Media Studies – Construction of Reality.

  Everybody would love to live in a perfect world, but we don’t have one. Instead we construct a reality that we all know isn’t true but can’t stop ourselves from being sucked into. One of these constructions is the way our world portrays ourselves, physically of course.

Everybody knows that there are millions of different shapes and sizes but we all strive for that perfect body. Even though there is no such thing, magazines and movies try to tell us there is. They show us pictures of beautiful woman that we all know from television or movies and every single girl wants to be like them. Unfortunately what they show us is not who these woman actually are. Almost every picture is airbrushed, no matter how lovely the woman may be.

These photos are of Kiera Knightly. In the airbrushed photo her skin is luminescent, her hair is shinier and her breasts are bigger. Both woman and men would be attracted to this photo because she looks incredible. This photo and this reaction gives every normal woman the thought that our skin has to be perfect and our boobs have to be big in order to be pretty and that’s not true. Every woman needs to be comfortable with their own bodies and airbrushed photos like these give us a false idea of what we should be.

This is Kim Kardashian. She is well known for her “assets” but in this add they have been thinned. Her waist is smaller and her legs are more fit. Even her veins and stretch marks have been removed creating flawless skin. This photo says that cellulite or stretch marks are ugly and that normal women can’t have them if they want to be beautiful. The truth is everybody does. Kim Kardashian is usually proud of her curves and she needs to make everyone else proud of them too.

Then we have Jessica Alba who we all know is absolutely stunning but the airbrushing in this photo makes her even more. Again her skin looks clearer, her clothes fit better, her waist is a bit smaller and her boobs are a lot more defined. This photo shows us again that you need to be thin, with big boobs and glowing skin in order to be thought of as pretty. Beauty is not only about that though. You could just look at Jessica Alba’s face and know she is beautiful; you wouldn’t even need the rest of her body. If the world wasn’t so focused on weight and bra sizes we would realize that.

It’s easy to say that the world wants a smaller waist, slimmer thighs and any bruise or mark removed but in reality you can’t. With Photoshop we can construct the way we want to look but that’s not helping anyone because once you go out in person, everyone can see what you really are. These airbrushed photos are giving people all over the world false hope. Everyone wants to look the way the stars do in magazines and they will do anything to become that way and there can be some very dangerous consequences.  No one should be forced to look a certain way because nobody can. Everybody has their own shape and size and the world should be proud of that. This construction of reality is not helping anyone, even the stars aren’t as perfect as they seem on the cover of magazines and that’s okay. These women in these pictures are beautiful before they are airbrushed and if we saw them how they really are we would still think they were beautiful and would have the ability to think of ourselves as beautiful too.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. msszewchuk
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 02:00:48

    This is a great first post! I agree that constructions like these are mostly dangerous, as, like you said, they create an unrealistic impression of what women’s bodies should look like. (There are also many airbrushed photos of men in existence, but overall the media seems to accept and portray a greater variety of male body types than female ones).

    You’ve also touched on another important idea – the implied messages the media gives us. By airbrushing natural features like stretch marks and cellulite out of celebrity photos, the producers of the images are implying to their audiences that these things are unattractive.

    Keep up the great work! I’m looking forward to more of your posts.


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