Hello SOTGC community,
Recently, Target was caught red-handed photo shopping their spring swim suit line. Not only were they photo shopping already thin young women, but they were doing it poorly:
You can see in the photo that the woman’s underarm is strangely cut out, as well as her inner thighs, which have been reduced into an odd square shape. We all know that every swim suit ad we see has most likely been photo shopped. But to see it like this, for me, was a wakeup call.
Just last week I decided to try on swim suits for an upcoming trip in May. I left the store without a new suit, depressed and discouraged. Even I had succumbed to the mental reprogramming that said I should look like the fake computer-enhanced women in photographs. The ads make you think your thighs should never touch, that your stomach should be perfectly flat, and that your breasts should be a perfect perky size.
The American Medical Association has started a campaign to stop the artificial re-creation of women’s bodies, citing that it has become a public health problem. Its new policy states that they will “…encourage advertising associations to work with public and private sector organizations to establish guidelines that would discourage airbrushing or retouching in advertising, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications.” In a recent article by Heather Hogan on afterellen.com, she cites, “According to recent studies, nearly 50 percent of girls under the age of six are worried that they’re fat, and by the age of 17, 78 percent of girls say they are unhappy with their bodies.” Our idealized images of what a woman should look like are slowly and systematically informing young girls that they are not good enough as they are, a dangerous proposition for the future of our culture and society.
One company, however, has decided NOT to photo shop both their swim and lingerie ads this year: Aerie (a subsidiary of American Eagle). They have vowed that from now on, they will not retouch their photos and will not use supermodels. They are also asking girls to post photos of themselves using the #AerieREAL hashtag. Not only can we support them, but we must encourage other companies to follow suit! I looked online, and found that only Aerie, so far, has decided to take this pledge. Together, we can start a movement to end these dangerous photos.
***Please take a moment to sign the petition, so we can get the attention of major retailers such as GAP, Victoria’s Secret, JCrew, and Target***
The results will be beautiful, both inside and out.
*Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.com
Please help us spread this message of wellness, of a healthier outlook for women’s body image, and Tweet, Pine, post to LinkedIn and Share on Facebook. This is not acceptable and together, we can make a stand!!
Ryan Green works for a global leader in the medical device industry and is passionate about writing and advocating key women’s issues. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryangreenonline and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007156953049.
Hogan, Heather. Doctors to Magazines: Stop Ruining Young Girls Lives with Photo Shop. http://www.afterellen.com/doctors-to-magazines-stop-ruining-young-girls-lives-with-photoshop/07/2011/ afterellen.com. 7/12/11. Accessed 3/12/14. Online