Digital altering is now commonplace and too easy to perform, says Salma Awwad
Image manipulation was once reserved for models in make-up ads, but as more and more people download everyday apps capable of altering an image with just the click of a button, the line between reality and staged moments has become blurred.
The truth is, the beauty industry, print media, and even TV shows and music videos practice airbrushing so much that we don’t realise how much of what we see is fake.
In turn, we hold ourselves up to unrealistic standards of perfect skin, tiny waists and long and lean silhouettes.
Celebrities such as actress Kate Winslet and singer Trisha Yearwood have recently hit out at their images on magazine covers being heavily altered but those behind the airbrush are also having second thoughts about the whole process.
When former Cosmopolitan editor Leah Hardy admitted to the Daily Mail that she had airbrushed anorexic models to look less unwell, it was a huge reality check that pointed out the dangerous side of this game.
“Thanks to retouching, our readers - and those of Vogue, and Self, and Healthy magazine – never saw the horrible, hungry downside of skinny; that these underweight girls didn't look glamorous in the flesh,” she said in 2010.
“Their skeletal bodies, dull, thinning hair, spots and dark circles under their eyes were ‘magicked’ away by technology, leaving only the allure of coltish limbs and Bambi eyes. A vision of perfection that simply didn't exist.
“All I can say is that I'm sorry for my small part in this madness. It is time it stopped - for all our sakes.”
I agree. It’s time to transcend these outdated ideologies of beauty and embrace the fact that human beings are indeed more interesting and captivating with all their quirks and flaws included.