Everyone has probably looked through a magazine of celebrities, watched a movie or tv show, or browsed through social media and wished they could look like that stunning magazine cover, perfect runway body, flawless Instagram selfie, or big screen red carpet glamorous star.
But here's the big secret. All those gorgeous celebs who are selected as the "Most Beautiful Woman" or "Sexiest Man," supermodels, and socialites on social media are just normal human beings who have stylists whose jobs are to ensure they walk out the door and into the public eye looking like the million bucks they pay for these services. They have photo shoots with professional photographers who make them look amazing and flawless with cameras and lenses and special lighting and reflectors and air machines. And then there are the experts who retouch a little here and Photoshop a little there or the plastic surgeons who plump the lips or remove a rib or two ... to make the illusion of perfection look real.
Here are some examples of the media madness either creating the (false) illusion of perfection or body shaming even the most adored and beautiful people:
- The "Try Guys" video is eye opening in their reactions to being Photoshopped into "ideal bodies" to resemble famous iconic photos.
- Jennifer Aniston was relaxing on vacation with her husband when photos were taken and published questioning whether she was pregnant. While she normally doesn't respond to media hype, she wrote a scathing and poignant response on Huffington Post, stating, "For the record, I am not pregnant. What I am is fed up. I’m fed up with the sport-like scrutiny and body shaming that occurs daily under the guise of ‘journalism,’ the ‘First Amendment,’ and ‘celebrity news.'”
- People Magazine's "2016 Bodies" feature recently sported the following headlines (to list just a few):
- 34 Celebs Who've Stood Up to Unrealistic Body Standards
- 9 Celebrities Who Were Told to Lose Weight (Yep, Really)
- Meghan Trainor, Padma Lakshmi and 10 More Stars Who Pushed Back on Photoshopping
- What I Eat in a Day: Jennifer Aniston, Jaimie Alexander and More
- Tess Holliday Has a Message for Everyone Who "Can't Tell I'm Pregnant"
- Gisele Bundchen, a supermodel, was bullied for her looks and told, "Your eyes are too small, the nose is too big, you can never be on a magazine cover." (usmagazine.com)
- Mic.com featured a "Who Wore it Better" article pitting Sascha Polanco (Orange is the New Black star) and Univision host Daniela Di Giacomo against each other when they wore the same dress.
- Kylie Jenner's "makeup free selfie" was a hot trending social media topic. While there is no doubt she is a natural beauty, she is hardly recognizable as the same person when her stylists get done creating the image.
When does the media madness stop? It stops when we - all of us, including celebrities and stars - open our eyes and realize that every person is truly beautiful and unique. Let's stop comparing ourselves to others and to unrealistic body standards. Let's peel back the layers and the lenses and the retouching and start portraying people that represent the diversity of humanity in all of its sizes, shapes, skin tones, and imperfections in magazines and movies and advertising. Let's celebrate and reflect our uniqueness and our differences, because every body is beautiful, and Beauty Has No Limits!