I came across a story shared by Erika of BGG2WL - who has a great set of posts devoted to healthy body image, industry tricks to conceal what people's actual bodies look like and the very controversial "Photoshop Diet." This one was regarding supermodel Selita Ebank's revelation, that paint is used on models' bottoms, during runway shows. In attempt to cover up flaws ... on supermodels. Yeah. Piggybacking off of another commenter, I said:
Let a supermodel come down the runway without those touches, she’s shamed into oblivion by the media and some “real women.” We (general audience/readers/etc.) *say* we want to see reality in print or onscreen, but the moment a star is seen without make-up, or who – God forbid – has a budge (bulge + pudge) in their belly, or visible stretch mark … it becomes a firing squad. Oh, except for those nobly obligatory ‘no air-brush,’ ‘real women’ magazine editions and stuff.
I think it also boils down to people not wanting to see ‘themselves,’ in those limelight capacities... The allure is the fact that some portrayals are unrealistic, sadly.Let's be honest, when raw images of celebs hit the net, it's either done in jest or eventually turns into jest, once the observer/consumer gets passed the mic (or keyboard), for an opinion. But we're so quick to point the deceptive finger at magazines, image consultants and Photoshoppers when they take those raws and make adjustments - whether minor or grande. When in actuality, I think the general public is highly to blame, also, for some of the mirages we are presented. I wholeheartedly believe in the theory of supply and demand. We obviously demand flawlessness. If we wanted more snaps and non-altered photo shoots from folks, we'd have them.
Exhibit #123GTFOH | I was browsing Necole Bitchie's site over the weekend and ran across a paparazzi shot of singer Alicia Keys, her newborn son Egypt and stepson, Kaseem. She wore jorts (jean + shorts) and I could even see people picking on her for that. Or the fact that she was taking care of her stepson in light of all the drama that that situation brought. Mais, non. The focus was her body. What's new, right? A woman, who has a highly stressful career and who just had a baby, for goodness sakes! The consensus was disapproving and it wasn't just your average "eww" sentiments, people got outright rude:
- She has way too much money for her legs to look like that! IJS! - (261 'Likes,' btw)
- *Puts the pop-tart down* O M G………
- Happy weight is what they call it, but gurl hit the gym STAT!
- What does “just had a baby” got to do with it? I just had 3 babies and my legs don’t look like that!!! C’mon Alicia, what you doin? You know you gotta keep yor shit tight since you got a man that love women!!
- Tighten up bish
- ewwww her legs look grossssssss !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- you shoulda hid them thighs with that bag. or skipped the shorts for that day. yea… erybody has cellulite but uhhh, everybody aint famous.
- I hope Alicia is stepping up her workout game cuz dem legs look atrocious.
- She should NEVER wear shorts EVER in life… I know women have a propensity to spread in the hips/leg/thigh area, but regular excercise combats that disgusting sagging/cottage cheese Her legs look like they are 65 years old.
- Alicia you better start doing some swats, lunges and calf stretches because this picture of your legs and thighs is just awful! Also, last month on the BET awards you backside was looking a bit loose.
- Honey you have one child and your legs look the weight of a 200 pound woman. Get it together Alicia.
- She’s beautiful, but no wonder she’s always wearing tights. I knew she was part of the big thighs and hip comittee…no shade, no tea ma’m but photoshop does wonders. Slim waist and stomach’s tight, but she’s considered plus size.
Well, damn. Given that this is the response that one receives for living with cellulite ... I'd be #teamphotoshop, at any chance possible, too! And as many suggested "she has the money," alluding that there are surgical procedures and whatnot to remedy her unacceptable figure. Yet, we all know that then she'd be a sell-out or one who "took the easy way out." People don't know what they want. I'm convinced. I applaud A. Keys and others who step out of the house, in comfort (it's hot as heck, everywhere!), without care of what others think. Oh, and as I looked into what the discussion turned into on other blogs/eds about this photo - it was the same thing.
While I think there are many who appreciate or don't even do a double-take at non-digitally doctored-up images, we are clearly in the minority. Some seem to have higher expectations of others, no matter what their personal situations are like. Almost like a self-degradation measure, but using someone else as the scapegoat - to denounce traits they possess, however deem unsightly. And that confuses me. Why do Photoshop tactics exist? Simply put, because of us.