Standards of beauty seem to get more unrealistic as time goes on. In an age of Instagram models and ubiquitous filters, women are inundated by images of faces and bodies that seem impossible to obtain - this is because they are impossible.
Some fashion brands like Victoria’s Secret are particularly notable for altering images to sell their clothes. Digital image editing software has created an environment where every blemish on a model can be erased, or smoothed. Even outlines can be cropped. If you compare the original photos to edited ones, it’s easy to see just how much of an impact this makes.
Feminism has seen a particularly vibrant resurgence in the last few years, and with it, the fashion industry has seen a revolution to reject the unrealistic standards that image editing presses upon women. For example, American Eagle’s lingerie brand, Aerie, has put forth a marketing campaign with untouched swimsuit model images under the hashtag #AerieReal. Model Gigi Hadid posted an untouched photo of a swimsuit shoot for Seafolly on her own Instagram account. Model Iskra Lawrence started Runway Riot, a fashion website that does not alter images. The movement keeps getting stronger with social media hashtags providing a way for the non-models among us to participate.
This is not just a great way to promote healthy and realistic body image standards for women, it’s also good business. When a brand goes out of its way to reject these standards, it fosters a level of trust and authenticity that creates true fans. With this revolution gaining serious momentum, we should expect to see more realistic model images in the future that focus on authentic beauty.