago was that this was the case because the fashion industry was run by gay men who would most commonly find more masculine, tall, broad shouldered, and sharp featured, women attractive. Maybe this is true, I am not sure, but if so, why would most girls want to emulate figures that men who are not attracted to them prefer!
But it's not so simple is it, on the one hand we are encouraged to be skinny and shape-less by the fashion industry while on the other hand, to be attractive to men, we should be curvy with large breasts and swinging hips. The winner of America’s Next Top Model, Whitney Thompson; (Left) breaks this norm stating that “I’ve been raised my entire life to think curves are good”. However, she is still labelled a "full-figure" model by the industry.
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When it comes to men, it’s either skinny vs. buffy! There’s no air for the regular man to breathe! Models like Tyson Bekford; (down, right) embody the protein shake junkie, and models like Stas Svetlichnyy ; (last two pictures R+L) portrays the hungry teen look! While regular sized models like Crystal Renn (down, left) gets to be a muse for designers like Torrid, Vena Cava, and Mango, she also got the runway gossip buzzing when she walked proudly hand-in-hand with Jean Paul Guiltier after the show. Lean and elegant, skinny and broad, the story of the model muse never ends for both Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss (Left), both models are known for being bad girls with drug use has beens. Kate and Naomi both had problem finding jobs and losing campaigns after the scandal of each. Here they are posing for Mario Testino (for Paris Vogue February 08; Bad Girls’ issue!)