Recreation Programmer for the Whistler Youth Centre
After a long winter we've all been looking forward to the heat, lake days and basking in the sun. Well, at this stage you'd have more luck with that if you placed your face in your oven, but that's beside the point. While many of us look forward to less cumbersome attire, many people dread this time of year... BATHING SUIT SEASON!
Let's face it, when we're at the grocery store check out counter, we are bombarded by images on the covers of magazines where some famous actor just lost 10 pounds and now looks fantastic, or some butt firming technique that also helps you achieve that perfect summer beach body. Here's the thing, about 99 per cent of all photographs in those publications have been manipulated.
In an effort to shed some light on this situation, Whistler Secondary teacher Michelle Antil, professional photographer Anastasia Chomlack and the Whistler Youth Centre
organized a three-day workshop that all Grade 9 CAPP (Career and Personal Planning) students attend. Here is what some of the students had to say about body image, self-esteem and the lengths that various industries, including those in beauty and fashion, will go to in order to sell their products.
Caroline Stroud: What do you think of photo-manipulation in modeling?
Sydney Calder: "It was shocking how much they change people. Everyone wants to say, like the big companies, that you're beautiful just the way you are yet they still Photoshop them (their models) to look like completely different people. Stretching out their necks like a giraffe. Creeps me out. Their waists and smaller thighs, it kinda' scares me 'cause it doesn't look normal, it just looks scary.
People look better when they are natural or who they are supposed to be. Some people are bigger and that's fine. I don't understand why they have to portray what beauty is (with) skinny little girls that in the photos look like they are going to snap and their heads are going to bobble off!"
Liam Measure: "It would make the girl (model) feel really bad that they have to do all that to her to put her on the front of the magazine. Like 'you're not good enough, this is what we want you to look like,' then they Photoshop their face and everything else after."
Robyn Mann: "They are taking away the person and giving it a new identity ... the videos show something you never see. They do it too much so that the person is gone."