Airbrushing in Fashion

It’s a well known fact that the fashion industry uses technology like Photoshop and airbrushing to make models look, well, more beautiful in advertisements than they actually are in real life.  For women with a healthy amount of self-confidence, this usually isn’t a problem.  But there is a growing movement to ban this activity in the fashion industry because of the potential effect it can have on teen girls.  This push for more realistic representations of women is especially pronounced in Britain, where it is led by a well known Liberal Democrat politician named Jo Swinson.  MP Swinson states that the airbrushed images that we see on billboards, in magazines, and on TV are encouraging not only an unbelievablly idealistic view of beauty, but also fostering feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in young girls today.  Airbrushing is commonly used to erase skin blemishes, lengthen legs, and flatten stomachs.  Dove has started their own campaign against this falsifying of images.  They’ve even created a video showing the transformation of an average girl who is airbrushed to perfection and placed on a roadside billboard. (Watch it here:

So, what do you think?  Does airbrushing distort women’s idea of beauty and lower their self confidence? Or do we need to thicken our skin and strive to find beauty within ourselves, not in society’s views of us?

4 thoughts on “Airbrushing in Fashion

  1. Hmm that’s a tough one. On one hand, I think that, since we’re all aware that airbrushing is commonly used, it’s harmless. Besides, most models are skinny enough to make me feel bad without the airbrushing. On the other hand, I don’t know for sure what looking at these images over and over does to one’s subconscious self-perception…

    But in the end, I think changing the fashion industry’s obsession with perfection has to start somewhere other than elimination of Photoshop, and I’m not sure that’s possible, much less probable.

  2. Agreed. I think that self confidence should come from the inside, not from comparing yourself to models– most of us will always lose. And I’m not sure that it’s a realistic option for the fashion industry to eliminate airbrushing. That’s how they sell their products; we all know it. But it’s definitely interesting to think about the effect that this practice of creating perfection has on young girls today.

  3. it’s fashion. there must be an element of glamor there. your point “it’s a well known fact” is key here. as long as it’s not done deceptively or in a way that is not ethical (i’m thinking about the OJ cover where his skin color was darkened). in most cases though, i think it’s fine. if i want to celebrate natural beauty or flawed beauty or humanism, i’ll look elsewhere, thank you very much.

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