Sunday, January 24, 2021

Are You Photoshop-ing your life?

Your reaction to this film clip was probably similar to mine – rage and a feeling of disbelief that women are STILL being portrayed this way, and that things have gotten even worse.

And again, if you’re like me, you immediately went into blame – blame of the advertising industry, the magazine editors and perhaps even the models themselves.

And I went there – until I realized that is the easy way out. Blaming others – for the shape the world is in and the way women are viewed – isn’t helping. Putting our focus out there and waiting for things to be miraculously fixed, well, it’s not working.

As this clip shows us, women are being viewed even more like objects than ever before. We know that turning a human being into a thing is the predecessor to violence. Think about racism, homophobia or terrorism. They each started, in part, with objectifying the person.

But after I got done raging, I realized that I, too, edit my life as though I were editing a photo in Photoshop. I, too, pretend that my life is perfect. I, too, am terrified to admit to being in a marriage that is not ideal or family relationships that are ugly. I, too deny having internal thoughts that do more harm to my soul than an anorexic does to her body. I never show my double chin, smile lines or dark circles, or allow my life to be viewed from the wrong angle or in bad light.

Am I not JUST AS GUILTY as the photographer who manipulates the image of a woman’s body? Do I not airbrush my life to appear perfect to those around me?

When is the last time I went anywhere with my truth showing, instead of covering up and creating a new look with makeup?

It’s time for us to be as truthful about our internal lives and relationships as Kate Winslet was about her photo.

It’s time for us to stop blaming the media for misrepresenting the truth about bodies and do what we can do in our own individual lives to admit that we do not need to be perfect – in body or in relationships – and stop covering up.

In order to change the way our society views women’s bodies, we have to be willing to air our internal flaws. Just as a woman’s size does not dictate her worth, a bit of internal chaos does not mean we aren’t worthy.

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