I love the movement to stop photoshopping of magazine photos. Petitions have forced some magazines to stop the photoshopping tactics, and others are catching on promising to include more “real” women of varying body types.
Celebrities are doing their part to fight image manipulation, like Lorde’s tweet of a photo showing her natural skin compared to a recent photo showing her touched-up photo.
This has been occuring to a degree that people don’t even realize. Now the changes to this this photo of Jessica Alba are pretty extreme, but we may not even question the level of touchup without comparing to the original image. Why do we have to edit such beauty? Maybe you think it doesn’t have an effect on you, but have you ever look at a photo and felt bad about the wrinkle in your skin, the firmness of certain body parts, the shininess of your hair, the skin blemishes, the fold in your clothing because of the way it fits? Notice how those features seem to be missing from the photo on the right? This may not significantly affect your sense of normal but they do have a major effect on some people.
I love how these people are using selfies to show their inner strength and beauty, and fight the mainstream thinking that you have to alter your image to be admired. It all started in support of an actress, Kim Novak, who was criticized for her looks at the Oscars, and continued for Cancer Awareness. Celebs such as Gwynyth Paltrow and Beyoncé do it just to show us a normal person.
We should be embracing our flaws and the things that make us different, like Marilyn Monroe’s distinctive “beauty mark.” Just like the character Sean Maguire from the movie Good Will Hunting points out, it’s the idiosyncrasies that are the good stuff in life. I have this new saying, “It’s not fun when it’s perfect.” No one wants it to rain during their outdoor wedding, but boy do people remember that experience. And in a lot of ways surviving that experience is the joy of life.
Our different experiences are even more valuable. Psychologists have shown that we benefit and learn more from confronting different experiences and points of view. Although it’s natural to seek out people like us, and to socialize with them, we benefit from interacting with people who are more different from us.
When thinking about our relationships, more words from Dr. Maguire “You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.” and “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”