Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Real Beauty Vs Photoshop (or: An Important Video for Young People)

Monday, October 16, 2006
As part of Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" they've produced a very evocative (swf) video of the many stages -- both of makeup and then photoshop -- which transforms a real person into a glam magazine covergirl. I think this video certainly has a role in helping young people have a healthier body image and keep in mind how manipulation occurs to most 'photographs' today. The Dove video also works well alongside the Flash ReTouch demonstration I blogged about last year which interactively illustrates how much photoshopping happens to most magazine models, looking at each 'step' of manipulation.

danah boyd clearly found the video powerful, and had this to say:
I will never forget the first time that i did a magazine shoot. It was for a glossy girls magazine and they dyed, curled, teased, plucked, shoved, stretched, and pinned me into a perfect static place. And then they airbrushed me to normalcy cuz i refused to cut off my raver neckless and my hair was purple. (Business mag shoots have always been a bit more civil.) During a bathroom break, i wandered the halls and found a Playboy shoot where i saw how unhappy the model was trying to sit perfectly still as wind was blown on her to keep her nipples perky. The plastic face looked perfect but her eyes showed how miserable she was.

This video depicts that process in the most compelling way i've ever seen. I'm not saying makeup is bad, but i think that it's critical to understand what we're modeling ourselves after. Girl power is a crafted narrative meant to make us consume. The images of perfection we're sold are a fabrication. Most of us know this at some level, but do we really get it?

danah also posted the video to YouTube for ease of access ...


Perhaps the strongest testament to the impact of this video Jill's perspective as a mother of a young girl: "I’m definitely showing this video to my daughter."

[Via Boing Boing]

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2 Comments:

At 11/06/2006 03:21:00 pm, Blogger Sponge Girl said...

Intriguing video - although of course, I'd be even more impressed if it ended with "you're perfect as you are, honey, so don't bother with any moisturisers - even ours!"

 
At 11/16/2006 03:31:00 am, Blogger Kimberly said...

I think the video is great but I have to agree with sponge girl on this one. I find it *extremely* creepy that this campaign was launched around a thigh firming cream. What kind of message does that actually send? "You're great just the way you are--except for your wobbly thighs." I just can't get over it.

I can understand products like moisturizers (especially living in Denver as I do), but thigh firming cream screams "It's not ok to be fat!" The dichotomy makes my head hurt.

 

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