Or as Jezebel called it, “The Annotated Guide to Making Faith Hill Hot.
They’ve also done a very nice PHP/flash site (takes longer to load, those of you not on DSL) that really shows the before and after pictures of this lovely Faith Hill photo shoot.
What’s shocking is that Redbook felt like they needed to airbrush one of the most beautiful mothers in America. For goodness sake, she’s had three children, has a busy career and appears to have a stable loving marriage. That’s like the holy trifecta of happiness in some circles. I would (sadly) expect massive airbrushing from Vogue or some other very high end fashion magazine. Redbook (whose masthead proudly proclaims, “Love Your Life”) purports itself to be for middle America, for mothers and the middle-aged women in America fighting a losing battle against gravity, stretch marks and time. One does wonder how we can “Love our Lives” when we’re constantly bombarded with reminders that we are too line-ridden, that we’re not skinny enough to be (insert your own word here) loved/rich/contented/
The gossip rag Jezebel’s outing of the unretouched photo caused a bit of a media firestorm this week with everybody from ABC News to VH1 weighing in on the photoshopping of an already- beautiful role model. The ultimate message is that women are doing everything they can to live up to the unrealistic images portrayed in the media and … we’re failing, thus disapointing ourselves, our spouses and our kids. After all, if Faith Hill can look that good with a career, three kids, and a busy life, what’s wrong with us that we can’t
There is a business angle to this controversy however. Redbook is doing it for the money. Somewhere, some study has shown that women (yes, those same saggy, overworked, stretch-marked Mothers) are more likely to buy magazines with the beautiful, line-less, nymphs on the cover rather than a woman that looks vaguely like themselves on a good day. The recent closing of pro-real-women magazine, Jane, showcases this point. That’s the true business shame in all of this. The companies that keep pushing super skinny, super airbrushed on us wouldn’t be doing it if there wasn’t money to be made.
Next time you see a candid photo of a celebrity, before you start picking on her, “Ewww, look! She hascellulite!” be happy that you actually saw something real – not something that was manipulated into a more-pretty facsimile of reality.
At the rate we’re going, you won’t be able to see “real” for much longer.