An interesting headline caught my eye this week because it pertains to the heart of our perceptions of beauty and to the minds of impressionable young girls.
Target ran a junior swimsuit ad with a model whose image was poorly photoshopped. Her rib cage and arm looked pieced together, and her thighs and swimsuit bottom had clearly been altered to make her appear thinner. (See the ad here.)
To make matters worse, when Target issued an apology for the poor photo editing, there was no mention of why they felt it necessary to alter the body of this beautiful teenage model initially or how they may be contributing to a culture-wide problem of teenagers and women who are chasing after unattainable perfection.
When is enough enough? When will we step up and demand for the marketing aimed at our daughters (and ourselves) to reflect reality? Are these models not thin enough? Are their thighs really not spaced far enough apart?
As a mother of two daughters who has struggled with body image issues in the past, I think it’s absolutely disgusting that retailers are altering beautiful young girls and in turn leaving normal girls feeling like something must be wrong with their bodies because they don’t match the glossy advertisements.
I’m aware it happens in women’s advertising and publications, but I feel like as an adult I finally am secure enough in who I am, imperfections and all, to be able to flip through a magazine without staring at the shape and size of the models featured and longing to change my body. As a teenager, though, I am certain I would have spent time comparing myself to swimsuit models like the one in the Target ad and feeling bad about myself at the end of it all.
Teenage girls are learning, growing, blossoming and delicate. No matter what shape or size their body takes, they need the confidence to love themselves and see their own value and worth.
Our society, retailers and publishers included, owe it to these young women to help them navigate through the challenges that come with defining beauty; however, I’m not content to stand by and wait for some huge movement which might never occur. I’m determined to do what I can to protect the hearts and minds of my girls.
I can empower my girls to believe in their own beauty and recognize false advertising for what it is.
I can laugh at crooked arms and creepy thigh gaps in botched photoshopped pictures so I can show my daughters what really happens to pictures before they are published for us to see.
I can show my support to celebrities who share non-photoshopped images with the public so we can see what is really happening after the women leave the studio.
I can read and share articles like fellow Greeley Moms blogger Jaymi’s post on true beauty.
I can show my daughters how to love and accept an imperfect body by taking care of myself and saying no to unnecessary cosmetic procedures.
I can open up discussion about the moral obligation retailers and magazines have to help our young girls have a healthy body image, but I won’t rely on them to make that happen.
Our daughters are depending on us to fight for them, and I hope you’ll join me.
Here is this the original link for my post for the Greeley Moms: