Wednesday, 3 November 2010

How easy is it to airbrush?

To show just how easy it is to airbrush a photo I myself have created a before and after photo using computer software photoshop.

Although my photo doesnt go quite to the extremes of real magazine airbrushing, you can still clearing see a difference in the image. The before is very dark and the girls skin looks a bit dull. Whereas the in the after their skin is glowing and the hair looks more glossy. Yes the second photo looks better but it isnt a true reflection of these naturally beautiful girls' image we shouldnt try to change what people look like just to sell a product.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Making a stand against airbrushing

Debenhams take the lead
Debenhams has taken a stand against airbrushing, and revealed the tricks of the trade by releasing a 'before and after' airbrushed image from its latest swimwear campaign.

Laying bare the digital enhancements made in many advertising images, the shot shows how the model's body would have been altered by the airbrush, reducing her waist, slimming arms and legs, boosting her cleavage and plumping her lips.

The side-by-side pictures will be displayed in the department store's flagship Oxford Street branch window with the banner, 'We've not messed with natural beauty; this image is unairbrushed. What do you think?'

Debenhams has vowed to ban all airbrushing from future campaigns and fashion imagery.
Mark Woods, the retailer's director of creative and visual commented, 'We want to help customers make the most of their beauty without bombarding them with unattainable body images.'Our campaign is all about making women feel good about themselves, not eroding their self belief and esteem by using false comparisons. Not only does it make sense from a moral point of view, it ticks the economic boxes as well. Millions of pounds a year are spent by organisations retouching perfectly good image,' he added.


Jo Swinson: “Ban airbrushing in children’s adverts”
“Real Women,” a new policy paper from the Liberal Democrats’ women’s policy group, has proposed a set of measures to protect women and girls from body image pressure and to encourage healthier lifestyles.

These include:
· Children to be protected from body image pressure by banning airbrushing in advertising aimed at under 16s
· Adverts aimed at adults to indicate clearly the extent to which they have been airbrushed or digitally enhanced
· Cosmetic surgery advertisements to give surgery success rates
· Modules on body image, health and well-being, and media literacy to be taught in schools
· Schools to include greater choice in physical activity to stop teenage girls dropping out of exercising
· Money to be invested in improving school and community sports facilities to make them cleaner, safer and more female-friendly

Jo Swinson MP, who leads the group, said:
“Today’s unrealistic idea of what is beautiful means that young girls are under more pressure now than they were even five years ago. Airbrushing mean that adverts contain completely unattainable images that no-one can live up to in real life."

“We need to help protect children from these pressures and we can make a start by banning airbrushing in adverts aimed at them."

“The focus on women’s appearance has got out of hand – no-one really has perfect skin, perfect hair and a perfect figure, but women and young girls increasingly feel that nothing less than perfect will do."

“Liberal Democrats believe in the freedom of companies to advertise but we also believe in the freedom of young people to develop their self-esteem and to be as comfortable as possible with their bodies. They shouldn’t constantly feel the need to measure up to a very narrow range of digitally manipulated shapes and sizes.”

Government pushes for airbrush ban
The Government is pushing for health warnings on airbrushed images in adverts in an attempt to promote promote body confidence.

The news comes as equalities minister Lynne Featherstone gets ready to meet with advertising executives and magazine editors to discuss how to stop promoting unrealistic body images.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the minister said that she will push for a Kitemark or health warning on airbrushed photographs, warning viewers that they are not real. “I am very keen that children and young women should be informed about airbrushing, so they don’t fall victim to looking at an image and thinking that anyone can have a 12in waist. It is so not possible,” said Featherstone.

In her interview, Featherstone says that she wants to see more women of different shapes and sizes used in magazine photoshoots, including curvaceous role models such as Christina Hendricks (pictured), who plays the office manager Joan Holloway in Mad Men, the US TV series about the 1960s advertising industry.

Her comments follow calls from academics and Lib-Dems last year to lobby the Advertising Standards Authority to introduce notices on ads that feature airbrushed models.
A letter from academics Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell of the University of the West of England was sent to the ASA, with the warning of the negative impact that airbrushed images can have on the self-esteem of young people, especially when it makes models look super-thin.

In the past, beauty brand Dove, celebrated for its groundbreaking ’real women’ ad campaign, has also come under attack following allegations that the pictures, which featured ordinary women in plain, white underwear, had been digitally altered. Unilever-owned Dove denied the claim.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

What young people think

Some questions on the questionnaire had space to give an opion this is what some of the people asked thought of particular questions.

Does the media industry and our obsession with celebrities influence the way you perceive both your and other peoples body image?

"Yes it has caused an obsessive culture can be dangerous e.g. size zero."
Kiran age 17

"Celebrities are all skinny and attractive, I’m so jealous. It makes me feel insecure."
Chloe age 18

"Yes because people compare themselves to the people in the magazines but they aren’t realistic images which makes people feel bad about themselves."
Faye age 21

"I feel like I should look the same as the celebrities in magazines and it makes me feel body conscious. "
Beth age 17

"They have programmed us to make us think we should look perfect."
Amy age 14

Do you agree with airbrushing?

"Because it makes people (celebrities) look good, leading the public to want to look like them even though they are airbrushed."
Michael age 18

"No, it shows unachievable body image."
Lauren age 16

"I think it’s okay to airbrush photos as long it is clearly stated on the page that the airbrushing has occurred."
Thomas age 20

"It provides a false image."
Emily age 15

"People should be shown and valued for who they really are not changed on a computer."
Chloe age 17

Questionnaire Results

I handed my questionnaires out to 50 young people and have collected my results into pie charts to show what they look like.

Are you?

Which age bracket do you fit?

Are you happy with your body?

What do you think is the ideal dress size?

Does the media industry and our obsession with celebrities influence the way you perceive both your and other peoples body image?

Which skin colour do you think is more attractive?

Do you feel pressurised into having a tan because of the sunbed culture?

Celebrity diets and fitness regimes are constantly in public eye, would you follow their routines just because they are advertised in magazines ECT?

Do you agree with airbrushing?

Sunday, 5 September 2010


This questionnaire is part of my research for my extended project on people’s perception of body image I would greatly appreciate it if you could fill this in anonymously so I can use your feedback. 

1. Are you:


2. Which age bracket do you fit?




3. Are you happy with your body?



4. What do you think the ideal dress size is?



 5. Does the media industry and our obsession with celebrities influence the way you perceive both your and other peoples body image?

Please state why

6. Which skin tone do you think is more attractive?



7. Do you feel pressurised into having a tan because of the sunbed culture?


 8. Celebrity diets and fitness regimes are constantly in the public eye, would you follow their routines just because they are advertised in magazines ECT?

Please state why


9. Do you agree with Airbrushing?



Please give any further details or opinions

Thursday, 26 August 2010

What do young people think?

The main group of people I am interested in in my research is young people aged 13-25. The best way to find out how they feel about the issue of airbrushing is simply to ask them themselves. I will create a questionaire and hand it out to 50 people within the age bracket then with my results I will be able to see what they really think and how the issue effects them.

Warnings About Airbrushing

Although at first glance airbrushing may seem harmless it is infact a huge problem. The world we live in today is obsessed with celebrity culture, with many people, particularly young people, aspiring to be like their favourite celebrity. But if the images they are seeing of celebrities in magazines etc have been retouched with airbrushing the photos they see arent really what those people look like and therefore give a false image. This can lead to self esteem issues and people loathing their own bodies because they are seeing so many perfect yet unobtainable pictures in their everyday life.

This was a quote from a leading politician in the times newspaper expressing her concerns about airbrushing :
“Today's unrealistic idea of what is beautiful means that young girls are under more pressure now than they were even five years ago. Airbrushing means that adverts contain completely unattainable images that no one can live up to in real life. We need to help protect children from these pressures and we need to make a start by banning airbrushing in adverts aimed at them.The Advertising Standards Authority should also draw up new rules so that advertisements aimed at adults should indicate if images have been airbrushed."

End this fake perfection: Experts want a ban on airbrushing ads that leave girls loathing their own bodies

By Tim Shipman
Last updated at 12:06 AM on 9th November 2009

Airbrushing models to give them perfect bodies has helped create a generation of young women with eating disorders and depression, advertising watchdogs have been warned.
More than 40 of the world's leading experts on body image issues today call for a ban on touching up photos in advertising for the under 16s.
In a hard-hitting report they warn that such unnaturally skinny models can make girls as young as five become self-conscious about their weight.
In a letter to the Advertising Standards Authority, the academics from Britain, America and Australia say that the 'clear majority of adolescent girls' have problems with 'depression, stress, guilt, shame, insecurity and body dissatisfaction'.
The ASA has received more than 1,000 complaints about airbrushed adverts in the past three months following a campaign by the Liberal Democrats.
But the watchdog has previously refused to act because those who have complained have not provided scientific evidence for their claims.
In response, four academics have written a report detailing the damning conclusions of more than 100 academic studies worldwide.
The paper was written by body image experts Dr Helga Dittmar of the University of Sussex and Dr Emma Halliwell from the University of the West of England and researchers from the U.S. and Australia.
It has been signed by a further 40 doctors and psychologists worldwide. In a letter to the ASA, the researchers say: 'Exposure to the media ideal is linked with greater body dissatisfaction and more unhealthy eating beliefs and behaviours in women.
'It is very significant in women who
We hope that the advertising authorities in the UK and other countries will give this evidence serious consideration and see the urgent need for policy change.'
Tackling the widely held view in advertising circles that 'thin and sexy sells', the authors cite research showing that average-size models - UK size 14 - are just as effective in advertising products as ultra-thin models, as long as they are equally attractive.
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson said: 'This paper spells out the real damage irresponsible airbrushing is doing to young women's physical and mental health. The Advertising Standards Agency now has all the scientific evidence it needs to act.'

Twiggy's Olay ad banned over airbrushing

More than 700 complaints back Lib Dem MP's campaign against altering images in adverts
A magazine ad for an Olay beauty product featuring Twiggy has been banned by the advertising watchdog, after more than 700 complaints gathered for a campaign against airbrushing in ads by the Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson.

In the ad, Twiggy, who also fronts Marks & Spencer's TV campaigns, promotes the Procter & Gamble-owned Olay Definity eye illuminator. Her picture appears next to the words: "Olay is my secret to brighter-looking eyes."
"Because younger-looking eyes never go out of fashion ... reduces the look of wrinkles and dark circles for brighter, younger-looking eyes," the ad continued.
The Advertising Standards Authority received two complaints that the ad was misleading because the image of Twiggy had been digitally retouched.

In addition Swinson forwarded more than 700 complaints, gathered via her anti-airbrushing web campaign, that the ad had was not only misleading but also socially irresponsible, because it could have a "negative impact on people's perceptions of their own body image".
In its ruling, the ASA said that it considered that the post-production retouching of the original ad, specifically in the eye area, could give consumers a "misleading impression of the effect the product could achieve".A combination of the retouching and the language of the ad was likely to mislead consumers, it ruled.

However, the ASA rejected the complaints that the ad was socially irresponsible, saying: "We considered that consumers were likely to expect a degree of glamour in images for beauty products and would therefore expect Twiggy to have been professionally styled and made-up for the photo shoot, and to have been photographed professionally.

"We concluded that, in the context of an ad that featured a mature model likely to appeal to women of an older age group, the image was unlikely to have a negative impact on perceptions of body image among the target audience and was not socially irresponsible."
P&G said that there would "always be differences between uncomplimentary paparazzi shots and professional beauty photographs".

The company argued that an article in a national newspaper, which featured Twiggy "off-duty" in the Olay ad, may have prompted the complaints.
P&G added that it was "routine practice to use post-production techniques to correct for lighting and other minor photographic deficiencies before publishing the final shots as part of an advertising campaign".

The company said that there had been some "minor retouching" around Twiggy's eyes, which was inconsistent with its own policies; this had already prompted it to withdraw the original ad and replace with one in which there was no post-production work around the eyes.
This is the photo that was banned from being used in the add campaign. You can clearly see that the picture has been airbrushed because this is how Twiggy was photographed just a few weeks later while out.

Kelly Clarkson Airbrush Scandal
What would Simon Cowell say? Never mind. Is the airbrushed Kelly Clarkson what we really want to see or more body image confusion for women around the world? Her photo on the cover of the September issue of Self Magazine is stirring up quite a storm of controversy. A nip and tuck here, a touch up there, Kelly's gone from a healthy and beautiful curvy size to what Self is calling her "personal best" overnight.

Lucy Danziger, editor of Self appeared on the Today show and Good Morning America last week defending the magazine's use of Photoshop for Kelly Clarkson's cover shot. Both of these side by side photos were shot in May. Kelly apparently dropped a few pounds between photos and FAST. Danziger remains unable to explain how altering the photo of Kelly fits with Self's message to women. "You can be happy, healthy, fit, and your best self at any size." Hmmm... Danziger says this photo shows Kelly at her "personal best".

The Self Magazine editor also shares, “A snapshot is different than a cover. A cover is a poster. And the thing about a poster is you want it to capture the essence of you at your best. So we’re saying to women, ‘Look, everyone can love who they are from the inside out and want to achieve their goals.’” We're not buying it. But then again we understand that the RAW photos of many stars also won't sell magazines.

The answer? Skinny Scoopers think it's best to remember you can't always believe what you see. When it comes to these things, it's better to take the Kate Winslet approach. Kate spoke out about a photo showing her with unusually thin thighs on the cover of GQ some months back. Let's at least be honest about it all. We want Kelly to Breakaway from these Hollywood images and speak up about this cover. Girls need to hear her say how it was not her REAL body. Like it or not.

Magazine Confession
The editor of a UK men's magazine has admitted its cover photograph of actress Kate Winslet was airbrushed to improve the image. GQ editor Dylan Jones said the 27-year-old Titanic actress had approved the photographs, but that they had been "digitally altered".

Winslet's agent told BBC News Online the star approved the original photos - but was not consulted about the digital changes. "She has done many magazine covers and knows that once you've done the photos it is out of her control," said her agent.

"Once you shoot them, the magazine has them and can do what they will with them, and the actor is really not part of that approval process." Winslet - famous for defending the appearance of fuller-figured women - has hit headlines in recent years not only for her acting, but also for the fluctuations in her weight.

In an interview accompanying the photoshoot, however, she questioned the attitudes of women who equate sex appeal with being thin. She said: "What is sexy? All I know from the men I've ever spoken to is that they like girls to have an arse on them. "So why is it that women think in order to be adored they have to be thin? I just don't understand that way of thinking." She added: "I'm certainly not a sex symbol who doesn't eat."
Mr Jones said her appearance had been altered "no more than any other cover star".
"These days you only get two kinds of pictures of celebrities - paparazzi pictures or pictures like these which have been highly styled, buffed, trimmed and altered to make the subject look as good as is humanly possible," he said. "We do that for everyone, whether they are a size six or a size 12. It hasn't a lot to do with body size. Practically every photo you see in a magazine will have been digitally altered in this way."

He said Winslet had not been drastically slimmed down in the photos.
"I interviewed Kate six weeks ago and she was thinner than I had ever seen her, petite and very sexy," he said. "These pictures are not a million miles away from what she really looks like."
Winslet, soon to be seen in new film The Life Of David Gale alongside Kevin Spacey, was picked on at school for being overweight and was nicknamed Blubber.
She said: "I'm completely physically comfortable with who I am and I have no particular issues any more and I don't feel I have to run around waving my flag about the female body any more."

Eating Disorders :An Impossible Fit
Numerous fashion and fitness magazines display impossibly thin models, setting unrealistic standards for young women. Startling statistics prove that eating disorders are often connected with this extreme pressure to be perfect.
  • One in three articles in teen girl magazines include a focus on appearance, and 50 percent of the advertisements use an appeal to beauty to sell their products.
  • Twenty years ago, the average model weighed eight percent less than the average woman; today's models weigh 23 percent less.
  • Approximately eight million women struggle with some form of an eating disorder. 3
  • A survey given by Harvard researchers to 543 fifth through twelfth grade girls indicates 67 percent of "frequent fashion magazine readers" are more likely to diet or exercise to lose weight. 69 percent of the girls said pictures in magazines influence their idea of an ideal body.
  • An article in the August 2002 issue of People magazine indicates 80 percent of women are negatively influenced by unrealistic images of Hollywood women. The reactions to these images prove their power: 93 percent of the women were swayed to try to lose weight; 34 percent said they had or would consider cosmetic surgery; and another 34 percent said they would even try diets that jeopardized their health.
  • Over 50 percent of young women between the ages of 11 to 15 years old read fashion and beauty-related magazines.
  • Women's magazines have over 10 times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men's magazines do, and over three-quarters of women's magazines include at least one message about how to achieve a better body.
It's obvious that the focus of the most fashion and fitness magazines is perfecting the outward appearance. Readers feel like they have to measure up, or measure down in this case, to look as good as the models. What they often do not realize is that the look they are trying to achieve is usually contrived.

Some models go through plastic surgery, some are ‘taped-up' to mold their bodies into more photogenic representations of themselves, and photos are airbrushed before going to print. By far, these body types and images are not the norm and unobtainable to the average individual, and far and wide, the constant force of these images on society makes us believe they should be.

With unrealistic images to strive for, it's no wonder so many women have eating disorders. Extreme measures would be required to make the average woman look like a model. The media's standard of success is a measurement of beauty and size.

The truth is a stark contrast to the reality magazines portray. That truth is that God made us in His image — with the potential to be beautiful on the outside and the inside. His standards revolve around attainable qualities including character, compassion, ability to love, obedience and much more. And his definition of beauty is far more lasting. Women need realize that beauty works from the inside out, and taping and airbrushing cannot compare to transforming your heart.