Don’t believe it ’til you see it with your own eyes. Right? No. Recently, I have read several articles (the best being this one) that show how ridiculously altered major media photographs have become. No longer is it acceptable to be beautiful. Now, you have to be bionic.  Even super gorgeous people get touch ups on the photographs so that they look like “perfection”. Never mind that these people have an army of artists standing in front of them putting on their make up and making sure that there are no stray hairs out of place. Forget that these people do this for a living, have trainers that work with them hours every week, and then go to the gym on their own to maintain and improve their bodies. Ignore the whole “chef” or “prepared nutrition” aspect of things that they may or may not have available to them. Even if they didn’t have those things, they have Photoshop to do the dirty work too! Leave out the perfect lighting that the photographer set up to hide any ::shock:: flaws, and/or highlight the best attributes of the person. Lets omit the possible plastic surgery that also might be included in this person’s body.

Now think about how the world looks at the photos published of these people. These people set the standard. Right. “I’m never going to be as pretty as those people…” some sad little girl inside each of us sighs when we look at some of our favorite “people” online and in print. It’s pretty darned ridiculous. Somewhere in our minds, we think these people woke up this way! This is the way they look walking down the street on a random Friday. NO. IT. ISN’T! The people in the picture, and those on the other side of the lens holding cameras, lighting, makeup brushes, blow dryers, and preparing physical and nutritional life plans for those people in the picture, work their BUTTS OFF to achieve the images they capture. Even THEN, there is MORE post-capture editing that is done.

To prove my point even more, I had Hubs (a pilot in the AF – NOT a photographer), take a snapshot of me in regular lighting in my den. Then I sat down for ONE hour and edited. I took out shadows, I removed freckles, I gave myself better lip color, I brightened my eyes and teeth, and then I shaved some big time lbs off of my sides. It’s not a great post production editing job, but it does show something. Imagine what a professional could do?! I would be HOT! I’m just warmer in my version, but you get my idea.

Don’t believe what you see in the magazines. Those people don’t exist. Don’t believe me? Hit the article I mentioned in the first paragraph. Check out Faith Hill and her inch-thinner arm! Check out Madonna, Demi, and that girl who has her butt cheeks on the cover of Maxim! They all have had lots of work done on their photos. Remember that next time you look in the mirror. If you put in the work, you can look better. But be realistic too. You don’t have an army of people catering to your every breath. Neither do those ladies most days. They just had their secrets working for them on the days those photos were taken, edited, and published. Well, the secret is out. Shame on them for giving us body issues. Shame on us for believing them.

Judge your own body for yourself. Live healthy, fit, and comfortable in your own skin. Work to improve what you don’t like, or accept the way things are, you choose. It’s your body. Not even the ladies in the photo can claim to own the bodies they portray. I’m kinda happy with my before shot to tell you the truth. I’m down 70lbs since October 2010, and 2 lbs since I started Weight Watchers 2 weeks ago. I’m proud of my body right now. I’ve got work to do, but I’ll keep the real me around. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could just Photoshop ourselves every day?!  Just Sayin’.