Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Fun of Fashion

So the word on the street is that a French politician is trying to get a new law passed, whereby all images that have been retouched would have to carry a warning, similar to the ones printed on cigarette packets, explaining that the visual has been altered and that the person in the picture does not look like that in real life.

It is hard to imagine opening an issue of Vogue and being reminded on every single page that the model's appearance has been altered and that would you therefore please be so kind as to not believe this is how she looks when she falls out of bed in the morning.

Anyone who flicks through a magazine and thinks that the way models look when they are being photographed for a fashion or beauty shoot, really look like that in everyday life, should perhaps carry their own warning to self: get thee to an optician to clarify vision, and to a university to clarify perception.

Fashion magazines are not paper documentaries or anthropological studies. They are printed collections of beautiful and glamourous ideas that are translated for our consumption via fashion spreads and articles.

In order to reach the most aesthetic ideal possible, they must surpass reality and attempt to portray a world of fantasy in which eyelashes are always thick and long, legs are forever slender, and imperfections non-existent.

Publications like Harper's Bazaar are fun and colourful escapes from the dreary, grey reality that is day-to-day working life.

So why would we want to ruin our own fun?

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