Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kick-Starting the Beauty Distortion Ban

I'm always a little shocked when ads like this pop up in my Instagram feed. I know they're sponsored so they're chosen at random, but I'm a body positive lifestyle blogger, for crying out loud. I'm also a teacher who takes great pride in complimenting her students every day. It's important to me that they know I appreciate them as they are, and that they can learn to love and be confident in themselves for all their appearances, talents, passions, interests, and especially their differences.

Each person is the only one like themselves in the whole world; the only one with the same mind, the same heart, and the same soul. No one else can compare to you because you are unreachable, and no one should feel as though they need to compare themselves to others when every single person was designed differently.

I never want a young child to feel as though they must dumb down their passion and essence to be the way everyone else tells them to be.

Beauty distortion is everywhere, and I don't just mean on billboards and magazines. Even my beloved Disney princess role models have been altered from their original kind, strong, intelligent, and brave selves.

Whether or not you think they're good role models is irrelevant. The point is, these animated characters who looked unrealistic to begin with now look even more unrealistic. Aurora's hair was never curly, for some reason Jasmine is sparkling, Belle's looking awfully seductive for a princess who believes beauty comes from within, and what in God's good name happened to Mulan?! 

Take a look at the Perfect365 advertisement again. Personally, I think the original picture looked better, but body altering apps are everywhere now. Photoshop and other similar programs have been altering realistic bodies and scenarios for years. But now, there's even pressure to change your natural face. And if you'll notice, the woman still has on makeup in the original picture. There are multiple apps designed to cover blackheads, even out skin tones, or even apply a few touch ups to bare faces, but this one literally puts more makeup on previously makeup-ed women to make them even less themselves.

Ladies, how many times have you walked into the bathroom at a restaurant to see a woman touching up her hair or makeup? How many times have you felt the need to do the same? I've even seen girls pull compacts out of their purse after a meal! If they're on a date, I'll let it slide. That first impression determines whether or not you'll get a second, but even then it's important to use a tasteful amount. The poor fella still needs to know what you look like under all that enhancement. I'd much rather my boyfriend be shocked when I put makeup on rather than be shocked when I take it off. So go back to your table and spend time with your date, ladies. On dates, bathrooms are to be used for two reasons only: dire-need pit stops and necessary escape plans.

Now let's get one thing straight: I'm a firm believer in makeup. I've worn show makeup for multiple theatre productions and guard shows, and I generally wear a little natural makeup on a daily basis. But I don't wear it to cover my imperfections. I do it to enhance what is already there, what is already beautiful, what is already naturally mine. There is a definite time and place where it helps me feel even more beautiful and empowered, but I never feel as though I need it. If I've been lounging around all day and I need to go to the grocery store, not wearing any makeup won't stop me from going. But I certainly never feel as though I need more makeup after I've already applied it. And I certainly never feel as though I need technology to help me out with what I literally can't fix in reality.

Perfect365 is advertised as the "best one-touch makeover app." And better yet, it's free! Because no woman, or man for that matter, should have to pay money to be technologically modified into being beautiful. How generous of them.

So I chose a selfie and paired up with Perfect365 myself. I have on a little makeup, but my hair is not fixed (thus the presence of the beanie), and I am not wearing anything special (just a t-shirt and a leather jacket). This is close to what I look like on a regular weekend. Then, I downloaded the app for a full forty-five seconds, editing myself the same way any Perfect365 user could have done. Here is the result.

This is the Natural filtering capability. Imagine what I would've looked like had I chosen Glamour or Rock Star. You are given the opportunity to change your makeup, eye color, face shape, skin name it. You are even asked if you would like a face lift around your nose and cheeks.

I had chosen this original photo because I actually felt pretty in it, enough to even save it to my camera roll from Snapchat. I had also gained a decent amount of attention from it, specifically being complimented on my blue/green eyes and white teeth. But when compared to the Perfect365 edit, I suddenly looked tired. I noticed uneven skin tones I hadn't noticed before. I suddenly had circles under my eyes. My eyebrows weren't filled out enough. My smile wasn't big enough. My complexion wasn't pale enough. My cheeks weren't rosy enough. My eyes weren't bright enough. My lashes weren't long enough. My lips weren't dark enough. My hair wasn't brown enough. And apparently my beanie wasn't even dark enough.

I didn't even look like myself, anymore.

I'm kick starting the Beauty Distortion Ban like never before. I'm pledging to post every time I feel inadequate or attacked by societal beauty. Every time I see a blatant advertisement or PSA encouraging people to alter the beautiful and intricate way they were designed for whatever reason, I'll write another post. After all, I never run out of things to say, and this cause is very near and dear to my heart. I encourage you not to download apps like FaceTune and Perfect365. The more we can speak up and release real photos of ourselves, the less likely women will feel pressured to make themselves someone they aren't. Every woman deserves to feel strong, confident, and beautiful in her own body. To help me out, start your own pledge or join in on posts and discussions with #beautydistortionban.

Let's do this thing together, beautiful.

No comments:

Post a Comment