Airbrushing – how you were conned into ‘perfection’

Beautiful Eva Longoria airbrushed


It’s not often that that dodgy pair of old boots are better off looking a little worn and beaten. It gives them character. If they were a person they’d be that slightly wrinkled man that always smiles at you in the butcher’s (he will look totally normal and not at all like a paedophile). It gives them a little bit of intrigue and chips away at that little nugget that says ‘fresh is best’ when this is not always the case. Take hair, the messy look is ALL THE RAGEEE and invites the humble pedestrian to roll out of bed and literally brush their teeth and go. Only this morning did I do just that; I didn’t get any strange looks, no-one handed me a 10 pence piece and told me to get some soup – I was just another girl with beaten hair.


I’m unsure as to if this is synonymous with other countries and cultures, but Britain seems to make a big deal about things looking a little dishevelled, off the wall if you will. Big man winter fleeces that have holes in are now ‘hipster’ and a beard full of cheesy Wotsit remnants is basically a fashion statement. It’s not elegant at all, but I guess it works for the way we live.


Designers like Alexander Wang really got cracking on this ‘casual fashion’ outlook, crying out to girls to try those messy fishtail plaits and wear big swallowing jumpers that do nothing for your figure but everything for your aura. But what I don’t get is, even in the case of Wang’s lazyboy approach, why adverts and celebrities need to be airbrushed to unmaintainable perfection although we all know it’s one big con.


Kate Moss airbrushed... and not


Spurred on by an article that showed the ‘top 14 airbushing before and afters’ I was quite dismayed to see that some of the most naturally gorgeous stars of the moment have been airbrushed for big campaigns within an inch of their lives, as if perfection isn’t good enough for these breastfeeders. In one of the photos of Eva Longoria, she is led there looking ever so seductive. She looks beautiful, she always does, we’ve all seen her on camera and you can’t airbrush that, yet they still airbrushed out her ‘eye bags’ (which is miniscule) and have etched away part of her thigh. Longoria. That stick-thin thing. It’s sending out the wrong message. Etching out inevitabilities should not and, to me, does not stop the buying potential of an item or the overall buying into the celebrity all because their knees are a little sagged.


Some of the time, the celebrities even look better in their original photograph. Keira Knightley in her King Arthur advertisement is given ridiculous airbrushed breasts that stare at you like two perky door knockers. Of course the reasoning is that this will make boy fans drip a bit and then come and see the film. But for those who actually know what Keira Knightley looks like – flat-chested beyond belief – it’s quite comical to say the least. On screen, when she’s running around in this film, you won’t see any flopping about of uddery goodness because she doesn’t have what it says on the tin. All of the sticky boys that come to see the film will be so confused and disappointed they’ll start convulsing in their seats because FLAT CHESTS ARE WRONG. It will be mayhem.


On the same article, a before and after photo of Kourtney Kardashian and baby Mason are on the front cover of OK! US magazine. But what’s this? On the ‘before’ photo, Kourtney has a large and in charge bump. One that says, ‘I just made this thing in my arms with my own ovaries’. The ‘after’ shot, however, has an airbrushed out baby bump, as if the magazine was afraid that people might work it out. It just sends out all the wrong signals about the majesty of child birth and the union of mother and baby, especially when the photo tells us that the baby must have been magically transported from Mars, not from a woebegone mother’s tummy, because that’s just weirddd.


In this day and age, I think it is best to keep things natural. The celebrities are given hours and hours in hair and make-up, let them have that, but don’t airbrush it out at the end of it all. Who believes an advert with a woman’s face that appears to have the texture and opalescence of a pebble? No, from a woman’s point of view, you’ll just start hating them, and that’s not good publicity.  At least for them it would be a free for all and all the celebrities would be given a fair joust at an ad campaign. Except for Fergie. Because she should just buy the rights for all airbrushing and be done with it immediately. Take them all for yourself, Fergie. Please.


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