In the beauty industry, we know that a majority of the images we see are unrealistic representations of what models look like because they are touched up or airbrushed. However recently, with multiple unretouched photo leaks, such as Cindy Crawford’s, women are fighting back on the airbrush and want to see real bodies in the media.
For me, there was a mix of emotions when those photos leaked. On the one hand, I felt it was about time that we got to see a photo in a magazine that didn’t “fix” all the scars or flab or imperfections that all people inevitably have. On the other hand however, I was taken aback that a few untouched photos would be a big enough deal to make the news, but that’s the society we live in currently; airbrush is the norm and regular bodies are shocking.
For this to change though, I think we also need to begin seeing a mixture of body types in the beauty and entertainment industry. If I’m leafing through a magazine and all I see are size 00’s, then I will think that is the norm and that is what “beautiful” is. But, if we have multiple different sizes and shapes, then our perceptions of beauty will change, as it should be; it would be so much more representative that way. This is slowly starting to change, like with model Tess Holliday, who is a strong advocate for switching up body standards, but we still have a long way to go.
The more this happens though, the more companies decide to not retouch their models and just let them be themselves and include a mixture of body types, the less surprised we’ll all be when we do see un-airbrushed photos or plus-sized models. And maybe, just maybe, we can switch the standard and airbrushing will start to be shocking and strange to us, and all we’ll see is gorgeous, untouched images in our magazines.