I was absolutely appalled by a recent vlogger's revelation about instagram photo editing. It appears instagram has become to bloggers and online content creators, what magazines are to celebrities. Besides fretting over the perfect layout, online influencers are now turning their hand to photoshop and wizardous photo editing tools to create the perfect image of themselves. It appears that plastic surgery has fallen short of granting online influencers the extent of perfection they desire, and thus, some are resulting to extreme measures to depict the perfect image.
Culottes : ASOS
This perfect image is what so many have fought so hard to dispel, with the end of the early Noughties marking the age when magazine editors were publishing unretouched images on front covers, and celebrities were brandishing their bare faces on every social platform to promote natural beauty and the embrace of one's flaws. So what happened? The dawn of blogger and Youtube took popular culture by storm, and celebrities were soon replaced with online influencers on major ad campaigns and product endorsements. With that switch came public scrutiny for many a girl-next-door, and my Youtube feed was soon flooded with one 'Plastic Surgery Story' after another. However, a picture says a thousand words, and reality in play doesn't always cooperate with the facade on pause. Unsatisfied with the work of a thousand needles and prodded knives, it seems online influencers are resorting to apps such as FaceTune or Photoshop to brush over their imperfections and cinch in their flaws.
I struggle to understand why it need be that deep for someone to chisel away their inherited bumps in favour of conveying a semblance of themselves. The reality is, the world is full of all figures great and small, and we are all uniquely imperfectly perfect. To try and modify each and every one of us to fit the very same mould is somewhat unnatural, and damn right absurd, if you ask me. Especially in light of the fact that one prototype mould is being branded as the 'perfect' image. What is that exactly? A host of culturally associated features thrust together in a bid for ethnocentric diversity. What could I possibly be on about? Well, the perfect image in 2016 comprises of a black booty and lips, brazilian hair, asian eyebrows, caucasian nose, pert oriental bosoms, and whatever else the media has thought to throw into the mix. In the early Noughties it was all about size 0. My issue isn't so much the changing nature of beauty (as I've beaten that drum tirelessly), rather the impact of this unattainable image on women, young girls, and the world in general.
The fact of the matter is this figure is I was naive enough to think online influencers were the antithesis to magazines, photoshop, and the evils of media in general. I bought into the notion that they were the realer version of the models plastered on magazines. Hence why my mouth flew open at the sight of the blogger's features elongated and pronounced at the swipe of her finger. Nose contoured, cheekbones highlighted, flaws blurred, waist cinched, neck elongated, thighs slimmed down. One swipe at a time, she went from a regular girl to an unrecognisable vision of 'perfection'. The reality is, if she's spotted on the street, she looks exactly like you and I. Yet, online, she and others are branding themselves as the new era of public figures. Why? I fail to see the benefit in the long run, and I dread to see the impact this will have in future.
Suicide is at an all-time high. Depression and anxiety are growing at a rapid rate. Bullying has taken a whole new dimension thanks to the fuels of social media, providing a vehicle for 24/7 cyber attacks. *shudders* The world as we know it is turning on its heads, and those of us who could otherwise reflect our reality and effect positive change, are choosing instead to succumb to the negative social pressures forcing women into an unrealistic box. I am not reverting my position and choosing to sit back and groan rather than suggest viable alternatives. I understand that online influencers are not to blame for the rise in maladjusted teenagers or the increase in mental health issues in the millennial generation. Well, they may not be the sole cause, but they are a factor I would consider to be contributing rather than alleviating the problem. Turning away from unrealistic images of models in magazines, we sought a fresh view of our reality, and we thought that was being depicted through the blogger community. This harsh truth just proves how much pressure society puts on women to depict a perfect aesthetic image to garner success.
"The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw" Havelock Ellis