30 December 2007
What are we buying into?
I can't remember how long ago I saw this Dove ad, but I do remember how astounded I was. It forced me to see how truly unreal advertising/Hollywood is. The girl on the billboard is not a real person. She is based off a flesh and blood woman, but you can not find that billboard woman walking around. She doesn't exist!
That got me snooping around at what is really going on. What I found amazed me. Not only is every advertisement "perfected," but every picture that goes into any magazine has routine touchups. They smooth out pores, whiten teeth, get rid of wrinkles and other "imperfections." Retouching, as it is called, is the norm.
I always knew that magazines and ads had women who represented less than 5% of the bodytypes out there and that hours of make-up, hair and wardrobe were provided. I also was aware that the model only had to look that way for less than a second, just long enough to get the picture. But I had no idea that they took what seemed to be the "perfect" representation of women and then "perfected" the photos again! It is not in anyway untrue to say that the women (and men!) in magazines and ads are not real. I've heard that before, but I didn't fully understand it until I saw the evidence for myself.
Retouch professionals post their portfolios online. Most have before/after shots. They take your breath away, but not in a good way.
Let's start off with a doozy. Digital Retouch has an Ashton Kutcher photo that he has retouched for a photo shoot. If you click on the Corrections tab on the right, it will take you straight to him. Now, we all know Ashton to be a pretty good-looking, fit guy. But apparently he has some flaws. Namely, hair on his thighs (oh no!), too much of a ponch, a misshapen knee and bags under his eyes. I, of course, wouldn't notice these things if I only saw the original picture, but apparently, they were too important to leave alone. If you grab the little square at the bottom of his picture and drag it to the right, you can compare the before and after shots. *WARNING* He is nude, but crouched in a position that doesn't reveal anything. And there are other pictures on the site that have some nudity.
This portfolio for digital Pablo, shows shots of professional models that have been retouched. Mouse over the pictures and you can see the original photograph. Now I understand photoshopping the colors, contrast, and background, those things are done for real film in the dark room. But the models themselves? They are given bigger boobs, their bodies are elongated, belly buttons changed, hair "foofed" up, it's amazing.
Glenn Feron has a lot of pictures of boobified women and shirtless men, but he also has some work of big names. Such as Conan O'Brien, Eva Longoria, Nina Garcia, and Jim Calhoun. I think the Conan one is for an ad and the Calhoun one is for his book cover, but the women I've listed are candid shots that have been touched up. Candids! They aren't selling anything or being featured in anyway except that they are celebrities that got their photo taken at some event.
The last one I found for you is the portfolio of Greg Apodaca. He only has three photos of people, everything else is digitally created images. But it incredible to see what these people look like in real life, compared to what they are turned into.
It's unbelievable what we are lead to believe and how far from the truth it really is. We are sold lies.
Perfectly packaged lies.