May 15, 2008

Why Photoshop is a feminist’s best friend

Let Liz and Kate keep their airbrushed beauty. They’ve earned it

Source: The Guardian
Written by Julie Burchill

Votes for Women! The Equal Pay Act! Divorce! Abortion! Ooo, don’t you love the smell of full-on feminist legislation in the morning? This, girls, was the 20th century.

And now, lucky ladies that we are, we’re about to get … um, a law in France banning all ‘ultra-thin’ models and in this country, if not a law, then a request from the British Fashion Council to the Periodical Publishers Association to, in the words of heat magazine, ‘form a group to curb the use of airbrushed and digitally enhanced pictures.’

This followed an inquiry held last year into the health of models (originally sparked by the size-zero debate) during which the leader of the inquiry, Baroness Kingsmill, concluded that airbrushing could ‘perpetuate an unachievable aesthetic’. Magazines including Elle, Hello! and Vogue are apparently ‘considering’ new practices which would mean less retouching.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Basically, everything. In the past, pro-female law changes stated unequivocally that women were every bit as able as men to vote, work, divorce and have sex. That is, that they were adults. But these new ones … laws, guidelines, suggestions, whatever … portray women as neurotic, looks-obsessed cretins who are likely to collapse in a weeping heap of jelly if they come across proof that any other woman is better-looking than they are.

If you do exist, ladies – grow up, or kill yourself, or something! But don’t kid yourself that all broads are as tragically low in self-respect as you are, and don’t hand this absolute gift to the sort of creepy man who soothes his sad soul by imagining that every woman between the ages of 16 and 61 lives in a permanent self-loathing state of competition with every other woman on the planet. Personally, I love good-looking women – it gives a girl something to perve over if there are no good-looking men around.

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