I have recently begun modeling my hats and fascinators in the product photography for my etsy store. One thing the experience has brought home to me–in addition to the fact that I have a tendency to react to a camera like a deer caught in headlights–is just how easy it is to internalize media images of female beauty.
I do not look like the average fashion model, who is about 5’8 and 108-125 lbs. I’ve got the 5’8 part down, but at 160lbs I’m forty pounds heavier than the women who appear on magazine covers. I’m admitting my weight on the internet because I’m not ashamed of it. I’m not likely to die of malnutrition. But of course one of the main problems with the advertising industry is that fashion models don’t look like the women on magazine covers either, as the recent Ralph Lauren scandal attests.
I know all this. I’ve read the blogs, taken the courses, and even helped teach a course on Beauty Myths to college students. And yet, looking through the shots of me in my hats I find myself tempted to pull up photoshop and do away with the shadows under my eyes, the places on my face that are just a bit pinker than the rest, or the creases in my clothing that prove that I do, in fact, have a body under the dress.
In the end, I resisted. I said no to photoshop. I am beautiful and I know it.