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'We do not look like that'

We recently asked for your thoughts on a quote by Kate Winslet, regarding the body image issues affecting modern women, and the role of the media (primarily photoshopping) in this epidemic.

All of you agreed with Kate, recognising that we're not all perfect, and there is a widespread propensity for retouching of images. 

Inevitably, women (and men) have always measured themselves against their peers to some degree, but the bridge between the 'ideal' and the reality has been widened considerably in recent years by this advent of digital retouching. 

And while we know it goes on, this hasn’t stopped the masses setting their sights on what is essentially an artificial benchmark, far removed from what is real or achievable.

But should we lay ALL the blame on the media for this problem? When, individually, we are mostly all guilty of some sneaky retouching habits. The impact of these enhanced images - OUR images - on the people who see them, be it friends, family or the masses, is in some respects no different than that of a magazine advert. The message is just as misleading.

From this stance, lowering the 'beauty' bar back within the realms of achievability is something that starts with each one of us, and not necessarily media Editors, as it would be easy to assume. The reality is, most of us see more pictures on social media each day than we do bill boards or adverts, so statistically speaking it is actually THESE images (the everyday snap shots) which are the most influential, and the most likely to catalyse a full circle on how we view and interpret physical ideals.

Fitness influencer Gemma Dawkins recently posted a little reminder that what you see in a photo may not always be the whole picture. 'It was so super easy for me to edit this photo in order to remove the stretch marks that I have on the top of my thigh! 

Those stretch marks are my imperfections and in society we can be made to feel that this somewhat devalues who we are as a person, resulting in us constantly criticising ourselves for not being where we perceive ‘good enough’ to be. This can then result in us becoming so critical of ourselves that we constantly compare ourselves to the high standards that we set ourselves! 

I’m all for embracing the perfectly imperfect because at the end of the day we wouldn’t criticise our friends the way we criticise ourselves and that we are in control of!  Here’s to less comparison & self loathing and to more self loving and appreciation.'

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