Saturday, November 17, 2007

Well I knew this was happening...

There has always been controversy about the pictures in magazines, how they are touched up and brushed. I knew that they did it a lot with faces. Evening out skin tone and removing blemishes and bags under eyes but when I saw this picture of Faith Hill I was incredulous.

Now I think we can all agree that Faith Hill is a beauty and from what I hear a good person. There really is nothing needs to be altered on her. The lines on her face and under her eyes are honest and make me, for one, less conscious of my own. But if you look closer you will notice the changed her skin tone all over. I know they can do amazing things just with light so this was a deliberate change. I am sure they weren't correcting a mistake they made when they set the lighting up. She has some freckles on her shoulder that were removed as well.

What else? Her hair was lightened from a golden blonde to a more yellowy blonde. She was actually made to look a lot thinner that she is in real life. Her face was narrowed and just look at her arm. They bulk in her thigh is gone. And I say that because thighs have mass. Again I do not think she looks bad in the original picture at all. I would have been proud of this picture if it were me. Do you see how much thinner they made her arm? Its just amazing! And two other places to look... her shoulder and back just below her arm. They took the curve out of her shoulder and they took the extra skin out that was rolling slightly over her dress. Oh and they actually put in a second arm that you couldn't see originally from the angle they took the picture.

Yes, I know its an illusion. But is it a necessary illusion. Is it done in the name of aesthetics? In the name of money? Are we as a society going to buy less of Faith's music because she looks "normal" or has flaws. Actually the scariest thing about this photo is most of us wouldn't have thought twice about the touch up being THE original. Because Faith is marketed as a down to earth beauty who has it all... personality, a good marriage, kids she adores and a rare marketed talent to boot. Something most of us could never tout that whole package. But wouldn't it be nice if we, the public, were not hoodwinked into thinking that Faith Hill has the "whole" package.

And really how does Faith feel about not being "good enough" to be on the cover of Redbook without being touched up. She can not meet the standard that Redbook has for its cover? Is it a standard that is NOT real. There is no one who has glossed the cover of Redbook without touch up. Is that a relief to those in the club. I don't measure up but then neither does the pop star or the tennis champ either. Thank goodness!

Here is another example using a photo of Keira Knightly. The writer has expanded on what they have done to "improve" her photo.

I know there are many picture of me that I would have loved to be touched up. In fact, I have the ability to do it. Paint Shop Pro to the rescue. I never thought about it before but I could create a whole new me for all the internet. The only people who would know that I am over weight, freckled and have thinning hair on the top of my head are my family and OB/GYN and hopefully she doesn't have the url to my blog.

So here is what I did with Paint Shop Pro. I used a tool called the Mesh Warp tool. It puts a grid with movable nodes. So I just move int the node to the left near my arm and viola I have a skinny arm. Same with my shoulder and my face. I whitened me teeth, removed the blemish on my chest and removed the "noise" or graininess from the digital photo to make me look smoother in my skin tone. I tried to take the darkness out from under my eyes but messed that up a bit.

This may be my new practice when sending photos to people I haven't seen for a while. I can keep the illusion of youth and thinness forever. I should have played a bit with my hand. It looks gigantic. *sigh* I will gladly alter your photo for you for a fee. Just email me! Haha. Maybe there is a market for this. Who needs to work for Redbook to make the world a more beautiful place.

But seriously, I am going to have to get to Weight watchers to get those results. Maybe I will use that altered pick as a motivator to my end goal.


Emily said...

I've seen that article on Faith Hill before. Incredible. Did you see she is on the cover of a mag this week (in grocery store, can't remember, maybe LHJ?) I couldn't help but think, oh that's not "really" her either!

Oh and I much prefer the un-retouched you! (But awesome way to make your point, maybe I'll send you a pic of me to play with!)

Stephanie said...

Its tricky... playing with others photos cause then you have to alter what you think is "wrong" which is not a position i would like to be in.

Natalie said...

It's a pitty that they turn a normal looking WOMAN into an emaciated girl. So we all end up with the mentality of "well there's no way I could ever be that thin so why even bother trying". When actually she isn't that thin and DOES look like the rest of us!