While speaking with "E! News" earlier this week, Kate Winslet mentioned that in her contract with L'Oréal, there is a stipulation that all her Lancôme ads must be devoid of any retouching, reigniting the debate about the use of Photoshop and its impact on body image.
In an interview with "E! News", Winslet said:
I do think we have a responsibility to the younger generation of women... We're all responsible for raising strong young women, so these are things that are important to me.
She went on to add that she hopes this initiative propagates throughout Hollywood and helps to recalibrate the standards that young women are constantly inundated by, noting:
I think they do look to magazines... I would always want to be telling the truth about who I am to that generation, because they've got to have strong leaders.
Nonetheless, some professional photographers have pointed out that in many cases, a large portion of the manifestation of that unobtainable standard is due to makeup and lighting, with Photoshop being a secondary tool used for subtle corrections. In particular, while this is an admirable stand (and one that I personally support), it seems to neglect the fact that the very company this contract is with, a cosmetics company, has the power to seriously alter her natural image with its products. I certainly see the argument in this; namely, if the idea is to deemphasize products and procedures that skew natural beauty and misrepresent reality, shouldn't all such products be addressed? Nonetheless, I'm not a woman and I can't possibly speak to the experience of being one in today's society. I'm also not against Photoshop; as my friend and fellow Fstoppers writer, Peter House, so eloquently put it:
Real life is fluid. When you and I interact, my brain is not micro-focusing on all the zits, lines, scars, hairs, etc. that might make a moment 'imperfect.' I am fluidly moving through the motions and focusing on the bigger picture.
However, when an image is taken, it freezes a moment in time and gives me the chance to analyze the entire scene down to the most minuscule detail. In that freeze frame, I might start noticing things about you that otherwise I may not have perceived. Maybe I'll catch that small birthmark. Maybe I'll notice the slight unibrow. Maybe I will catch a glimpse of thinning hair.
Retouching simply helps to remove all those distractions and brings the focus back on the beauty of the individual.
However, I am against the abuse of retouching, particularly when it perpetuates an unhealthy, unattainable ideal of what's "sexy." Personally, I don't find anything sexy about models with their butt-cheeks literally Photoshopped into nonexistence. So, I certainly support Winslet's stand and in particular, her message, though I do wonder if it could be augmented.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear your perspectives, particularly those of our female readers.
[via USA Today]