The Flip Side of the Impossible Beauty Standard

Kailie Kloss Airbrushed Ribs

Usually when one looks at a photograph of a model in a magazine we assume it has been airbrushed, we assume it has been photo-shopped to make the model look better; skinnier, larger breasts/butt, brighter eyes, flawless skin, etc.  But what about the above picture where the models ribs have been smoothed out?  She’s been make to look more…healthy.  Thoughts on the above image and the use of photoshop?  What does this say about our society when even the women who live up to the ideal standard of beauty have to be digitally altered to look less sickly?




10 thoughts on “The Flip Side of the Impossible Beauty Standard

  1. This only make me wonder why the magazine, if they were indeed trying to promote a healthier look, didn’t hire a model whose ribs didn’t jut out in the first place, instead of rewarding the emaciated model they did hire for being so skinny with a paying job.

  2. mandaray says:

    I hate the use of Photoshop in magazines and ads. For years, they’ve caused me to subconsciously believe that there really are women out there who look like that, and of course my follow-up thought is that I should look like that, and if I don’t, then I’m just a lazy sack of fat. Only to find out that it’s all a lie anyway, and nothing I’ve seen since I was a kid was even remotely true. Even these supermodel women will never be beautiful enough to satisfy these sycophants. They have to be touched-up and have their breasts inflated and their muscles smoothed. (Or in this case, added entirely.) It’s disgusting. It makes me angry. These women are gorgeous, all by themselves. The ones who aren’t (as in that they are anorexic and unhealthy) need to get help, not photographed. Then the advertisers go and insult them by taking their natural beauty, and hiding it, making them look like pouty, brainless dolls. And for what? To sell a few more magazines? To make women hate themselves even more than they already do? It’s bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit.

    Once again, I am saddened that I do not currently live in a culture which celebrates difference, instead of trying its best to stamp it out.

    • cheurbs says:

      I completely agree with the abuse of photoshop by magazines to promote a false ideal as stated above comment and in the blog post. But we need to be careful how we go around diagnosing people with eating disorders over the Internet, we are not medical professionals. There is backlash against people who are naturally skinny, labeling them automatically as bulimic or anorexic . Moreover, Karlie Kloss is a very tall woman 6 ft. 1 inches that naturally has a low weight as she is still a teenager she is still growing. So of course when she stretches her body out in that way her ribs protrude from her body. I also wonder if the the magazine did no photoshop her body in the photo wouldn’t that too be promoting a even more unhealthier false ideal?

      • mandaray says:

        You make an excellent point. I had no idea who the girl was, or her height and therefore normal BMI. There is a huge amount of pressure on skinny girls, both to stay skinny, and not be *too* skinny. If possible, they get even more hate than the rest of us, via jealousy and back-handed compliments. I will endeavor to be a lot more careful about leaping to conclusions in the future.

  3. Wow, that is quite a frightening comparison. Is our standard of “good-looking skinny” really to the point where someone who actually is that skinny needs to be graphically altered to look less unhealthy?

    • It makes me wonder if the pendulum has swung too far in one direction and is starting to go the other. One can only hope. I found this picture to be quite jarring and it made me incredibly sad. I only hope that if we, as a society, are beginning to recognize the damage this ideal does that we don’t react with a different extreme.

  4. BroadBlogs says:

    Double bind strikes again!

  5. […] The Flip Side of the Impossible Beauty Standard […]

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