It’s that time of year when a lot of us become reflective of the year that was and life that is and all that stuff. That is certainly the case for me.
Like a lot of people, a shit load of stuff has happened for me both internally and externally and I find myself in a place that is unsettled when it comes to what I see going on around me in this crazy world we live in.
Without beating around the bush, I feel the need to speak up about something that really bugs me and that is, the ridiculous, unattainable perfection we are subjected to on a daily basis that is quite frankly making us as a society sick.
Imagery is everywhere and yes, we are visual creatures and it’s human nature to adore pretty, beautiful, shiny things but I think when it comes to advertising and the media, it has gone too far and the resulting repercussions are distressing.
What do I see? I see people getting plastic surgery and enhancements at an alarming rate and a ridiculously young age. I’m seeing humans becoming more and more mentally and physically ill with eating disorders and body image issues; in fact the rising prevalence of this is in line with the increased exposure to media and particularly social media. I also see a disturbing amount of people struggling with ‘not being enough’ in so many ways and I witness people being made fun of for how they look time and time again.
It’s not okay and it has to stop.
99% of what we’re seeing and aspiring to isn’t real anyway. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, ‘Even the models in the pictures don’t look like the models in the pictures’.
And you know what’s even crazier? We KNOW the images aren’t real. We KNOW they are largely (if not mostly) computer generated but we still SEE them and assimilate them in to our psyche and the result of that is what causes the aforementioned. Crazy right?!
As a makeup artist and part time model agent, I am aware I work in an industry that perpetuates all of the above. I get that. But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what is happening. I question how we got here and I think it’s up to all of us, especially those in the fashion / beauty / media / advertising industries, to start taking responsibility for what is happening and start asking the question “WHY?”
When a designer calls to ask for a model that is reed thin and obviously not healthy, I think we should be asking ‘Why do you want such a thin person to be in your campaign?’
When a photographer retouches a model’s body so much that they become almost, if not, totally unrecognisable, they should be asked ‘Why do you want this person to appear like an alien instead of real? Aren’t they enough?’
When a brand manager wants their images retouched to the point of fantasy and not reality, shouldn’t we be asking ‘Why do you want to use fantasy to sell your brand?’
When an agent says a model’s measurements are not small enough for their market, isn’t it time we said ‘Why?’ Who is it that expects the models to be so tiny? WHO? No one is taking responsibility for this and I think it’s time we ALL did. It is up to every single one of us in the industry to be game changers. I know it’s a mammoth task but I’m certainly up for it. I think it’s time.
It’s clear in life that all things swing and roundabout. What goes up must come down and all that, so I’m hoping that is true for the fashion and advertising world too. You see, what I’m also witnessing is a revolution that wants to happen. I see people cheer when a curvy woman struts the catwalk. I see people comment on how amazing it is to see and hear about what is REAL in life and not this fantasy bullshit we are being fed… and that brings me hope.
I think what is real and true is what people want to see. I think we’re tired of seeing perfection that doesn’t exist. I think we want to know we are enough, just as we are.
I think it’s time to pull each other up and compliment each other for more than what we look like. It’s time to give praise for who we are as people. That’s my opinion anyway.
Are you with me?
Love & Light Always,