November 17, 2010


Dear readers, I am participating in Alphabe-Thursday where ‘I’ IS FOR *IMAGES* - AIRBRUSHED IMAGES!

There has been a lot of comment in the UK press about airbrushed images and their effect particularly on the impressionable young. A survey found that half of 16 to 21-year-old girls consider having surgery to change the way they look and 42% of 11 to 16-year-olds admit to watching what they eat. What’s your view? Do celebrities, politicians etc have the right to have their ‘image’ retouched and set impossibly unreal standards? Here are some examples:

1.Twiggy – before and after her (later banned) Olay shoot (above)
2. Keira Knightley – poster and less-busty reality (below)
3. Tina Fey - minus scar on her chin
4. Filippa Hamilton received an apology from Ralph Lauren for digitally narrowing her waist
5. Actress Jennifer Ellison – airbrushed to appear as if posing nude in 2004
6. UK Department Store Debenham’s swimwear campaign showing differences between original image (left) and retouched version (right). Centre shot shows “flaws” to be airbrushed.
Do tell me! And do check out other Alphabe-Thursday posts @ Jenny Matlock!
And, finally, thank you to all my dear readers and also new followers who visited or commented this week! Have a great weekend!
And see you again for Ruby Tuesday!


♥ Kathy said...

I would never airbrush my own photo (or any photos of people I take!) and I definitely don't think celebrities should do it either. They should be themselves. Period.

5thsister said...

As someone who survived a terrible eating disorder in her early 20's, I can tell you this is such a hot button issue for me. Until more people take a stand nothing will be done. I love Dove Soap's "Real Women" campaign and I am a loyal consumer of theirs because of that.

The only retouching of photos I've ever done has been "red eye reduction".

Great I post!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I love my wrinkles, I'm proud of my scars (even the one on my eyebrow where a baby horse launched me two stalls over in my barn!.

I also absolutely hate to have my photograph taken, so I guess I'm not the right person to ask!

I do use Photoshop and love the way it makes my photography sing!

~~Carol~~ said...

I think they're all portraying a false image of themselves! I love Tina Fey and I'd rather see that scar on her chin. She's beautiful with it, but I'm sure it wasn't her decision to do it. It all just messes with young girls heads. They think they need to look perfect, and there's no such thing. Thanks for letting me speak my piece!
Happy REDnesday!

Mary said...

I think it's shameful how Hollywood promotes a false sense of beauty...there is something seriously wrong when teenagers want to have cosmetic surgery. I prefer to be behind the lense instead of in front of it :-)

Shabby Cottage Collectibles said...

I would love to retouch my photos .. if I did I'd be very thin! Warm hugs, Esther

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Nora and Lola,

Great post and what a difference a little airbrushing can do for a Gal.
I have never ever retouched any of my photos but sometimes it looks like they need it.

Happy rest of the week

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I don't love my wrinkles, but I don't think it would look like me without them.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

Wow...I remember when Twiggy was a Twig with no wrinkles or saggy jowls. There's always going to be the Hollywood faction...hopefully teens have smarter parents and young adults get wiser as they get older.

I love what comes straight out of my camera...sometimes tweak the exposure, color, etc....I've tried didn't like me!

LV said...

What an interesting and different. post . Some of these need a lot of brushing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not big on editing pictures. I might crop a bit and that is all I do for any picture I take. As far as airbrushing--they have the right to do so, but I think it needs to be very up front that it is not a picture. I agree that it is very damaging to young people.


Michelle said...

And we all thought they were PERFECT. :) Entertaining post to say the least! Hope all is well with you both, Nora and Lola. Hugs!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I think air brushed model and celebrity photos should have an asterick next to them with a disclosure notice that they are not actual images.

Shame on Ralph Lauren's team for making that model even thinner than she already is!

Berlin said...

I love doing my drawings the simple normal way. I do not know how to use all those fancy gadgets like photoshop! So basically, I never retouch any photos :)

Everyone wants to look their best, but I personally like being just me and not fake it.


Francisca said...

Thought-provoking post. Media - in particular the film and fashion industries - has certainly played a big role in blurring reality and fantasy. The obsession with youth and physical perfection in our western culture is lamentable. I was impressed with Dove's natural beauty campaign, but then got disappointed when I saw their ads for skin whitening products here in the Philippines.

Having said all that, I think some photos of people, like poor Twiggy's above, are too harsh and exaggerate flaws. High resolution digital imagery can be unflattering beyond reality too. I generally delete photos I take of people that are not kind or do not reflect their inner beauty, but sometimes a tiny touch of airbrushing (or blurring) can soften the image and make it MORE real.

And yes, I watch what I eat. And exercise. And generally like to appear pleasant to look at, from inside to out. Naturally.

Anna said...

Oh, this is such a hot issue! I have so much that I would like to say about this, and I am frustrated that I cannot write a two-paged essay in a comment! I don't retouch, my photos on my blog or online shops, but I sometimes use the hand of a mannequin for pictures of jewellery because my hand just doesn't look pretty enough anymore for close-up shots of bracelets, rings, etc.

I admire my collegue, jewellery artist Karen Stahlecker (Of WillOaks Studio for using herself as her own jewellery-model, inspite of her wrinkles and signs of age.
I use my children because they are so young and beautiful, but I keep well behind the camera, because I just don't like what I see anymore. So I am not a very good example, even though I don't advocate cosmetic surgery and think it is terrible that young girls get eating disorders.

Very interesting post. (And some interesting comments from other readers here too.) Thank you for sharing!

Best wishs,

Anna's 'I is for Inventor'-JennyM's AT

Vicki said...

I enjoyed this post very much. I wish everyone would open magazines and chant "It's not real. It's not real."

Heavenly Housewife said...

From a food blogger's point of view, I can tell you that I am always touching up my photos for them to be accepted by the big food pages (Foodgawker and tastespotting). I hate having to do it, but I feel that I need to in order to compete with other food bloggers. I bet its kind of the same thing with celebrities.
Lucky for me, I dont need retouching because i'm already such a beauty ;).
*kisses* HH

Jingle said...

lovely images, Thanks for sharing.

myorii said...

Oh my....those are some very big differences between the before and after shots! Wow....especially the one of Twiggy and the one of Filippa Hamilton. I think retouching is ok if it's just to fix a few skin blemishes and shiny spots but extreme retouching like the ones in your post are too much. They're selling this false perfection to women and I think it's not right.

Tracy said...

A proffesional photographer friend took some shots of me , he airbrushed them so that OI could use them on a christian dating site. I used them but also put some normal everyday one on.
It was basically a lie . I have lived life and have the odd wrinkle spot scar freckle and blotchy skin but hey that is me I am an imperfect creation of God .

Terra said...

I don't have the skills and if I did, well -- it would take HOURS....

fredamans said...

Everyone on the planet looks better brushed up!

Maggi said...

Hmmmm, well I have to admit that if I could I would probably try to walk around with an airbrush for myself. lol

Nezzy said...

Nope, I don't. Our young girls do not realize that the photos they are tryin' to emulate aren't real. Waist and arms have been trimmed, zit's removed and scars vanish. We need to be liftin' up our young ladies up and supporting normal standards.

What a though provoking post. Well done sweetie!

Ya'll have a most beautifully blessed day!!!

Rachel Cotterill said...

I tend to hate photos of me, so if I get one with a pose/expression I'm sort-of-happy with, I'll airbrush out the odd pimple or digitally pluck a stray eyebrow hair. I think of it as the digital equivalent of wearing concealer ;)

Amiko said...

three words... WOW!

Sweepy said...

Lola and Nora dearest...
Yikes, what great cover-ups!
Well I do most of the editing around Heaven and all I do mostly is put all of our pictures together, erase blood on some paw (HEY WHO KILLED SOMEBODY LATELY-Keeper)...some drool off some senior black hounds, MrLeach scandalous tongue sticking out, and Yikes (the stag beetle) romances with MsYikes. Keeper shows most of it in her blog. Otherwise, I sign it and its off the press.

My hooman does not look like what you see. I will show her real face in my next post. Maybe. Or maybe not.

Hey, you guys are on my holiday list!

Merrily, merrily drool!

My word verification: ounines

Jenny said...

Wow. That is a profound difference in those photos. I wouldn't even recognize those people if I passed them on the street.

That being said...if I could have someone follow me around and airbrush to everybodies view I might totally like it.

But that is just shallow of me.


Thanks for a thought provoking link to Alphabe-Thursday.

I found this quite fascinating.


nothing profound said...

Losing touch with reality is the definition of madness and a good definition of our entire way of life.

Francisca said...

PS. Can't start retouching young enough, these days:

Jo said...

i dont retouch my photos ... what you see is what you get ... it's all about whats real ... not what the computer make you look like.

Haute World said...

I work in advertising, so I know exactly what gets retouched. More often than not, we retouch minor flaws, because even models aren't always that photogenic. A high resolution photograph can be more unflattering than the real-life version of a person. Most retouchers will remove what make-up didn't accomplish (lines, dark shadows, eye bags, puffiness, blotched skin, discolouring etc.).

I do have issues when retouching involves completely changing an appearance, incl. raising cheekbones, putting eyes wider apart, slimming a jawline, slimming a nose and of course any weight loss or breast enhancement changes. That's just insane and definitely promotes wrong beauty & body image. Ironically, most models I've seen in real life are actually thinner than their photoshopped photographs.

As long as retouching is only there to enhance your appearance slightly it's ok. I think it's wrong to completely be against retouching, because after all - you can argue that make-up, false eyelashes and hair extensions do the same.