A wonderful illusion.jpg

A wonderful illusion

By SUZY TURNER features@algarveresident.com

Suzy Turner has lived in Portugal for 22 years and works as a freelance writer. As well as putting pen to paper for the Algarve Resident’s fashion section, she contributes to the parenting, beauty and travel columns and is also the Features Editor.

AFTER WATCHING a fascinating programme on BBC recently about why magazines digitally enhance photographs of models and celebrities, I came across an interesting comment on the internet.

It said: “If women can use make-up thick enough to cover skin ‘defects’, sticky black goo to lengthen eye lashes, liquid to dilate the eyes, bras that push up breasts to within a few inches of the chin, elastic underwear that holds in both belly and bum, injections of nasty substances to inflate the lips…etc, then why should we try and stop airbrushing?”

It made me laugh out loud … I guess who wrote it has a point!

However, the ‘problem’ of digitally enhancing these images that we, and young girls, see every day does seem to be causing a bit of a stir.

Last year, the British Fashion Council wrote to several magazine societies/associations to find out what can be done, following an independent inquiry into the health of London catwalk models that called for the regulation of the use of digital manipulation.

The use of digital enhancement in magazines is increasingly being blamed for the rise in the number of young girls with eating disorders like anorexia.

It is believed that young girls faced with this almost ‘fantastical’ impression of beauty are striving to look the same.

Many famous people have made comments in the press about the use of airbrushing but magazine editors continue to do so to make them look as “good as humanly possible”, as said Dylan Jones, editor for GQ magazine, following reports that Kate Winslet had been seriously ‘enhanced’ on its cover a few years ago.

She is reported to have approved the original photos prior to them being re-touched.

In May 2001, Jennifer Aniston said in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine that “the media create this wonderful illusion – but the amount of airbrushing that goes into those beauty magazines, the hours of hair and makeup! It’s impossible to live up to because it’s not real”.

Perhaps we should all take a page out Drew Barrymore’s book who said: “I have finally realised that I don’t have to have an A list body. I’m finally happy with the way that I am”.