Nov 04 2011 05:25 pm

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Your self-esteem… before and after Photoshop

Take a look in your make-up bag.  How much stuff is in there?  Why did you buy it all?  Do you really need it, do you even use half of it?  Why did you feel a need to buy it in the first place? It is because it was advertised and sold to you that way.  Companies make money off of having you believe that you need certain to buy certain products in order to display your femininity adequately.  They sell us the idea of the ideal of our gender.  If you are a girl you need to buy your makeup, jewelry and clothes from certain places in order to fit in properly with others of your sex. They want us to believe that we need these things.

Advertisements are directed at making us realize how badly we need these material things in order to fit in.  They show us a beautiful waif-ish woman in a gorgeous dress and you think “I want that.” Only problem is, the normal woman will not look good in that.  They then show us another woman with a flawless (and air-brushed) complexion, and they insist that some foundation will give you those amazing results.  They then hope that you will run out and buy it because you no longer feel that your face looks good enough without that make-up piled onto it.  In the world of advertising, none of these things that we see are real.  Everything gets photoshopped beyond recognition, and the more impossibly thin and beautiful they make these women look, the worse the normal woman feels about herself.  To help illustrate my point further, how many women do you see in magazines with cellulite? None, right? Well, 90% of women have it to some extent. So think of the image they are sending us, and the small percent of women that they are portraying.  So what do the other 90% of us do?  We try to make ourselves feel better by buying magic cellulite-busting pills and other products to try to take the focus off of our thighs, and put it elsewhere.

Picture of a model, before and after photoshop

In the film, Killing Us Softly 4, Advertising is shown from many different product areas.  These Ads, when placed together, seem to paint a picture that we don’t think about when they are spread out through a magazine; they tell us how to look. The worst part is that we comply with their standards.  I know I have, at least. I’ve tried bleaching out my freckles to have that perfect, flawless face. I throw on makeup everyday so that I’ll be seen as pretty. Since I came to college, I dropped a jeans size, and now I’m terrified of gaining it back. We all feel a need to be thin, to be pretty, to be flawless.  But why? What has caused us to think this way? These advertisements have.  They tell us that boys will only like us if we fit in to impossible beauty standards because that is how beauty and clothing companies make money.  The worse we feel, the better their wallets feel.

So what should we do the next time we look into a magazine and see a flawless picture of a model advertising the newest eyeshadow?  We should realize that the only thing real in that picture is the paper that it is printed on.  While this might not totally erase our body issues – considering how long companies have been working on slowly eroding our self-esteem for their own profit – it should at least give us a moment to realize that even the woman staring up at you from the page doesn’t look like that.  Hopefully, if women make enough noise on this issue, we can start seeing more REAL women in magazines. Some magazines have already begun showing the normal woman, but maybe one day they all can and women’s issues with their bodies will decrease because we can finally see women accurately represented.

Explanation of what was “fixed” on her body and face

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5 Responses to “Your self-esteem… before and after Photoshop”

  1. PrintPlace says:

    A very nice article. Thanks for sharing! This is sadly very true how these companies have eroded women’s self-esteem, making them feel bad about themselves to make their wallets feel good. It’s very cruel get to think of it. It has psychologically damaged women to the point that they never seem to be happy with how they look. Hopefully, there will be a campaign strong enough that will break this seemingly ancient and eternal paradigm.

  2. pozycjonowanie says:

    In this situation it’s worth to think about increasing competence of EUROPOL, maybe even raise is to the rank of Institution of EU, and allowing it to make the decisions (but obviously not the controversial or crucial ones) that would be binding for national EUROPOL agencies (except of course of agencies of EUROPOL from states that are not members of EU). Such a solution would make EU’s policy towards crime more flexible, and therefore more effective.

  3. Willy Teles says:

    I loved it!

  4. Fabian Roet says:

    very good post! i will return for sure to your website.

  5. Get Smaller Thighs says:

    Wow great work revealing that. If more women knew about this. Keep up the good work.

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