“I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devices. I can’t take the pressure.” ― Helen Fielding
This quote rang so true in my head as I was reading one of my favorite books ever penned. (The truth is that ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ is my absolute favorite book I have ever read, but at various social functions I will claim it’s ‘Of Mice and Men.’ While that is somewhat true, I only claim Steinbeck’s work is superior simply – and shamefully – to sound more sophisticated.) I am a child of the 80′s and 90′s and I would spend hours with friends trying to discover who I was by=picking options A, B or C in some glossy magazine with a model on the cover promising to help me decide if I was a good girl or bad girl, do I rely on my friends too much, what kind of friend I was and who was my celebrity soul mate. Airbrushing and Photoshop wasn’t as obvious and vocal as it is now, so body image was pretty much destroyed for me.
So, in spirit of lifting the reality veil on what is beautiful, here are some confessions of an airbrushing wizard…
“Thousands of dollars are spent on making your average celebrity look ‘just right’ from everything magazine covers to fashion/beauty campaigns. Makeup artists, hair stylists and trainers spend hours working their magic and then lighting and the skill of a professional photographer get the photos. Despite all that, every photo you will see gets an airbrushing. Even some of those images that claim they aren’t airbrush are touched up. It’s not a secret, but I feel like it needs to be restated. The level of what is considered ‘beautiful’ and ‘average’ is beyond skewed.”
Madonna refuses to age gracefully. She is one of the most airbrushed celebs out there. She doesn’t let the fact that she is 54 stop her from wearing leather boots and a bustier. Her neck, hands, eyes, lips, arms and legs take hours under the hands of skilled artist to cover. Work for one of her albums leaked to the net giving us all a glimpse of reality.
Kim Kardashian – Most of her photos are heavily airbrushed around her waist, thighs, butt and breasts. She is a curvy girl, but her hourglass usually comes from airbrushing. Complex magazine accidentally posted a pre-airbrushed picture of Kim. Her thighs have been trimmed and her breasts digitally reduced along with an all over color correction and a few nips and tucks.
Britney Spears – She has bounced around from tightly toned to comfortably curvy and had a few rough patches I blame on that Federline fellow in between. Her legs create the most airbrushing. She can dance and the reality of a such a skilled professional is muscles. For her campaign for Candies, she was constantly shaved of her dancer’s legs.
Christina Aguilera – Since her weight gain, she has been trimmed down from head to toe. Her makeup is always toned down along with her cleavage and she is usually given a new nose.
Katy Perry – She is naturally gorgeous and has a chest many women demand from their plastic surgeons. For the cover of Rolling Stone, she was given an airbrushed boob job and a tummy tuck. For face shots, her skin has to be evened out as her makeup tends to appear too heavy.
Keira Knightley – This starlet is constantly getting a boob job. She has openly admitted to her movie posters having a bigger cup size than in reality.
Beyonce – Her skin changes color on just about every magazine cover. Sometimes she is practically Caucasian, while other mags will darken her tone to deeper bronze.
Nicki Minaj – She usually gets a complete overhaul to balance her features. Her skin also gets a color change and made to look more natural and even.
Kelly Clarkson – The singer always asserts her comfort with her body, but that doesn’t stop everyone from digitally cutting off a few pounds.
Megan Fox – Her skin gets the most attention from airbrush wizards. Occasionally, they lift her chin and give her a more defined waist. Fox’s thumb also gets a lot of attention if it absolutely has to be in an ad.