Have you seen the video of the model being photoshopped nearly beyond recognition that went viral recently? Go take a look if you haven't. How did it make you feel? Angry? Frustrated? Inadequate? All of the above?
Even though I'm old enough to know better, I still look at ads in magazines, etc., and wonder why my skin doesn't look so smooth and fresh (I have pores, for goodness' sake. And I can SEE THEM!)
Duh. Because the model's been photoshopped to death. No one's skin looks like that. And the reality is that while there are some women who do look like the “after” of the woman in the airbrushing video, many more women DON'T, but are constantly being made to feel like they're should look more like the photoshopped image than a original one.
That's where we as fashion bloggers come in.
Think about a time (if you're old enough!) before fashion blogs and random women posting outfit pictures of themselves online. Our images of other women came either from women we knew in real life, or from magazines and TV. So, most of the images we were exposed to were “fake” – or at least could have been. Fast forward to now; we are still faced with manipulated images of women (and men), but there are enough fashion blogs and other outlets that showcase “original” non-manipulated images of women that we have no excuse anymore to hold up an image of unattainable perfection as achievable.
Sure, we will still compare ourselves to other women (when will it ever stop??), and we don't know for sure that blogger images aren't photoshopped and distorted (I myself enjoy an Instagram filter every once in a while), but it's not done to quite the degree as is in traditional advertising.
The incredible popularity and rise of fashion blogs in the last ten years speaks volumes about the types of photos of women that other women WANT to see.
They want to see non-manipulated images of women posing in the mirror or outside on the sidewalk. They want to see imperfections, bumps, under-eye circles, and wrinkles. Those images make us feel REAL and validated and important. To see someone else, somewhere else put pictures of themselves out there on the internet for all to see with wrinkles and all makes us feel empowered, not weak.
So besides taking the video as a slap in the face that NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS, and that we should take what we see with a grain of salt, not judge and definitely not compare ourselves to a two-dimensional image, we, as fashion bloggers, should also see this as an opportunity to empower our readers by continuing to share un-manipulated images of ourselves. This is what they want. And what we all NEED.