So angry!

I was poking through some WordPress blogs, shamelessly trolling for likeminded exhibitionists, and found this lady (ImPerfectMom). It seems to be a nice blog, she’s a well developed computer nerd (and I use the term “nerd” in only the highest regard; I have a huge thing for nerds) who is now focusing on family. Its a link she had on her blog that pissed me off.

This makes my stomach turn. It looks like a run-of-the-mill, neutral themed ad agency, oh but no. Click on portfolio, then the before/after link. This is the most soul sucking use of photoshop I have ever seen. Im being totally serious here – I think these people might very well be the devil. I’ve been reading figleaf’s various treatises on the beauty of the ordinary, how everyday people are the most beautiful because they have flaws, they have pudges and wrinkles and saggy parts… and that makes them human and ultimately perfect. This site erases all that and leaves smooth, thin, boring stretches of fleshy teflon in its place.

I do a lot of drawing. Ive based most of my portfolio on studies of the human figure. To me, the most artistic, interesting parts of the human body are the crinkly things. Knuckles, toes, shadows under the neck or the breast, the little veins in your hand, the tiny (or not so tiny) wrinkles around your mouth – thats what gives you the entirely unique and likeable quality that I want to draw, and that people fall in love with.

I did figure something out through this whole disgusting fiasco; now I know why I don’t like drawing models in magazines. I always thought it had something to do with the glossiness of the paper, or the cropping, or maybe I just wasn’t in the mood that day – but no! It’s their fault! They robbed me of my model! They smoothed out all the interesting bits! So I guess thats a positive point, eh?

Besides the boring..osity (?) of it, I have to say thinnifying Nicole Richie did make me a little nauseous. Some of those changes were so subtle, and I heard myself repeating “ugly…nice…ugly…” clicking the before button again and again. Why was I doing that? It wasn’t with the faces or the texture, it was the skinny part. Smoothing out an obviously fake breast (surgery isn’t enough, evidently), shaving down her shoulder, cutting those two lady’s waists by a third – I know that these pictures are unfair and hold these models to an impossible standard of thinness, but I couldn’t help but look at these women, who have tailored their lives around looking as good as possible, and think of them as fat when I clicked “before.” How screwed up is that? Im angry that I thought that way, and Im angry at this company for helping that thinking develop. Then the second thought comes… how can I possibly compete with that?

I don’t want to fall into some cliche’s, repeating eating disorder statistics or the impact of media on female self esteem, or the line “impossible standard of beauty” (oh. dammit! Well, Im not deleting it.  I said “thinness.”  So there), but its damn easy to get mad at this.

So I thought I’d share. You’re welcome.

I also emailed this link to figleaf; I don’t expect an response but I couldn’t not send it to him. Ain’t nothin’ like spreading the maddening crap around.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I agrree with you wholeheartedly. I too like shadows undder the breasts. I also quite like breasts as well.

  2. 2

    Tildy said,

    Breasts might very well be the most recreationally beautiful body part ever. Its either that or the earlobe.

  3. 3

    Jay said,

    Hey. Found this way after you posted it, but found it interesting to see the site is now down (due to maintenance; or so they say).
    I’m pretty split when it comes to Photoshop. On one hand I work with it and find it fascinating how you can distort and make up completely new images with it. On the other hand it’s disgusting when it’s used publicly. As if we need more complex than we already have.

    But yeah, good point you have there.

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