June, 30, 2009

CBC

Did an interview with CBC this morning, which was an interesting process. In the end we left off talking about fashion in terms of eating disorders, and about the obesity epidemic. Not sure this is the whole picture. Anorexia exists in places where large bodies are celebrated, and is usually associated with OCD. The same medication can be used for treatment of either. It can be easy to talk about body image in terms of extreme cases – and this almost let’s us off the hook. I’m really interested in images and perception – in what messages are coming at us – and how this affects how we see ourselves and each other.

In terms of advertising it’s all art and fantasy – but fantasy that needs us to think it’s real. Images are photoshopped “to death” but traces of imperfection are left in to make us think it’s real – or attainable. Attainable through a product. In an interview a re-toucher said:

“What you’re looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks. Some way of obscuring where you’ve been. And the first thing that people take out is the bloodshot-eyes, that’s the last thing that I take out or just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched. So you stay away from those obvious makers that show that you’ve been there…That’s real and compelling, and the fact that I leave that in makes it seem more real.”

There are some talented retouchers out there, and I would like to see how we react if they were given a credit in magazines.

We also talked about Elle magazine’s recent publication of images without photoshop. And it made me wonder whether the discussion should be flipped. Maybe it’s the fantasy, or the perfected image, that’s competing with real life.