Another women’s fashion business has aligned itself with a growing list of companies pledging to not drastically alter images of their models in print and website advertising. On-line retailer ModCloth, based in San Francisco has promised to not “materially change the way a person looks” other than for such things as to erase flyaways in a hairdo or correct bad lighting. No longer will their models’ shape, skin colour or physical proportions be altered through computerized editing techniques such as PhotoShop. Well, that’s a breath of fresh air. Their clothing is targeted at the twenty-something age group and they also sell home decor items and vintage clothing. I commend ModCloth for their stand.
Models’ images in fashion and beauty magazines are now so drastically altered that their body parts barely resemble real human beings anymore. As I scan the fashion spreads I shake my head in disbelief at the disproportionately long legs, thin thighs and long necks in the photo spreads. It’s almost become a game to pick out the bad PhotoShopping of knee-less legs, trimmed wasp-waistlines and wafer-thin upper arms. Natural beauty or natural faces and bodies are rare in advertising today. This is particularly obvious when we compare them with “vintage” advertisements from the fifties and sixties.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to get my face altered to perfection on a computer programme used by a Yorkville Avenue plastic surgeon. He was administering Botox injections and fillers at the Canadian Women’s Show in the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Centre, and no, I did not succumb to the injections. The camera took a 3-D image of my head. Then a technician went to work puffing up the low spots and sagging on my face and neck, reducing the size of my nose, lifting my brows, eliminating my jawline jowls and facial lines and generally giving me the perfect face, far removed from what nature gave me. It seems I required a lot of work. They were supposed to e-mail a rendering of the results to me but it never happened and I’ve always wondered what I would look like PhotoShopped to perfection. But not enough to actually go under the knife, or needle.
Wouldn’t we all like to see what the newest fashions would look like on reasonable facsimile’s of real bodies like our own? Even if those bodies are better versions of ours, it brings dreaming a bit closer to reality and I think that’s a good thing. I’d be much more inclined to make a purchase when I can relate to the picture in a magazine rather than immediately discounting it for being so far removed from my conception of reality that it’s an impossible dream. Computer altering of images has gone ‘way overboard and I think it’s time they drew the line at something closer to reality. Am I alone in this line of thinking?