Before/Afters of Airbrushed Models

exile

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Those two images should be shown to every child and young person in middle and high school. The boys might learn a thing or two about just how real the ludicrously idealized and visually manicured images of women are that they're trained to see as the main factor in choosing their partners. The girls would learn that the images of women that they are being encouraged to starve themselves and undergo full-body surgery to resemble (and to buy billions of dollars' worth of beauty products that will supposedly allow them to look the same as) literally don't exist except on film, or its digital equivalent.

I'm always reading newstories about women who've suffered from anorexia or bulimia or similar disorders are asked to speak in school about their experiences and the dangers of these conditions and the impossible pop culture expectations that lead to them---but these before/after images are about the best lessons about that that I can imagine. Thanks for posting these, Pam!
 

Rich Parsons

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Those two images should be shown to every child and young person in middle and high school. The boys might learn a thing or two about just how real the ludicrously idealized and visually manicured images of women are that they're trained to see as the main factor in choosing their partners. The girls would learn that the images of women that they are being encouraged to starve themselves and undergo full-body surgery to resemble (and to buy billions of dollars' worth of beauty products that will supposedly allow them to look the same as) literally don't exist except on film, or its digital equivalent.

I'm always reading newstories about women who've suffered from anorexia or bulimia or similar disorders are asked to speak in school about their experiences and the dangers of these conditions and the impossible pop culture expectations that lead to them---but these before/after images are about the best lessons about that that I can imagine. Thanks for posting these, Pam!


[sarcasm]
WHAT You mean that all those photos in magazines and scenes in the movies are not of real people as they appear every day?

Wow I am surprised!
[/sarcasm]

On the same note if you look at Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality" before and after her make over, she even makes the comment that it is not her and that it was all the people with the equipment and time to make her look like that.
 

MA-Caver

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[sarcasm]
WHAT You mean that all those photos in magazines and scenes in the movies are not of real people as they appear every day?

Wow I am surprised!
[/sarcasm]

On the same note if you look at Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality" before and after her make over, she even makes the comment that it is not her and that it was all the people with the equipment and time to make her look like that.
Yeah but dang she looked good... Even as all frumpy as she did in the beginning of the movie... :D
 
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Jade Tigress

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Those two images should be shown to every child and young person in middle and high school. The boys might learn a thing or two about just how real the ludicrously idealized and visually manicured images of women are that they're trained to see as the main factor in choosing their partners. The girls would learn that the images of women that they are being encouraged to starve themselves and undergo full-body surgery to resemble (and to buy billions of dollars' worth of beauty products that will supposedly allow them to look the same as) literally don't exist except on film, or its digital equivalent.

I'm always reading newstories about women who've suffered from anorexia or bulimia or similar disorders are asked to speak in school about their experiences and the dangers of these conditions and the impossible pop culture expectations that lead to them---but these before/after images are about the best lessons about that that I can imagine. Thanks for posting these, Pam!

Exactly. Children and adults alike get taken in with the "perfection" they are bombarded with. Real people are just not perfect.
 

exile

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Rich Parsons said:
[sarcasm]
WHAT You mean that all those photos in magazines and scenes in the movies are not of real people as they appear every day?

Wow I am surprised!
[/sarcasm]


Exactly. Children and adults alike get taken in with the "perfection" they are bombarded with. Real people are just not perfect.

The key work here is `bombarded'. The media density of this fake message is incredible, if you take one day's sample of the imagery from a handful of magazines, a few hour's worth of television footage (including the ads) and the five top-grossing movies for the relevant week. And it's true: a lot of young people---and older people as well, who you'd expect to know better---have no clue how much outright optical creativity goes into manufacturing these supernaturally perfect people we think are out there.

I remember years ago that Esquire did this fawning piece about Michelle Pfeiffer, I think it was titled `What does Michelle Pfeiffer Need?... Absolutely Nothing', and raving on and on about how naturally gorgeous she was and much other blather. Embarrassingly enough, a news story came out during the same month about just how much `work' MP had had done to arrive at that `natural' perfection, and it just seemed like such poetic justice. But you can bet that a lot of kids in school don't really `get' the point that, as one famous supermodel of the 1990s is said to have commented, `I'm nothing more than an optical illusion.' At least she had no illusions....

I remember decades and decades ago listening with some bafflement to people I knew raving about Catharine Deneuve, and how beautiful she was. To me, she looked like someone who had been put on earth to show what a human face with not one trace of individuality would look like. Much later, in a conversation with a couple of visual psychologists, I learned something really interesting: if you take 10,000 female human faces---at random, from a given population---digitize them for around ten or twelve parameters, and work out the average of those parameters over all 10,000 inputs, you will get virtually exactly the same face, every single time (no matter which other completely or partially different 10,000 faces you pick for your followup samples); same for male faces, of course. And when you set those faces in any given sample of twenty other female faces, both men and women will overwhelmingly pick that synthetic face as the most beautiful. It's not even close. Since then I've actually seen this exercise carried out in miniature---and guess what? The resulting `average' of those female faces looks remarkably like Catharine Deneuve.... I've also seen discussions of this same phenomenon by evolutionary psychologists, who have a very nice explanation for it: the averaging effect in terms of appearance corresponds to a kind of guarantee that you're looking at someone who is most likely, in a given population, to have the minimal number of dysfunctional, or even lethal genes, i.e., someone whose offspring are most likely to survive to reproduction age themselves. That's what triggers the perception of these faces as part of sexual desirability.

So basically, you really do buy this `perfection' by the cancelling out of everything that's unique or interesting about a human face...
 

bluemtn

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I remember some magazine did a special on actors/ actresses, and what they really look like. They did comparisons of photo touch- ups, special makeup techniques, etc., then showed pic's of them like they would if they practically just woke up. I can't remember the magazine, but it was a real eye opener. I knew they did touch- ups, but what I saw was dramatic!
 

DavidBenson

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Good Heavens!

My ex must have had her personality airbrushed...of course, it could be the number of head injuries I've received through the years, come to think of it...
 

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