Body-positive blogger reveals the reality of beauty industry pressures

In the early days of my career, I did a lot of Photoshopping for fitness magazines. The people in the photos were already in quite exceptional physical fitness, but I was tasked with making them some absurdist ideal. Men had to have Adonis-like exaggerations, as did the women, along with "perfecting" their facial features to symmetrical and aesthetic ideals. 

Nowadays, in TV and motion pictures (see example at bottom), it's done a lot, sometimes subtly and other times quite to extremes (maybe it is intentional such as a flashback, but mostly it's vanity and commerce). I have to admit, I actually enjoy doing this kind of work, but I make it a point to remind folks from time to time that most of what they see is an illusion. Camera angles, lighting, makeup and cosmetic surgery can do amazing things, but they do have limits, and time catches up to us all.

For me, it was important that my younger sister understand this, as I showed her how I retouched bodies and faces. She got the point, and she has a healthy understanding of body image. Now, if I could only feel the same way about my own body. ::sigh::

Check out some of these articles and examples:

Let's include some gender equity here, because the pressure on men is real too, even though it's discussed far less than those about women:

A male version of the "Evolution" video presented by Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. explanation goes until approx. the one minute mark and video starts. This was my thesis project - it allows the public to see the actual manipulation that goes into advertising images of men.

"De-age" example on motion content by compositor Rousselos Aravantinos: