Print Edition: July 3, 2013
When you look at the cover of any magazine, what is it you see? Most likely an air-brushed, highly-edited photo of some well-known celebrity. We all know that these photos or ads inside magazines or on TV are altered to show the “perfect” complexion or body, but if we all know these photos are a hoax then what is the point?
Why do various media outlets continue to portray these unattainable ideas of beauty? These standards are so unreachable that even the people pictured, with hours of hair and makeup done, are not good enough to be shown to the public without technology intervening.
Even though we can say without a doubt that the photos we see of the celebrities we idolize have been edited, we still purchase the beauty products they promote, participate in the fitness regimes they’ve allegedly used, all in the hopes to what? To attain the unattainable?
In this day and age, we don’t just idolize these pretty people any more. We long to know the good, the bad and especially the ugly of these people’s lives. We like to see how we are similar to celebrities from the latest movies or music tours. We subscribe to their Instagram and Twitter feeds, and the reality shows focused on the busy, glamorous and sometimes trainwrecked lifestyles of actresses and socialites have become our guilty pleasures.
Why then do magazines continue to publish something that is such a clear misrepresentation? We can obviously bear to see the ugly parts of fame – in fact, we long for it. Yet, if we’re so into celebrity flaws, why do we continue to participate in their charades of beauty? Why do we let ourselves believe that a face absent of pores and a body absent of any flab is so easily attainable, and why do we torture ourselves when our own bodies don’t emanate those of people with personal trainers and chefs, and whose photos never go unedited?
Personally, I see this as a huge opportunity. What if a new magazine came into the mix? One who refused to alter the pictures they put out for impressionable consumers to see. What if we got to see real pictures of actors, musicians or models and we began to idolize them for their talent instead of their manufactured beauty? Do you think people might go easier on themselves? Maybe everyone’s self esteem would rise a little. Maybe we would start to realize and appreciate more genuine talent, in the famous as well as ourselves.
Perhaps if society didn’t put such a value on manufactured beauty, we wouldn’t either. We could live our day-to-day lives appreciating the beauty in beautiful things and the value in all people with a variety of personalities and talents.