Thursday, November 29, 2007

Life isn't always what it seems.

Tonight I came across this interesting site created by Dan Brooke which demonstrates in a very clear way what Photoshop can do for the 'beautiful' women we see on our tv screens and in the popular magazines. Just hover your mouse over each of the words on the page and you can see what can be done. What a great way to show our young girls (and boys) exactly what goes into preparing an image that is then presented as 'real'. Despite the fact that I think we all know that this goes on it's still no wonder so many of us women are never satisfied with how we look. The woman in the image on Dan's site is Amber MacArthur who is a Web 2.0 commentator that I have listened to many times on net@nite, a podcast that she and Leo Laporte host. Amber also suggests that we take our girls for a video visit to Youtube to check out the Dove Evolution Commercial. Now they can see what a bit of make up, lighting and Photoshop can achieve towards creating a totally unrealistic perception of a perfectly beautiful woman in all her simple untouched glory. The power of
Check it out the youtube video here.

Better still take your girls (and boys) to the Dove Self Esteem Campaign for real beauty. What an interesting way to begin a discussion with both girls and boys about perceptions and (mis) understandings of our strange, strange media flooded world.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing idea with around 7 million women between the ages of 12- 30 suffering from anorexic and bulimia. That is not even including all the “new” eating disorder that have just recently came to light. These young girls especially those who hit puberty early (causing weight gain sooner then the others) feel they can’t be beautiful unless they are 6 foot and 110 pounds. The pressure that media, peers, and even some parents but on these girls is huge. It is really important as educators that we are teaching the whole person. Showing girls that these perfect women they see on T.V. and in magazines are not real can hopeful allow them to understand that the standard of todays beautiful is unrealistic. I also think it is becoming more and more important to help teens develop a positive self image. This is one of the most valuable things we can give our students.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Baird,
I am really inspired by this idea of incorporating a sufficient amount of information regarding self-esteem into my curriculum as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. My hope that in teaching young students about this issue is that they will stop trying to become someone that they are not and that they will become comfortable in their own skin and just be their own "real" selves.
It was reported by the International Self-esteem Organization, young people that are growing up with low levels of self-esteem are at much greater risk for becoming teenage parents, involved with drugs and alcohol as well as possible victims of depression and suicide. This is such a critical issue in our world today especially for teens and I find it to be part of my duty as a soon-to-be secondary education teacher to emphasize the issue and educate the youth about self-esteem by exposing them to websites such as Dan Brooke’s that demonstrates how the Photoshop program can alter pictures. Thank you for sharing this website with us, as I will definitely hold onto it and incorporate it into my curriculum someday.

Sincerely,
Melanie Griswold

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Baird,
I am really inspired by this idea of incorporating a sufficient amount of information regarding self-esteem into my curriculum as a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. My hope that in teaching young students about this issue is that they will stop trying to become someone that they are not and that they will become comfortable in their own skin and just be their own "real" selves.
It was reported by the International Self-esteem Organization, young people that are growing up with low levels of self-esteem are at much greater risk for becoming teenage parents, involved with drugs and alcohol as well as possible victims of depression and suicide. This is such a critical issue in our world today especially for teens and I find it to be part of my duty as a soon-to-be secondary education teacher to emphasize the issue and educate the youth about self-esteem by exposing them to websites such as Dan Brooke’s that demonstrates how the Photoshop program can alter pictures. Thank you for sharing this website with us, as I will definitely hold onto it and incorporate it into my curriculum someday.

Sincerely,
Melanie Griswold

Megan said...

I really enjoyed this blog. I think there are so many girls and boys today who have such horrible self-esteem when it comes to their body. I’m a resident assistant in my dorm at school and I’ve had to deal with several incidents dealing with body image, and some of the things they obsess about deal with the media and what is being shown. Not only can this hurt their esteem but also how well they are able to do in school. I think as a future educator, this is something I will always have to keep in mind. I also think it’s a great idea to educate your students on what is real and what has been altered. I think this could help with esteem issues and keep students aware of reality. Also, by discussing this topic with a group of students, they will in return go and educate others about what they have learned. I have never really considered the idea of discussing the reality of media with my students, but I think it’s a wonderful idea and feel that it can be really beneficial.

Janell B said...

The clip that you posted really scared me. I always knew that some amount of retouching went into photographs and ads of models but I had no idea that such a large amount of alteration occurred. I thought that there was only retouching for scars, acne, and wrinkles. This video really opened up my eyes. The girl that was photographed in the beginning looked almost nothing like herself when they were finished photo shopping her face. It is disturbing that the media shows images that are this severely altered to the public as the “ideal”. They even altered the bone structure of the woman’s face as well as made her eyes larger and a different color. To me, this is not the same woman that was shown, it is a creation that lacks any resemblance to that woman at all. I know that growing up, as well as to some extent now, I often look at advertisements or fashion magazines and compare myself to the women in these pictures. If so much alteration goes into these pictures, is there really any woman on this earth that is beautiful enough not to be altered? I don’t think so. I think that no matter how naturally beautiful someone is, there is always going to be someone out there who kind find flaws that they would change about the individual. This is something I think that all teenage girls should see. I think that teens wouldn’t be so critical of themselves if they could see what really goes into “perfection “. They might realize that they are beautiful in their own skin. I think that self esteem is something that all teenage girls struggle with in one form or another and it is tragic that the media is adding fuel to the fire of the modern teenagers’ dangerous self scrutiny . Thanks for posting this video. It has really been an eye opener!