Thursday, December 22, 2005

Most Disturbing Game Ever

If you feel like being really disturbed (and who doesn't), there are couple of websites where photo retouchers show how very good they are at their craft. And they're excellent - particularly if you think ever woman should look like a barbie doll. See Alicia Keys get blanded up, ensure those unslightly hips disappear, turn skin into plastic, make those flat stomachs concave, and ensure that breasts can always get bigger.

Via Feministe, and thanks to the Swedish government we also have a special website to show just how much work goes into retouching those cover shots.. This one is excellent, because you can look her body bit by bit (because our bodies are just collections of objects, hair, eyes, waist, etc) and turn the retouching off and on as you wish (the breasts one is particularly funny).

So playing pulsating flesh with someone's photo retouched breasts is really amusing - but it's also unbelievably disturbing. The primary revenue stream for magazines like Cleo & Girlfriend is not their readers, but advertisers. This means their purpose is to deliver eyeballs to advertisments and ensure that the brain behind those eyeballs will want to buy what's being sold. The role these retouched photos in that process is quite obvious, most of the products sold in these magazines are completely useless, and women will only buy them if they feel like shit about themselves.

These pictures don't just reveal our societies completely terrifying attitude towards women's bodies, they shape it.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:11 am

    Go Akshay! With your view supportage!

    So anyway, you know what's scary? When I looked at the Swedish girl originally I thought, yup, cover photo model enforcing a ridiculous ideal of beauty. I've seen retouching websites before so I knew to be expecting some good outrage.

    But then I went through and looked at all the retouching and all I can think about the after photo now is that's really creeeeeepy. I think the eyes and the teeth creep me out most.

    She looks like she wants to kill me - and not just in the plastic surgery/eating disorder way.