Imagine a world where beauty is the source of confidence, not anxiety. We see and come across different types of beauty, each and everyday. We see beautiful people on television, on a billboard, in a magazine, etc. This concept of beauty has become quite an obsession, especially among women. These young individuals have become so blinded by the type of beauty that the media is constantly portraying, we have forgotten its real definition. The definition of beauty, in it’s simplicity, lies beyond the surface. Unfortunately, in today’s society, beauty is seen in a physical form.
There has been so much controversy over photoshopped models in advertisements lately. In a recent ad for Aerie, American Eagle has ditched Photoshop for its latest lingerie ad campaign. The latest ads for the Aerie line feature models without airbrushing, featuring their flaws including tattoos, stretch marks, moles, freckles, etc.
Photoshop was primarily designed to alter images and has many purposes for its use. One major way Photoshop software is used is in ad campaigns for magazines and billboards. Photoshop has thousands of options which allow us to manipulate any features in an image that we don’t like. We can make an image appear to be flawless when in reality, the image may be far less than perfect.
Aerie, recently launched an “Aerie real” campaign which encourages teens and young adults to see that body image isn’t as important as society makes it out to be. Everyone’s body is different and by allowing Photoshop to alter images in advertisements, it makes women believe that what they’re seeing is real. These women begin to believe that some people actually look the way they appear in photos. This type of manipulation causes eating disorders and other forms of damage to a girl’s self-esteem. One Poll reported that “33% of the women polled also feel the body they aspire towards is not possible for them to achieve.”
A recent survey conducted by UK on behalf of New Look clothing line, polled over 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 65 on various aspects of female body image.
According to Glamour Magazine, 15 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed were convinced that the images of models and celebrities in advertisements, magazines and billboards accurately depict what these women look like in real life. Differentiating between Photoshop and real life is hard enough when a woman is aware of the airbrushing that probably went on; it becomes much harder when she isn’t even given the basic facts. Commercial retouching appears to be viewed cynically – with just 43 percent of Glamour readers believing that it is acceptable for magazines to retouch and 39 percent saying the same of the advertising world.
By allowing this bold move to occur, American Eagle may profit with consumers who are starting to get fed up with photo alterations. “We left beauty marks, we left tattoos, what you see is really what you get with our campaign,” Aerie brand representative Jenny Altman said on Good Morning America. “The models in the Aerie Real campaign are obviously still young, beautiful and very thin — Aerie hasn’t overthrown the system — but “imperfections” (tattoos, beauty marks, lines, dimples, fat, puckering and slight stretch marks) are clearly on display. They are still models, they’re still gorgeous, they just look a little more like the rest of us,” Altman added. “We’re hoping to break the mold, we hope by embracing this that real girls everywhere will start to embrace their own beauty.”
The real definition of beauty lies beneath yourself. It’s about how you feel inside; what kind of person you are. It’s more of how you feel about yourself and how you make people happy, not just yourself. It’s more of being able to make others feel beautiful themselves by your kindness, how you treat people and having a beautiful soul.