The fascination with unretouched photos of celebrities is real, so it was no wonder an allegedly unretouched image of Cindy Crawford posted by ITV anchor Charlene White blew up the Internet. The image of Crawford in lingerie with wrinkles on her stomach was later found to be fake, but for a moment there, the Internet was thrilled to see a more realistic image of a woman who has for so long been propped up, primped, prodded and Photoshopped into an unattainable ideal of beauty.
But if you ask Crawford, the whole situation was not her cup of tea. In an interview with Elle Canada, the model explained that she went back and forth about the situation. “I felt that [the journalist] was inauthentic because she acted like this was great but she didn’t check if I wanted this out or if it was a real picture. Why would seeing a bad picture of me make other people feel good? I felt blindsided. I was very conflicted, to be honest. The story had run a year and a half before, and the picture of me in that outfit was from the bust up. I know my body, and I know it’s not perfect, but maybe I have a false body image; maybe I think I look better than I do.”
Crawford says that although she’s glad the picture made people feel good, it also made her feel uncomfortable to see an unflattering doctored photo of her circulating the Internet. “We spoke to the photographer, and he was very upset because he didn’t put it out there. He said: ‘Cindy, I’m going to send you the real one and it’s nothing like that. It’s clear that someone manipulated that image to make whatever was there worse.’ It was stolen and it was malicious, but there was so much positive reaction [to the image]. Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior—even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less. So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armor. Whether it was real or not isn’t relevant, although it’s relevant to me. I don’t try to present myself as perfect. It put me in a tough spot: I couldn’t come out against it because I’m rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn’t embrace it because it wasn’t real—and even if it were real, I wouldn’t have wanted it out there. I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut.”
It is definitely a tricky situation. On the one hand, you want to promote a positive and realistic body image, but if your body doesn’t match what society thinks of as “realistic,” what is one to do? Crawford shouldn’t feel guilty for having an amazing body nor should she feel bad about having her body misrepresented, no matter how good it makes everyone else feel.
We can all pretty much agree that the beauty ideal in mainstream society includes thinness and degrees of whiteness. While it is important to help change these standards, it is also important that we’re also not bashing women who might fit the ideal, narrow as it is. Sure, most of us don’t look like the women in Victoria’s Secret ads, but just because Behati Prinsloo and her ilk are tall, leggy and gorgeous doesn’t make them any less womanly or “real.”
A photo posted by Brydie Mack (@wolfcubwolfcub) on
Model Genevieve Barker is making this argument after getting harsh criticism on a photo of her posted to photographer Byrdie Mack’s Instagram page. In the black and white image shot for Souvenir magazine, we see Ms. Barker lying in the sand, her back to us, her body contorted so that her rows of ribs are on full display. The image proved to be quite jarring for some, who expressed their disapproval in the comments.
“Is perfection starving themselves?” one commenter wrote, while another said, “Why is this perfection? This woman is a rack of bones… what are you trying to say about women’s bodies here?!?” Some people believed the photograph was promoting an unhealthy, pro-ana body image and did not hesitate to offer their criticism: “I think it’s concerning to promote such a low percentage of body fat and more concerning that so many people strive for this. I’m so anti-body-shaming, big or small, but do believe we should all promote healthy weights.” Others commented with burger, pizza and other food emojis.
Barker did not appreciate the harsh words about her physique. “I see articles all the time condemning ‘fat shamers’ and how appalling it is that a woman should ever call another woman ‘too big,'” Barker told the Daily Mail Australia. “However it is seen as empowering, and speaking out for the ‘real women’ if people comment ‘too thin,’ ‘eat something,’ ‘gaunt,’ ‘disgusting’ about thin women. I am thin, I AM a real woman.”
Fair enough. There seems to be a bit of a double standard in the body acceptance arena. Pop Roulette did an excellent video parody commenting on women who are all about body positivity – unless they’re talking about a thin woman’s body. “All bodies are beautiful… unless you’re thin, then you are disgusting,” the lyrics say.
Sure, Barker might be shaped like the kind of woman who is championed as the height of beauty in our society, but that doesn’t make her any less human nor does it give anyone a free pass to harp on her body. As one commenter put it, “Guys, remember there’s a real human in this picture and your comments can be extremely hurtful.”
Turns out Kylie Jenner has a purpose in this world beyond getting her makeup done and taking selfies that test the limits of our personal comfort. The youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is actually standing up for a cause and no, the cause has nothing to do with making brown lipstick more available worldwide (though she is on that beat, too). The teen reality TV star has launched the #IAmMoreThan campaign, which aims to address the problem of bullying. In a series of Snapchats, Kylie explained her latest project.
Kylie is sharing stories of six people who have overcome bullying in their day. “I’ve gotten to talk and bond with all of these people whose stories you will see on my page,” she says in an Instagram post. “I think you will all fall in love with them just like I did. I want to encourage you, my fans, to share something positive about yourselves. I’ll be reading as much as I can so that some of you can be a part of this as well! Let’s do this.” Kylie says that she, too, has been a victim of bullying since she was nine, growing up in the spotlight.
The first #IAmMoreThan story is of 21-year-old Renee DuShane who has Pfeiffer Syndrome, which she explains as “a genetic disorder where the bones in my face don’t really know how to fuse correctly so part of my jaw is really small. I had to have surgery when I was born so that my brain could grow.” DuShane also shares that in spite of her appearance, she hasn’t really had to put up with bullying growing up because of her close-knit community. Things changed when she entered college, but it still empowered her to put her face out there and confront her insecurities. “I went to school with all the same kids all the way through high school. Right around senior year, I started getting very anxious about having to explain my condition to all of the new people I would meet in college. I started going on Tumblr and saw lots of profiles of positive, confident people.” DuShane started sharing photos of herself online after getting inspired by what she saw on Tumblr. “It’s so hard to keep myself from responding to the negative comments. Even harder is keeping my friends from getting angry.”
It’s always nice to see a teenager doing something productive and positive with their time besides primping, so kudos to Kylie for dedicating herself to this cause. We can’t help but give her props using her enormous platform for something positive.
It feels like just the other day I was getting excited to meet all the new bachelorettes and now we are already at Episode 11. This season has flown by so quickly. To tell you the truth, I’m kind of excited for Sam to choose his lady already.
I thought I had the show all figured out, but it turns out that maybe I don’t. I didn’t factor in that Sam might just fall for an intruder. Like, hello, Lana is gorgeous and sweet and just adorable. Who wouldn’t fall for her? Nina feels otherwise, because how dare Sam like some he met after Nina, in Nina mansion?
With only six ladies left it’s only fair Sam chooses everyone for the group date, and what a great date to learn more about each of the girls’ personalities? Playing games with kids seems like a very normal thing for me, not something I thought people would have trouble with, however, it turns out not everyone knows what to do when kids are around. (more…)