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Posts Tagged ‘exclusion of body types’

It seems to me that no one ever thinks about this, or they never want to talk about it. I want to talk about it. I think it needs to be written down, passed around, and heard over and over again until we replace our present beliefs with the truth.

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I’m not sure how much anyone else has been exposed to people telling them to not trust media images in regards to visual accuracy in depicting bodies, but I have heard that quite often. Speeches on how images of bodies shown in the media have incorporated some form of falseness strike a chord with me, but they often seem to be lacking in one important department: a video representation of how much can be altered, in order to visually prove that manufacturing of a “fake”, so to speak, body in the media is possible with the assistance of technology.

I did not realize this until after I had watched Fotoshop by Adobé”, a video directed by Jesse Rosten that does depict photoshop doctoring of bodies. This editing that is portrayed in the video raises quite a few important points to think about, most generally about the erasure of various bodily features/body types by the media.

Towards the beginning, the video shows a “before” portrait of a female with facial wrinkles (which I inferred to be a depiction of an elderly female), as well an “after” image of a female with no such wrinkles (which I thought was a portrayal of a young female). Clearly, any markings on the face, whether they be natural or not, are subject to censorship. Furthermore, elderly bodies appear to be denied a place in media.

Later, the video depicts a doctoring of a magazine cover that features a female with brown skin into someone with lighter skin. This raises awareness about the omission of bodies with skin tones that are not white/of a light shade from the media. Also, people of color’s bodies seem to be excluded.

Further along in the video, there is a portrayal of the reshaping of a female body from a curvy body shape to one that is less curvier, and once again, the delineation gives attention to the media expulsion of such body types.

It becomes clear, after watching the video, just what the media wants us to see in regards to bodies – and what the media is not showing us. The natural states of bodies continue to be reworked to fit a certain ideal: unmarred, young, light skinned, white, and skinny. In doing so, the “normal” becomes abnormal. The truth about what bodies really look like – that they come in a diverse variety – becomes replaced by a lie that only caters to a certain group.

As one article points out, “…Rosten skewers the breathless tone, too-perfect imagery and dense double-speak of beauty-oriented spots and magazine spreads.”

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