unedited > “edited”

What is the media really selling to our youth?

Size Zero or size four? Can you really tell the difference? Apparently Model list magazine thought so.

Earlier this week, I came across the images of what looked to me like the perfect cover shoot being photo shopped to look worse than the original photos. The magazine editors decided the picture did not adhere to the western ideology of beauty,which is a size zero and a tan would be nice too. Zendaya’s original pictures portrayed a standard 19 year old’s body with hips. The American ideology of a size zero gives young girls the wrong idea of beauty. Zendaya immediately had the magazine pulled and asked them to publish the unedited version of her shoot. The magazine editor and chief agreed and later stated that these photos should have never been edited to that “extent”. But for clarification, retouches and editing would be made but to a certain extent.

People in the public sphere often hold themselves back from standing up to big name magazines because of their fear of losing offers with other major magazines. Kudos to Zendaya for standing up to the magazine and demanding the unedited photos be published. Not only did she bring awareness to the extent of magazine editing, but, she also sent a message regarding true beauty. Later in one of her Instagram post Zendaya uploaded the two pictures parallel to each other and stated the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. “Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self-love.”

Image has become the main concern in our society. Fashion becomes centralized around certain types of bodies that place the younger generation in a docile state. It is sad to think that a normal 19 year old teenager was indirectly informed that her body did not fit the standard. It is every day that young girls experience ridicule because of their image. The reality lies in the fact that girls have accepted the image of the ideal women and strive to achieve the look. During the summer, a group of young girls only attested to the statement of fitting the standard. I was having lunch with a group of girls who participated in the local summer camp program and they were all removing the bread from their burgers and refused to eat their cookies. Immediately, I noticed this group of nine year old who refused to eat half of their lunch. Out of curiosity I asked why they were refusing to eat, and one of the girls claimed they were all on a diet for the summer. I was shocked. It made me sad to think that a group of nine year old girls have conformed to these norms at such an early age. I remember at nine years old I was eating all the candy and burgers I could possibly consume. The growth in technology and daily access to the internet has exposed young girls to the attention seeking bodies that appear on our everyday news feed. The growth of the docile body continues to become a target to young girls, just like a soldier they are unconsciously trained to fit the standard image. Shockingly the media affects girls as young as nine years old and continue to influence them throughout their lifetime. According to Foucault, docile bodies “can be made out of formless clay”. Young developing girls will now grow up with the image of the acceptable body . Anything that is not the standard can be seen as inferior and make young women feel abject, leading to growing rates of suicide and eating disorders. Is the media trying to create this unattainable image that celebrities must use photo shop to portray? Are we killing off our society or sending them into depression? Is America sending a message to the youth of worth and what defines a body that matters?

La Mettrie’s L’Homme machine is both a materialist reduction of the soul and a general theory of dressage , at the centre of which reigns the notion of ‘docility’, which joins the analysable body to the manipulable body. A body is docile that may be subjected, used, transformed, and improved. — Michel Foucault

These “diets” will continue throughout the lifetime of these young girls to look like the edited version of Zendaya’s, size zero with no hips. Young girls become consumers of material objects that will create this image and allow young girls to look like they are part of the 1%. Thankfully, public figures such as Zendaya exist to promote self-love and embrace one’s own beauty. Sorry photo shop, but it looks like you’ve been exposed.

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