Airbrush with reality

Barefaced is a great believer in having confidence and being happy within yourself. As young women we are often faced with altered images in the media which can deplete some of those good feelings we may have about ourself. This can cause us to doubt what we believe to be real beauty. That is why Barefaced does not airbrush any images, as real girls need to see REAL girls. 

Sadly there are pictures all over the media that show photoshopped models that have no flaws and are perfect, which give a false idea of what is acceptable.

A teenage girl in America too has had enough of photoshopping and is urging teen mag Seventeen to change its policies of retouching images. In an attempt to stop young girls growing up with a morphed image of what women look like she launched her own petition.

Julia Bluhm, 14, from Maine, delivered a 15,000-name petition to the magazine’s editor-in-chief on Wednesday calling for the magazine to publish at least one unaltered photo spread a month.

Julia is a blogger for Sparksummit, which embodies the movement against the sexualisation of young women. Her blog chronicles the daily battles faced by her peers over their body image. It reads: “I’m in a ballet class with a bunch of high-school girls. On a daily basis I hear comments like: ‘It’s a fat day’, and ‘I ate well today, but I still feel fat’. Ballet dancers do get a lot of flack about their bodies, but it’s not just ballet dancers who feel the pressure to be ‘pretty’. It’s everyone. To girls today, the word ‘pretty’ means skinny and blemish-free. Why is that, when so few girls actually fit into such a narrow category? It’s because the media tells us that ‘pretty’ girls are impossibly thin with perfect skin.”

She also said the “fake” photographs she and her friends see in magazines and adverts have been shown to lead to low self-esteem.

Julia started her campaign after she learned that Glamour magazine had decided to limit its use of the airbrush to make people look thinner.

In her petition, titled ‘Give Girls Images’ she wrote: “Those ‘pretty women’ that we see in magazines are fake. They’re often photoshopped, air-brushed, edited to look thinner, and to appear like they have perfect skin. A girl you see in a magazine probably looks a lot different in real life.”

It is true that girls want to be accepted, appreciated and liked. And when they don’t fit the criteria, some girls try to ‘fix’ themselves. This can lead to eating disorders, dieting, depression, and low self-esteem.

Seventeen magazine had invited Julia to its offices after seeing her petition and stated: “We’re proud of Julia for being so passionate about an issue – it’s exactly the kind of attitude we encourage in our readers”

It is good to see that Seventeen magazine are taking Juila’s (and girls’ everywhere) concerns seriously. The magazine already features real girls in some of its pages, but what about the others?

After the meeting, Julia said in a statement released through Change.org: “The fact that Seventeen’s editor-in-chief met with me in person proves that the voices of teen girls everywhere are getting through. While I would still change some of the ways Seventeen portrays girls, I’m encouraged that they’re willing to listen to me and the 30,000 people who’ve signed my petition. Seventeen’s invited me to work with them on this issue, which means we girls are finally being heard loud and clear. It’s really exciting.”

Exciting it is, as every small step helps. But the magazine will undoubtedly still include airbrushed images and advertisements supplied by other companies.

What do you think about this topic? Do you think photoshop should be banned altogether?


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