7 September 2014

Let's Chat | Are Women Not Allowed To Age?

Ageing Photoshop Controversy Wrinkles Jennifer Lopez David Beckham Bradley Cooper
I know this one looks lengthy, but it was pretty necessary and I think it's worth a read (...even if I do say so myself!)

It’s no secret that in the times we live in, the media and beauty industry have such a strong hold on society, and with this comes the obsessive focus on physical appearance and what is seen as beautiful, contributing to the growing obsession with anti-ageing, with the majority of the focus and pressure seeming to be on women rather than equal between the sexes.
It seems as though the idea of ageing gracefully isnt pushed anywhere near enough for it to be seen as ‘the norm’ and people are willing to do so much to their bodies to keep themselves looking as young as they can for as long as they can. I’m all for people doing whatever they want to feel pretty and confident in themselves, but there’s a difference between people wanting to look better, and completely disregarding the idea that ageing is natural and acting in a way which suggests that someone can no longer can be beautiful as they age. I find it quite ridiculous anyway, I mean when do we really ‘age’, we’re always ageing, I'm glad I don't look the same as I did when I was 14, so why shouldn’t we be as welcoming to looking 30 and 40 and so on? Who’s to say there is a particular threshold that beauty cant cross over into?

Don’t get me wrong, as I said I’m all for people feeling beautiful and confident in themselves, but surely there is a line that needs to be drawn because younger generations are being brought up to think that wrinkles mean you’re no longer beautiful, and that beauty is skin deep. It both annoys me and makes me quite sad when I see women like Kate Winslet, who are so beautiful as they are, photoshopped to levels where they look 20 years younger. I don’t know about you but I think it looks worse when a 50 year old woman is photoshopped to look like she's 25, because it’s so unrealistic and if it was me I would feel insulted that my body at that age was no longer good enough for the media to show me as I am. Not only that but it creates this completely irrational idea that these women actually look that much younger,  making it difficult for those who read magazines etc, to feel good enough. 

The fact that the focus leans towards women, means that there is a split which leads to us thinking it’s fine for men to age and be seen as attractive, but not women, who the hell has made these so called 'rules'? Take a look at David Beckham's H&M campaign and he is portrayed in a way which reflects his real age and his forehead hasn't been flattened out within an inch of it's life. Yet, no-one would look at it and think ‘damn he’s got wrinkles’ because his job isn't to look young. The same goes for Bradley Cooper's Haagen Dazs campaign, his crow's feet were on show and no-one fainted over it.  On the other hand, if you look at something like J-Lo’s new single cover, she’s been photoshopped from head to toe and looks noticeably younger than she really is, but why? would she not sell as many singles if she looked her real age on the cover? She would sound the same so shouldn’t that be what matters? It’s a complete contrast between genders and if the media portrayed women the same way that it did men, I think it would hugely decrease the pressure that we're put under to look much younger than we are, and take away the idea that the way we look comes before our talent and personalities.

I know it's very unlikely that the media ever will change it's ways regarding this, but I just thought I'd put my thoughts out there because I want more people to remember it's normal to age and still feel good about themselves, I sure wouldn't want my grandmother or mum to feel like they weren't beautiful anymore just because they're ageing and I think we sometimes need to remind each other of what's important. Plus I love a good rant and it was about due. Let me know what your thoughts are on this, I'm intrigued to know!

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