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Demi's Missing Hip, Madonna's 'Ageless' Face, Crystal's Rolls: Newsweek's Gallery Of Re-Touched Women

In Media, women on January 27, 2010 at 10:22 am
Heideprinzesschen (Heathland Princess) by Frit...

A little young, but, you never know...Image via Wikipedia

Read this and weep — or snicker. But don’t compare your butt, thighs, crow’s feet or cellulite to theirs. They don’t have any!

For any woman, and her daughter(s) or younger female friends, who looks at magazine photos of “perfect” faces and bodies and despairs, buck up. It’s all about the re-touching. Lots of bright lighting and some Botox and great make-up all help, but nothing can beat a techno-fix after the photos have been shot. Any woman who miserably compares her real-life body and skin to the fake flawlessness of the images shoved at her daily in every medium is asking for trouble: plastic surgery, anorexia, bulimia, dieting. Misery.

Trying to attain the literally unattainable means billions in profit for the manufacturers of fake boobs, cosmetic procedures and products, diet companies, gyms. Women trying to look “just like” the women shown to us in ads and editorial images are trying to scale a greasy pole. It simply won’t work.

I attended a social event last night and wondered who the hhhhhottie in the black sequined T-shirt, thigh-high boots and skinny jeans might be. She had honey blond hair and looked stunning. It was a woman I’ve known for many years, but who I met when she weighed — as she told me last night — 90 pounds more. She was always, one could tell, beautiful. Now she’s slim, confident and — as the French say, bien dans sa peau (literally “happy in her skin”) — as much for her pride in beating back her food-related demons as re-discovering the pleasure of easily dressing well and enjoying her corporeal self.

I asked how she did it: a full year of meal replacements (2 shakes, 2 energy bars and 1 meal a day) and re-thinking what food means to her. I  need to lose weight and find the endless drama of that tedious, boring, frustrating and sometimes just overwhelming on top of my many other priorities.

Hard work, discipline, self-awareness, she said, without using those words. The basic tools we all know, deep down, rarely change in this regard.

Not re-touching.

  1. Hi Caitlin: Just FYI: You link to a post on Newsweek that ripped off a post done by Jezebel.com in December.

    http://jezebel.com/5426296/photoshop-of-horrors-hall-of-shame-2000+2009/gallery/

  2. I’m occasionally in the company of San Francisco glitterati, many of whom have flawless, unwrinkled faces… but then they have to use those 70-something hands to lift their champagne flutes. I console myself with the fact that all my wrinkles match.

  3. anna, the post I found today linking to this was through a different source entirely, if albeit late in the game. If Newsweek is “ripping off” Jezebel, that’s between the two of them, no? Surely it’s a game of whack-a-mole as to who is “ripping off” anyone in the blogosphere, no matter how hard some of us try to keep our nose clean.

    Fran, take a close look, if of interest, at the women photographed for Vogue, etc. who are 60+ (rare, but it happens) — they almost always hide their hands, the one place on the body you can’t disguise or fix surgically. Diane Keaton, bizarrely (since this is likely why she does it) is always photographed wearing gloves.

  4. “I asked how she did it: a full year of meal replacements (2 shakes, 2 energy bars and 1 meal a day) and re-thinking what food means to her.”

    The second part of this plan, sure, makes sense. I think many people lose touch with the “meaning” of food, whether to excess or to insufficiency.

    But part A? That strikes me as the diet of someone who is desperate for a quick fix, and to outdo their body’s own set point. Maybe I’m wrong?

  5. No, I get it entirely…A year (!) is hardly a quick fix in my view…She explained, and it made sense to me, that it became one less thing to fixate on or focus on — she was ending a marriage at the same time. She knew exactly what she would eat/drink and that was that, i.e. not fudging or fussing about carbs, portion size or calorie counts for all 3 meals, only one. I really like the sound of that and would be willing to try it for even one month just to get started.

    The challenge of multiple injuries — as you know — is finding truly aerobic, challenging, fat-burning exercises that don’t bore you to tears or re-injure you. Calorie restriction has to be the way to go.

    She fully admitted that much of her (over)eating was “emotional” eating — whether anger or boredom or whatever. I suspect it is for many of us, if “only” comfort and familiarity. A bag or bowl of something is often the absolutely cheapest, easiest, quickest legal way to soothe oneself — beyond a cigarette. No wonder so many people are obese, as I suspect for many of them/us food is very much about self-soothing in a culture that allows few other cheap/fun options.

    Now even watching TV will kill you:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052748704055104574652340708172608.html

    Please.

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