When you look at an image of a female model in a magazine or in an advertisement, do you know whether or not it has been digitally altered? The answer is almost always no. While companies like CVS are working to make it clear which images are unaltered and which are digitally enhanced, so consumers don’t get fooled into thinking a model looks that way or not, the sad truth is that digitally altering images is still the beauty industry norm.
Unfortunately, when companies alter the way a model looks, they promote an unrealistic standard of beauty. Not only do they take the way a model looks and completely change it to suit their unrealistic standards, but the images also make women feel bad about themselves because there is no way they can look like the women in the photos.
La’Tecia Thomas works as a plus-size model. She has made it her mission to fight against these unrealistic beauty standards, and she took aim at a major brand on Instagram. Thomas made it clear, with side-by-side images of the ad and her real picture, that she does not look like the person in the photo. These advertisements are simply not real people.
In the right photo, you can see Thomas as she truly is. She has curves, she has blemishes on her skin, but she is beautiful. The image on the left shows Thomas after she’s been digitally altered to suit the advertiser’s unrealistic standards of beauty.
“What you see online or in the media isn’t always the complete truth,” Thomas wrote on Instagram. “This is not about putting anyone on blast but more as a reminder to not compare yourself to anyone else. In this instance, I can’t even compare myself to myself.”
She added, “If I can’t be that person on the left (which is absurd because it’s me), then I can only imagine the effect this has on women.”
The plus-size model criticizes the advertiser to not showing her as she is. She’s proud of her back dimples and her rolls. She doesn’t want other people to feel that they have to censor their bodies just because it’s not what is shown in magazines.
“I think both images are beautiful but be realistic with yourself. You don’t need to look a certain way to be appreciated and know that you’re worthy,” Thomas said.
Because Thomas was always a bigger girl, she knows what it’s like to feel inadequate. She works in the fashion and beauty industry, which is known for being cruel, especially toward women who look like her.
Thomas admits that she used to compare her body to those of other women. However, she applauds companies like CVS, which are taking a stand against unrealistic beauty standards. She wants women to be proud of who they are and how they look – not constantly striving to reach some standard of beauty that an art director determined was desirable.
People applauded Thomas for coming forward about the image and her thoughts on how the industry does not feature “real people” in their ads.
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