Real Women and their reponses to manipulated beauty

As I want to get the thoughts and opinions of women to include in my book, and relate them to the images  that I am taking of myself, I posed the following question to friends and family.

Ok Ladies, I am currently doing an assignment on the media and its manipulation of images to create the “perfect” woman. Whilst I know how this makes me feel about my own body I would love to hear how this makes you feel about your body. Do you feel a pressure to conform? Does it make you feel unhappy? Are any of you happy in your own skin and couldn’t give a shit about living up to the “ideal”? Please pm me with your thought. I will keep it all anonymous. Thanks girls.

I have received responses from women from different backgrounds, ages and of all sizes. Here a few of the responses that I have received so far:

“it changes day to day for me really, sometimes I see a model in an advert and think ‘no way is that real, no one can actually look like that!’ but then sometimes things catch me like in films, the make-up, hair and lighting comes together so well that a woman can look perfect, we believe a moving image more… (this can relate into digital truth?) As for how it impacts on myself, I definitely have my own insecurities I think everyone does despite those interviews of celebs claiming otherwise, I can look at a magazine without feeling sad or jealous, I am impacted more nowadays by seeing real people in the street that I want to look like!”

” I don’t feel a pressure to conform to what the media says is perfect ANYMORE .. i used to when i was younger.. but as I’ve grown up and been introduced to Photoshop i can see the trickery and when and image has been edited”

“Ok so my thoughts are probably the same as most. It does make me feel like I’m totally inadequate. Maybe I’m wrong but it ‘seemed’ as though it was acceptable to get older and once you hit a certain age and have kids etc a certain amount of wear and tear shall will say would be present. But these days I feel as though I still have to look and be the same size I was when I was 20. Of course I know that most pictures are a) not real and b) these people have nothing to do except workout with their fancy trainers and have all their meals cooked etc so why do we feel like we have to be the same?”

“I guess the ‘perfect’ images might make me feel like things are ‘wrong’ with my body if I don’t look that way. It makes me cross about the  effect it has on males who might have their ideas of what women are supposed to look like created by these images. it sets a standard that everyone has to then fall short of. I think it doesn’t help that these images go alongside images in magazines of celebrity flaws, eg close ups of cellulite etc. it’s like if you do fall short of the ‘standard’ then public humiliation is acceptable.”

“Don’t really think it matters too much what you look like as far as the media is concerned. Women will always be too thin, too fat, too something. Men don’t seem to come under the same criticism so its very sexist anyway. Its what you are on the inside that counts not whether or not you have a double chin or a wobbly belly. A skinny man is never called anorexic but a woman is, a fat man seems to go almost unnoticed, so think its about what gender you are not really what you look like. Even Princess Kate has had bad press and she is only guilty of being pregnant!!”

“personally i don’t feel the media effects me in the way i look personally, for me i lost weight so i wasn’t judged by society when i cam to university. sometimes in the media i do feel ‘why can’t i look like that’ but for me its more to fit into society but you could then argue that the media effects society so therefore effects we distantly”






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