In a world obsessed with Photoshop, where necks being "thinned" and hips being made prepubescent is the hard-line standard, Hungarian singer-songwriter Boggie's music video for her song "Nouveau Parfum" is not only a statement, but a relief.
Boggie begins her song without any hint of makeup or even professional lighting. She looks natural -- the humanity has not yet been airbrushed out of her.
Things soon change. As she sings, her skin tone is lightened and evened out, and one eye is copied and flipped to cover the other. The retouched Boggie that stares defiantly in split screen at the end of the video looks like an entirely different person, getting across a powerful message about how Photoshop obscures our perception of reality and beauty.
To bring it all home, she sings, "Je ne suis pas leur produit." I am not their product.
Most of us are familiar with the augmented reality of our media landscape, though sometimes it's hard to remember just how much every image in a magazine or on a billboard has been retouched. What we do know is that the standards of beauty we see are nearly impossible to attain.
But maybe, in the midst of all these messages, the quiet challenge of "I am not their product" is what we need to hear.
Our worth is not quantified by the width of our nose or the gap between our thighs. Our flaws are not the sort that can be fixed with a few photo-editing tweaks. We are not products, and it is time we stopped pretending that was ever an option.
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