Fashion and Airbrushing

Nowadays, more and more young people are becoming obsessed with the way they look and are developing unhealthy attitudes to food, as they strive to achieve the ‘perfect’ body. We are inundated with images in the media, of both men and women, with blemish free, toned, tanned bodies, most of which are simply unachievable to the average person. This makes young people feel that some how they are inadequate, and this is how eating disorders and mental health problems develop. It is becoming normal for females to believe that size zero bodies are something to aspire to, and equally for males to worry that they are overweight if they do not have six packs and athletic builds. Although people are aware that some photos are airbrushed and digitally altered, it is very hard to decipher this without actually being alerted to the fact.

With the click of a button, magazines and media are taking inches off models bodies, making stomachs flatter and busts bigger, creating an image which is false and a complete misrepresentation of what the person actually looks like. It also somehow gives the impression that the models real body is not perfect enough to display naturally. Encouragingly, the recently elected government are taking a stand on this sensitive issue and are calling for the fashion industry to either stop using airbrushing in their photos, or to alert readers to this, in the form of Kitemarks or other health warnings. This is an extremely positive step by the government, which could really change the fashion industry as we know it. It may even encourage the use of bigger models in advertising campaigns, rather than the extremely thin models we usually see.

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It would be great to see a future generation of young people who are comfortable in their own skin and do not have the same body hang up’s as this generation. Simple steps like this can only contribute to achieving this and giving young people a fair representation of what ‘normal’ bodies actually look like, which will help them grow into well adjusted adults in the future. It also shows these types of media that the public are not willing to put up with these false, inaccurate images. The same way as we would not want to be constantly reading articles which we knew were untrue, although this is sometimes the case. Magazines actually state that they will not publish false information, but the publication of distorted images should be included within this statement. It remains to be seen as to whether this law will come into practice in the near future but it is certainly a step in the right direction.