By Hanna Brooks Olsen
Fashion magazines are really having a hard time with this whole "accurate representation of the female body" thing that we crazy ladies are clamoring for. I mean, they're trying, kind of. But man, they just can't seem to get it right. Like, for example, when Numéro magazine recently airbrushed model Karlie Kloss... to make her look less thin (click here for before and after photos). Sorry, Numéro. Close, but no body-positive cigar.
Karlie Kloss, who is very thin, has frequently been the subject of critique. Her nude photos in Vogue Italia caused a whirlwind of epic proportions when they-unsurprisingly-landed on every pro-ana and thinspo blog from here to the moon.** Which maybe explains why Numéro went this route; they were probably trying to avoid ending up in the center of a PR problem. Or maybe they just did it for aesthetic reasons and really don't care even a tiny bit about how women feel about themselves. Either way, here they are, because airbrushing the ribs off a thin model is every bit as disturbing as whittling away thighs and tummies.
Naturally, the Daily Mail, who broke the story and got the photos, has some weird and negative and generally icky things to say about this whole situation, but that's a conversation for never. What I really want to address is why this is yet another swing-and-miss by yet another fashion magazine.
As we've discussed before, airbrushing models to make them look thinner is obviously not what women are looking for when they ask magazines to keep it real. No more removed limbs, so more shaving down of waists. Just no more of that. But that doesn't mean that airbrushing thin models to make them look fatter (which is a thing) is what we want, either. Because it isn't.
So, magazines, I want to tell you, explicitly, exactly what women want from you to make us feel better about ourselves and the world we live in:
We want you to cast models of all shapes and sizes, without calling them out or making a big deal of it, and we want you to use little to no airbrushing of said models.
That's it. That's how you get it right. OK, class is dismissed.
**Of course, the editor of the magazine later came out swinging against the pro-ana community and those who make thinspo-esque photos, and said she'd put her foot down about that particular spread... but then the magazine kept right on doing the same thing, so it appears that no lesson was learned. Shocking!
This article was originally posted on blisstree.com. Click here to read more from Hanna Brooks Olsen.