Have you noticed that there have been a crazy number of celeb photos being made public these last few months? Photos of celebs prior to being retouched. Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian and Kate Moss have all been victim to having their regular selves (in airbrushed make-up, strategic lighting, and killer heels, of course) released to the world.
The one that really stuck out (possibly because they’re paid to look ‘perfect’) was of three very well known models: Alessandra Ambrosio, Brooklyn Decker, and Crystal Renn . It was a beach shoot for a magazine. They were caught in between poses, adjusting bikini straps, arms around each other. Brooklyn even released the photo on her twitter feed.
They looked just beautiful. Completely unique body types. I stared at the photo and exclaimed: ‘They look normal!’ Of course, I mean normal in a completely-and-ridiculously- genetically blessed way. But their bodies were not perfection. They were pretty darn close, but I could see they probably had their hang ups, just like I do.
What an amazing opportunity for the the sisterhood to come together. To shout that we LOVE the female body just as it is. To demand natural bodies in magazines and print ads. To fight for the innocence and self-esteem of the next generation. To say we want the young women of this nation to aspire to realness, not fantasy. To say ‘We celebrate these women as they are, without a magic wand. They don’t need it’. And neither do we.
But what transpired that day was not what I anticipated. Scrolling down to view reader’s comments, I was taken aback. Men and women alike were tearing these women apart. Calling one deformed. Calling one a skeleton. Calling another fat. Saying that their God-given beauty was not enough. Post after post after post of complete and utter ugliness. Of complete and utter judgement. It’s no wonder these girls want to be want to rendered unrecognizable by heavy handed retouching. And if you have a look at the final magazine cover, you can see there was some. After all these years of not getting it, I get it. Why they’re not fighting harder for change in their industry. Why the walls aren’t crashing down. Why the walls seem to be getting higher. And I’m not sure if I blame them for it anymore. Actually, I know don’t blame them for it.
I don’t have any way to wrap this up with a pretty bow. It’s a mess. A big massive I-don’t-know-if-we-can-fix-it mess. But I’m willing to try. To do what I can with my tiny little existence in this world. And I know many who feel the same way. I guess we’ll have to see if that’s enough.