“Her boobs are just too small.”
It’s a phrase many photographers have said in reference to the breast size of hundreds of models, actresses, socialites and singers. But not to worry, there’s always the handy-dandy Photoshop application. In comes the enlarge option and then a bit of retouching and there you go! The perfectly sized set of breasts with the faint tint of bronzer to enhance the cleavage for the ideal finished product.
Every day, millions of women throughout the world are faced with the same impossible idealized body image expressed in the forms of Photoshopped pictures, advertisements, movie posters, etc. Girls across the world, including female students at Shawnee Mission East, struggle with body image issues. They look in the mirror not to see their positive physical features, but to critique their imperfections.
Recently however, light has been shed on the negative effects of Photoshop and popular social figures have spoken out against the application, specifically Keira Knightley, star of movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Love Actually. In her photoshoot with Interview magazine, Knightley agreed to conduct a topless shoot on the condition that no editing or enhancement be done on her breasts or torso.
This action against the idea of photo enhancement has sparked a flurry of responses, both positive and negative. In my opinion, this reform in the way society views the female body could not have happened at a more pivotal moment. With the continuous growth and influence of social media in the world, the edited body images posted on the Internet have the greatest effect they’ve ever had on the public. Currently, 47% of girls between the ages of 10-18 report to want to lose weight due to magazine pictures. It sets impossible standards for what the female body should look like and gives men and women an unrealistic depiction of what they should aim for in a partner.
I have had personal experience in the area of self-consciousness. I remember counting calories, going to the gym for excessive amounts of time and constantly stepping on the scale hoping to see a lower number from the day before. Being thin just wasn’t in my genetics. When I was around sixteen years old, I finally realized I would never be that skinny girl on the cover of a magazine. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate my body the way it is, big thighs and all.
A woman’s body comes in all shapes and sizes and no person has the right to dictate the type of body a girl, or boy, should strive to achieve. Some girls have A’s and some have double D’s. Some girls have thin legs and some have a more curvy body type. But all girls have a heart and a brain. Maybe those are the things our society should begin to focus its attention on.