(Photo from PetaPixel)
Actually, it makes me feel a bit sick to my stomach to even look at this image. This was an ad for Ralph Lauren that took quite a bit of heat back in 2009. I want to show you this image to educate you girls on the power of Photoshop. This image goes to show you, you can take a seemingly normal body and use a tool called “liquify” that can potentially make your waist look smaller than you head! Yes, check out the photo…and please say it ain’t so! Honestly, the poor girl is so warped she doesn’t even look human anymore! I think the thing about this ad that personally disturbs me the most is, I wonder how many desks this print went across and how many people signed off on it before it went to print…and not one person took a step back and said, “Wait a minute, this just doesn’t look right.” Have we become that immune to startling thin women in magazines that this doesn’t raise an eyebrow within the advertising industry?
If anyone questions why an estimated 24 million individuals in our country suffer from an eating disorder, this photo is probably a good indication why. Girls, in particular, are trying to keep up with a body type that is physically IMPOSSIBLE! Girls, none of us can compete with a Photoshop warping tool! Take that in for a moment…you can’t compete with the impossible, so let go of that pressure to compete with what only a computer software can create. The liquify tool reminds me of those warping mirrors that you sit in front of as a kid where your head becomes shaped like an hourglass alien?!??! You know what I’m talking about! The tool takes the normal and turns it into the impossible.
Below are some very interesting and startling facts about eating disorders that I found from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders while trying to pull the most recent data.
*Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
*Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents
*47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures
*69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape
*95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.8
*The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females
*81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat
Now those facts should be a tough pill to swallow. If you are one of those 24 million people that are battling an eating disorder, or you aren’t quite sure if it is “technically” a disorder, I encourage you to GET HELP HERE. You are not alone in this battle and there is no need for you to feel that way. Your story might just save another girl from this deadly disease.