Considering Rachel Leigh Cook is best known for playing the we-hid-her-hotness-under-glasses lead in She’s All That, I am loving this quote from her, via Jezebel:
Nothing that you see is real, even if you look at what looks like a candid photo of someone, anything can be done. It is false advertising and false advertising is a crime so why isn’t this a crime? I’m just up in arms about it. People need to know that there are actual lenses that are put on cameras that make people stretched out. If you saw these actors in person, you wouldn’t even recognize them as the people you see on TV. It’s just all a complete illusion and maybe it should be viewed as art, the way that art isn’t real. The way that a picture of a rose can be beautiful, but it’s not a real rose.
I think it’s an absolute travesty that young women are seeing what the media is feeding them. It breaks my heart to be part of an industry and part of a machine that really pushes out these images and propagates these really terrible standards that are false.
Nope, that’s not our approach. We want all of the stakeholders — cable, broadcasting, publishing, and advocacy groups — to come together and talk about what could work. I don’t think these people are sitting around saying “How can we damage girls’ self-esteem?” It’s a question of raising awareness.
So while I see the logic of the “if we all know it’s fake, what’s the harm?” argument, I’m not sure awareness-raising is enough of an end game here. We’ll be trusting the industry to voluntarily add more diversity, more varied body types, more natural flaws. But we’ll still be surrounded by fake images. And it will be all on us to tell the difference.
I know there are a lot of shades of gray on this one and I’d love to hear your thoughts. So, look! The first ever Beauty Schooled poll!
(Thanks to Kate E. for teaching me how to do this! I feel so fancy and blogger-y about it.)
Vote, then tell us more in the comments.