All Women's Talk

8 Reasons Not to Be Influenced by Media Images ...

By Alison

It is frequently observed how women are influenced by images in the media, especially those of celebrities. We apparently want to look like them, dress like them and be as slim as them. Well, it’s a debatable point if this influence is as pervasive as it’s made out to be, but there are certainly sound reasons not to be so affected by such images.

1 Airbrushing

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Or rather, its modern counterpart Photoshop. I imagine that no magazine image goes untouched. I dare say we could all look fabulous with some Photoshopping! Sometimes it’s really obvious. So why be influenced by something that isn’t natural?

2 Selective

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The pictures that we see of models and celebrities are carefully chosen to present an image. It might be stating the obvious, but the magazines don’t just pick the first photo and say ‘That’ll do!’. A great deal of work has gone into each photographic display.

3 Stylists

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Every time you see an image of a star, behind it is a team of stylists and makeup artists. Unless it’s one of those articles at the other end of the spectrum that makes fun of stars without makeup! Since the rest of us have to dress ourselves and choose our own image, we’re never going to look like the celebrities (and seeing what some of the stylists achieve, that’s probably a very good thing).

4 Advertorials

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Fashion articles are often even more of a blatant advertisment than the actual adverts. Since the featured designer has clearly done a deal with the magazine (remember how much the magazines depend on advertising), we shouldn’t be influenced by something that is little more than an advertorial.

5 It’s Their Job

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For models, singers and actresses, presenting an image is part of their job. They have to get their pictures in the papers, and of course they want those pictures to be as flattering as possible. It hardly need be said that most of us do a very different job!

6 Manipulation

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While it is nothing new for women to emulate the style of their favourite actress, it seems that these days this trend is ever more exploited. Not so long ago, ‘ordinary’ women would never have aspired to owning a $1000 designer bag, but now we are encouraged to invest in a ‘classic piece’.

7 Unappealing

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It’s one thing taking inspiration from images, but I find many of the models featured in magazines are not that attractive. The very thin catwalk models generally aren’t an image I’d advocate copying. Just because it’s in a glossy magazine doesn’t make it desirable.

8 Unrealistic

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Creating your own style by drawing in elements that you have seen is one thing, but it’s really difficult to copy the looks seen in magazines. Invariably they showcase very expensive and unaffordable clothes, that are also too extreme and impractical for everyday wear.

What do you think of media images – are they an unhealthy influence on young girls? Or is their power exaggerated? Do you enjoy reading fashion magazines precisely because they are more of a fantasy?

Top Photo Credit: ozma

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