To Photoshop or not to Photoshop, that is the question. Kim Kardashian is not a plus size woman, but she is known for her voluptuous figure. Complex Magazine created a buzz when it inadvertently put up an unaltered photo of the reality star on its website, and then replaced it with a retouched version later. The new and improved Kim had smaller breasts, a trimmer waist, and of course, slimmer cellulite-free thighs. The entire photo had been lightened including the background and Ms. Kardashian’s complexion. Side by side comparisons of the two images popped up all over the web.
Kim immediately took to her blog to defend herself. She brushed off the entire hubbub by responding “So what; I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn’t?” Okay, that works. But then, after claiming to be proud of her curves and her body, she lets everyone know that she’s worked hard to make herself acceptable once again. Kardashian goes on, “At the same time as this Complex shoot, I was gearing up for my fitness DVD and you should see my thighs now!!! Ha ha!”
This is all disturbing on a few levels. For starters, the fact is that using Photoshop to change real bodies into cookie-cutter fakes is common industry practice. It is ridiculous, but it’s also old news. So, why do women still buy into the “this is how you should look” drama of magazines? And if Kim is so proud, why ruin a perfectly good with response by claiming she doesn’t look like that anymore?
What bugs me the most about the whole thing is that people think it is okay to criticize her figure whether it’s Photoshopped or not. There is no perfect or ideal body. Yet, women continue to make the news for gaining or losing weight like it is a matter of national security or something. Oprah felt so ashamed that she put her own side by side comparison on the cover of her magazine. Tyra Banks ranted on her show about her weight gain after critics ripped into her. Jennifer Love Hewitt blogged about the negative response to her bikini laden vacation photos. And weightloss companies like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem keep making comeback stories of people like Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond.
So what’s a full figured girl to do? It may seem nearly impossible to tune out all the negative body image messages flying around. It’s time that we learn to embrace all bodies for what they are. Let’s cut out the competitiveness. Beauty doesn’t come in one shape or size. If you’re plus sized, work it. If you’re slender, work it. If you’re somewhere in between, work it. Just don’t let someone else’s standard of beauty determine how you feel about yourself.