Average Adverts

Advertisements show pictures of photoshopped people and give us unrealistic expectations for our own bodies. Why isn’t the average person shown instead?

Lauren Bander, Columnist

Everybody knows that advertisements and models are photoshopped. They offer pictures of people with flawless skin and perfect bodies. But that’s not even them. Dove proved this with their 2006 video “Evolution,” showing how advertisers can make someone look like a totally different, flawless person. We desire to have that perfect image, but it truly is unattainable. BuzzFeed has done an experiment where they photoshopped normal people into supermodels, but the people who were photoshopped disliked the results.

The marketing behind photoshopping is understandable. The perfect image of the model makes what they are selling seem more desirable, and therefore making you buy the product. But it can be more harmful than helpful. The National Eating Disorders Association says that one of the factors that can contribute to eating disorders is “cultural pressures that glorify ‘thinness’ or muscularity and place value on obtaining the ‘perfect body.’” So we should stop making people feel like they have to look a certain way in order to be attractive.

ModCloth, a quirky online fashion company, is helping with this idea. In August 2014, the company promised to stop photoshopping their models and had their own employees model their 2015 swimsuit collection. The Huffington Post with Modcloth says that “depicting a realistic image of women has long been a goal of the brand,” and it would be healthy for others to do the same. Whether companies are using their own employees like ModCloth or they choose people off the street, those of us who are average deserve to be represented in advertisements as well. We are the main demographic, are we not?

Seeing large photos of tall, skinny girls makes me dream of having that body, even when I know that’s impossible. I’m short. I don’t have a flat stomach. I never will be like that Victoria’s Secret model I pass every time I go to the mall. That girl isn’t even real, and I am. I think that’s a win for me. There is no such thing as a “perfect body” – we all have flaws that will never go away, and media should begin to embrace that. Instead of making people drool over the model’s perfections, advertisements should help us relate to those people in the photos by making them actual humans, not photoshopped aliens.