You’d have to live under a rock to not know that magazines and Photoshop go hand-in-hand. Advertisers constantly alter models’ bodies in some twisted attempt to create the “perfect” woman, or what they believe the “perfect” woman looks like. This can contribute to unrealistic body image standards and self-esteem issues among girls and women. Don’t believe me? Let the statistics speak for themselves:
- 3 out of 4 teenage girls feel depressed, guilty and shameful after spending 3 minutes leafing through a fashion magazine (Source: http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/)
- 48% of teenage girls wish they were as skinny as models. (Source: http://www.girlscouts.org/research/publications/healthyliving/healthy_living.asp)
- Twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today that number is 23% less. (Source: http://www.jeankilbourne.com/resources-for-change/beauty-body-image/)
- Eighty percent of 10-year-old American girls say they have been on a diet. The number one magic wish for young girls age 11-17 is to be thinner. (Source: justthink.org)
TEN YEAR OLD GIRLS are dieting. I repeat: TEN YEAR OLDS. Shouldn’t they be more preoccupied with mastering long division and running around the soccer field?! Perhaps they would be if they weren’t forcibly consuming unhealthy and unrealistic images of women’s bodies at every turn — in TV, movies and magazines, on billboards, and the Internet. Impressionable girls — and women, for that matter — are seeing images like this when they flip through magazines:
The media industry needs a wake-up call, stat. Thankfully, SPARKMovement.org, LoveSocial.org, IAmThatGirl.com, EndangeredBodies.org, and MissRepresentation.org have created a 3 day “Keep It Real” Challenge, calling upon magazines to pledge to use at least one un-Photoshopped image of a model per issue — a completely reasonable request. After all, girls should be focusing on having fun with their friends over summer break, not obsessing over squeezing into size-0 bathing suits they see on emaciated models!
What can you do as part of the Challenge? For starters, let your fingers do some wandering: Tweet at and Facebook magazines and editors, challenging them to change their ways. For a list of top magazine editors to target on Twitter, go here. You can also blog about the issue and tell the world why Photoshop must go! Finally, take the #KeepItRealChallenge to Instagram with pictures of what real beauty means to you.
And be sure to download the Keep It Real Toolkit — in it, you’ll find more details about the challenge, plus images and statistics you can use.
LET’S KEEP IT REAL!!!!