Villiers (dianavilliers) wrote,

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Cabbage tree.

This image has been digitally altered. Most of them are.

The link in my previous post leads to a New York Times article on the recent kerfuffle over Ralph Lauren's bizarrely photoshopped models. (Here and here, for anyone who hasn't seen 'em). Some British politicians are angling for such images to be banned, some French ones for warning labels on them - "Thighs in Photo May Appear Smaller Than Actual Size" perhaps.

I agree that current commercial images of desirability aren't doing anyone's mental health any favours, but I don't see any such legislation doing any good. Post processing of whatever sort is a necessary step in the production of good photos, so enforcement of any such rule would become a matter of not whether Photoshop was used at all, but whether it was used too much. The first is easy to measure, the second a matter of opinion much like the "know it when I see it" definition of pornography.

Speaking of pornography, I'd like to mention a small debt gratitude to an ex-boyfriend. Like many men, he had a digital stash of erotic imagery. Included in this was a substantial collection of Playboy centrefolds from the early 70's (I think - I can't recall exactly) to the mid 90's. He also had another, un-retouched version of one of these pictures, from about the mid 70's by the look of it - and the model in it was moderately hairy. I'm not talking about pubic hair, but just about normal arm and leg hairs all catching the studio lights. Fuzzy just like me! Cool! You know how the story ends though - all that fuzz gone, somewhere in the editing process. It was enlightening and somehow reassuring to see those two images in quick succession. Airbrushing, I saw, isn't just something they talk about to make us ordinary people feel better.

Oddly enough, Mr Lauren's Photoshop-monkey has done me a similar favour. These unfortunate bobbleheads, manufactured out of good photos of perfectly nice women who happen to be unusually tall and skinny, are so cartoonish in proportion that I am relieved of the burden of even attempting to emulate them (not that I was trying that hard to begin with). I can no more achieve that look than I can grow an orange striped tail and become Tigger and honestly - nor would I want to.
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