April 2011; we had fashion shows, the shortest working weeks ever (thank you, bank holidays) and something about a royal wedding? But as the dust settled after a day that brought out our patriots, rekindled our romantic sides and made street parties cool again, a little slip up from one of Britain’s most-read magazines paved the way for a pretty forceful reaction.
A front cover photoshop blunder in the royal wedding special issue of Grazia grabbed the nation’s attention for all the wrong reasons. While we accept that it was a genuine error, and the team didn’t set out to digitally slim-down the already svelte bride, the fallout is worth listening to. Literally thousands of complaints were received. So much so, that the Press Complaints Commission launched an investigation into exactly what went wrong. And I think this says something. Something that, in a silver-lining kind of way, is actually pretty positive.
It seems the world has had enough. We’re finally standing up and saying: “No, this is unfair. You can’t set us up to fail anymore with these images of, frankly, unachievable beauty.” Could it be that the age of excess is finally coming to an end? Will other magazines, those who are perhaps more deliberate in their airbrushing efforts, sit up and take note, realise that attitudes have changed, and we won’t buy into these ideals anymore? I really, really hope so. Because we’ve been saying for so long that this constant obsession with such a specific model of beauty isn’t healthy, that it is about time somebody listened.
The way I see it, with airbrushing anybody can be made thinner, more tanned, their hair shinier and their teeth whiter. But shouldn’t we be admiring the beauty of women without all of this? And who is to say those are the components that make up what it is to be beautiful anyway? I always see attraction as a completely subjective concept. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another one’s treasure. Here at All Walks, we want the world to open its eyes and realise that beauty is everywhere. Just not always in the same form.
Post by Erin Cardiff
Erin is a second year journalism student at the University of Sheffield. She is currently applying for masters courses in New York to study magazine journalism. Erin has two blogs, Frocking Hell and Erin Actually . You can find her on Twitter @erincardiff.
Editor Charlotte Gush, on Twitter @CavaCharlotte