Adobe Photoshop, the new face of beauty. Whenever we open a magazine, we find models and actresses looking flawless. In fact, they look so good they don’t even seem real. Well, thanks to Adobe Photoshop, anyone in the entertainment industry can achieve this level of ridiculously-good-looking. It’s hard to not say, “I wish I looked like (insert celebrity/model name).” But, we can’t look like them if they are airbrushed!
Julia Bluhm was tired of hearing her peers in ballet class complain about their weight, so the eighth grader started a campaign against altered photos in April. She started her petition on Change.org, she asked for magazines to print one unaltered photo spread once a month. Julia’s petition had more than 80,000 signatures from people around the world. Her campaign proved to be successful when Ann Shoket, Seventeen‘s editor-in-chief, invited Julia for a meeting about the magazine’s new policy on photo enhancements.
Shoket said, the magazine “never has, never will” alter the body or face shapes of its models in an upcoming editor’s letter, which can be seen in Seventeen‘s August’s issue. She also writes that the staff at Seventeen signed an eight-point Body Peace Treaty vowing not to alter natural shapes and include only images of “real girls and models who are healthy.”
“This is a huge victory, and I’m so unbelievably happy,” Bluhm writes on her online petition page about the changes happening at Seventeen.
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Eating disorder is typically a term we throw around when referring to young girls or teens struggling with their weight and body image and resort to abusing food to solve the problem. But few people consider that eating disorders can affect more than just 18-year-old girls; they can affect middle-aged women, too.
A new study from the University of Carolina School of Medicine found that many women over the age of 50 struggle with the same issues as females half their age when it comes to body image and diet.
Researchers surveyed nearly 1,850 women concerning their diet and behavioral patterns in order to get a better idea of current and past eating disorder symptoms, body image struggles, and weight concerns in women 50 and older. With the study, researchers were hoping to better understand whether eating disorder symptoms in the past were associated with disordered eating behaviors and attitudes later in life.
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Does controversy exist on its own or do we wait until the media tells us that we need to get hot and bothered about something?
Either way, the latest catalyst for consumer outrage is the new Yoga Teacher Barbie. She’s part of an exclusive line of Barbies in the “I Can Be…” series from Mattel and you can only find her in Target stores. The series isn’t new. Back in 2010, the brand ran an online voting competition to choose two Barbies for the series. The winners were a news anchor and computer engineer. The whole idea, according to Barbie.com, is to “ignite a national movement to inspire girls.” Who wouldn’t want to get on board with that?
Apparently it takes a twisty-legged, spandex-dressed doll to stir up a little unnecessary controversy. Just in time for the election year and the Olympics, the “I Can Be” series also includes a president and a tennis player, track star, swimmer, and gymnast. But it’s the yoga teacher that’s got people bent out of shape.
Chelsea Roff at IntentBlog.com said “Kids are being exposed to yoga at an early age, encouraged to stay active, and taught about mind-body awareness practices before they even hit kindergarten. All good things! But something about seeing that sickly-proportioned doll’s foot behind her head just makes me cringe. As if the stereotypes of yoga weren’t bad enough already, now kids are implicitly being taught that yoga teachers look like a big-headed Pam Anderson.”
We didn’t see it that way. We, like Kathryn Budig, saw a doll. Just a toy that lets little girls’ imaginations run wild.
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Another risk for dieters has shown itself with body dysmorphic disorder. Researched published this spring shows that the chance for suicide in those with the disorder increase by 50 percent. The study, published in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, theorizes that because it takes a high pain tolerance to essentially starve oneself, that person also has the pain tolerance to undergo a painful suicide attempt. Researchers also reported that 25 percent of people with the disorder have attempted suicide and 75 percent thought their lives were not worth living.
To have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) means to have an obsession with a real or imagined flaw in one’s body image. This condition has long been known to be dangerous and life threatening. It’s also known as “broken mirror syndrome,” a reference to BDD sufferers’ tendency to stare at themselves in the mirror for hours agonizing over a small defect in their appearance. They often become somewhat delusional, for instance seeing great amounts of fat on their body where there is not.
Although gender stereotypes suggest that women are more likely to have this disorder, the gender ratio is fairly equal. Both men and women with BDD commonly see flaws with their facial features, skin, or weight. Patients sometimes seek to improve their appearance by extreme dieting, cosmetic surgery, or excessive amounts of exercise.
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Ashley Judd speaks out against the harsh words directed at her “puffy” face when she was battling a sinus infection last month.
The actress explains in a Daily Beast essay that she typically ignores anything written or spoken about her, but colleagues and friends urged her to listen to what was being said. What she discovered were cruel accusations that she had gotten plastic surgery because her face appeared to be “puffy.”
She chose to address the speculations and accusations because “they were pointedly nasty, gendered, and misogynistic and embodies what all girls and women in our culture, to a greater or lesser degree, endure every day, in ways both outrageous and subtle.”
She was further upset when she realized women were joining the ongoing “disassembling of my appearance.” She feels an additional betrayal from those whom she considered to be professional friends.
She feels the obsession with women’s faces and bodies is abnormal and yet is becoming the norm in society. “We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abuers, or as abusing other girls and women.”
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