Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No-Photoshop Policy a Win for Women?

By Anči

Maybe she's born with it. (But probably not.)

Like some of you, I was hopeful when I saw the Huffingtonpost piece on Verily Magazine's revolutionary "no photoshop" policy. If anything this was a step in the right direction,  after a generation of insidious image tampering. (Guys, did you seriously think we wouldn't notice that you severed away half of Kim Kardashian's butt? It is kind of her thing.)

So while I'm always cautious of publicity plays like this,  it was encouraging to encounter a company committed to promoting a more accurate depiction of women. According to the article, Verily's particular departure from protocol was a reflection of its co-founders'  belief that:  "the unique features of women... should be celebrated -- not shamed, changed or removed."

Look at all the unique features being represented!

And in a show of transparency,  the magazine deigned to incorporated this belief into their company mission statement, vowing:  "Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models."

Pretty compelling stuff.  Pretty sneaky too.

To be clear, I have no doubt the company's telling the truth-- because the beauty industry never lies. But more importantly,  because it's a winning strategy, at no cost to them.

Confused? Then consider this photo I 'borrowed' from their website: (don't sue me, I have no money.)

"i'm a monster"

That's right. If you're anything like me, you just adjusted your seven-year-old bra-strap before mouthing some version of 'Wait, that's what they were going on about?'

Besides lacking the robotic flawlessness of your average Covergirl, the image doesn't really challenge anything. In fact, its a  pretty accurate representation of western beauty norms, no? : thin, white, young, pretty.  Check, check, check, check.

And if you scroll through the magazine's website, you'll note that even with their token samples of alternate pigmentation ( That's right,  I found a black model!) the company archive of babes remains spectacularly in line with beauty-myth regulations.  Thin, young, pretty.  Rinse, wash and repeat.

 Check it out:

Just another example of how different we are.

So much for the excitement.

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