It may be heading towards the end of bathing suit season but with some of us still heading out to the beach or the lake, I didn’t think it was too late to talk about this interesting ad campaign. Denbenhams, a UK retailer, has taken a stance against airbrushed beauty by banning airbrushing from their ad campaigns. To highlight how unnecessary (and unhealthy for consumers!) it is for models to be touched up, they’ve put an unconventional twist on their ad campaign by comparing an unaltered photo with one that has been airbrushed. Take a look at how interesting the results are…
So first of all, yes, this model, without the airbrushing, is beautiful. From her cute bob to her smooth skin to her lean physique, there’s no way I would ever think twice about her as a model if I saw her in a magazine or store front. Can’t spot all the differences between the first photo and the second? Considering how small some of the touchups are, I’m not really surprised it’s hard to make out the modifications. To see the subtle changes between her ‘real’ photo and the one that’s been altered really struck me as eye opening. The fact that the shape of her arm has been ever-so-slightly skimmed and they’ve done their best to create a helmet of hair shows just how much emphasis is put on living up to an unachievable level of perfection. It’s really no wonder we can focus on the tiniest details about ourselves and wish we could change them.
It’s an interesting way to reject airbrushing and to promote self acceptance. Airbrushing really isn’t necessary when it comes to making people look beautiful. Sure, I’d like to see myself without any wrinkles, no stray hairs and maybe a bigger bust - but really, that’s not me. And it’s not realistic. Nitpicking at the shape of a shoulder (really? a shoulder?) or the shadow of an underarm should never be an issue. Model or not, we all come in different shapes and sizes with different skin tones, different hair cuts and definitely different takes on the definition of beautiful. Accepting ourselves for who we are, “flaws” and all, no matter how big or small, should be reinforced by the fashion world. Us ‘real’ girls are the ones wearing the clothing and considering swimsuit shopping is such a dreaded outing for most girls I know, seeing these models without any touchups might give me a little more confidence to step out of the change room or into the pool. (Okay, maybe not, but no matter how much I hate being in a bikini, I find this ad campaign very refreshing!...)
What’s your take on this campaign? Would you be less inclined to shop at a store with ‘less than perfect’ models?