'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Monday, 6 December 2010


Not usually one to do angst, cynicism or rants in my posts, I do feel the need to share this. Being a woman (yes, really), I sometimes flip through the pages of glossy magazines at the dentist or doctor (never buy 'em) and sigh over the slim, smooth, flawless models therein. Well, no more! I guess I always knew they were 'shopped, but this is such a startling pair of images, I feel much better. Now, if only the Young Things who are even more prone to feelings of inadequacy, could see this. Better still, they should print it out and stick it on their mirrors. So much harm is done by the constant presentation of this unrealistic ideal of beauty. It's insidious.

If you own these images, thank you very much for this valuable public service! Please contact me and I will acknowledge the use of it. Sorry, but I forgot where I got them from.


  1. Bloody hell - even I could look good with that amount of photoshopping! OK, so I might need a little more tweaking, but you get my point :o)

  2. I never thought anyone took these model images seriously. Can see your point if someone did.
    It's not a phenomena that appeared with digital and the liquefy filter, healing brush, and stamp tools. These images were airbrushed in film days.
    It is odd that some of the worst, I'll call the offenders are women's magazines which presumably are edited by women and hopefully for women. When the weather warms up I'll have a go at myself......hours of work in that project.

  3. Hey hey Buggy!
    Sorry I've been out of the bloggy loop for many months. Have finally got my Masters programme proposal in. I'm doing iridescent beetles. You were joking about that jungle trip, right? Actually, if you weren't, it's just when I need to be submitting for assessment (late 2012), so it would be too late, sigh. Any shiny beetles in Canada?

    Yes Adrian. You're right. I shouldn't believe what I see in magazines... but I forget.
    I don't know why, but your 'when the weather warms up' caveat made me smile. Were you thinking of putting on as little as her before you had a go?
    Commiserations to you for the cold weather, anyway. The forecast is for a long dry summer here, right to the end of March.

  4. I'm sorry but I don't think either image shows a person I would put on my list of people I would want to get to know based on looks alone. I accept that is an exceptionally shallow way of judging someone anyway unless you can see their eyes and have plenty of time for observation. However for me 'eye candy' might be an interesting diversion but it'll never be a substitute for substance.

  5. I have always discussed with my daughters about what is real and what is fake, specifically in regards to fashion photography. I taught my 12 year-old daughter Miranda how to use clone stamp, the spray tool and smudge in a simple image manipulation program called PhotoFiltre (Photoshop is just way too complicated.) Her sister Rhiannon, who is 10, is using it as well now. One of the first things Miranda wanted to do was 'touch up' a photo of herself in a swimming costume from last summer. "But why? You look fine?" I asked. "I know I do, Mummy, but this is a *picture*"
    So in her head, all pictures can be fake. I suppose I've done my job, so that they know this, but it still pained me that she felt it necessary to *improve* upon herself, especially when she is perfect, just as she is.

    So, I showed them the video below, "Wow." They both remarked, after watching, that she looked better before they started 'photoshopping her.' "But Mummy, it's a make-up advert, those are always fake! Remember the mascara ones?" Ah, cynicism, it can be a good thing. So, thank you Dove :)


  6. Less, I don't need the bra....well possibly I do but won't when I've finished with PS.

  7. Geeb. Ditto about the eyes. And seeing someone act, react and think...

    Kitty. Brilliant. I used to discuss all kinds of adverts with my kids from a young age. A healthy skepticism is good! There are so many more choices these days for them, 'though.

    Adrian. i dare you to publish the result on your blog. When the warmer weather comes, of course!

  8. Being a weak-willed, impressionable woman or girl cannot be easy in the modern world. There are so many images of perfection - body, face and fashion - to aspire to. Consequently, many who don't and never will come close to these visual role models are liable to depression, eating disorders and low self-esteem. Here in England, the world's best selling daily newspaper, "The Sun" has a beautiful bare-chested young woman on Page 3 every single day with some inane caption like "Lolita, aged 19, lives in Essex and is a beauty therapist. Her ambition is to save the world. We're sure many male readers will want to assist her!"
    Very subtly, one might say that there is still a sense in which women are still in chains. If they opt out of the image game they have to be very strong and be prepared to risk a degree of ostracism for not following the herd.
    Why do women wear make-up?

  9. Yes, having a perfect body, a handsome face is something different from being attractive. The model is not handsome and certainly is not attractive to me. Apparently it serves a need. But who’s? Oh where is the time that Rubens made his beautiful paintings. In those days women had certainly less to worry about. (I was influenced by many Rijksmuseum visits when I was a kid).