Beauty standard and brand models representations are constantly altered, but one company has made a huge step towards changing how we see women wearing our favorite pieces of clothing. The UK clothing brand Missguided, which was founded in 2009, decided to stop retouching their models and celebrate female diversity. The brand is one among few who contribute to the much-needed shift in the body positivity culture. People are so used to seeing photoshopped models in ads and magazines that they get the wrong idea about what beauty is. Image alteration is not something new, either.
Even Audrey Hepburn and Joan Crawford saw their pictures altered, which shows that this might be a small step for Missguided, but a giant leap towards embracing women’s natural beauty. Here are some brands who decided to do the same in order to promote body positivity.
Missguided’s approach to a Photoshop-free campaign was actually a quiet step. As a matter of fact, they didn’t inform the public about it until customers started noticing it. The brand informed the Daily Mail of their ‘mission’ of “showing our audience it’s okay to be yourself, embrace your ‘flaws,’ celebrate individuality, and not strive for what the world perceives as perfection. Because basically, it doesn’t exist.”
ModCloth was the first retailer to sign the “Heroes Pledge For Advertisers.” This states their commitment against “chang[ing] the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical features” of the models in their ads. Additionally, the brand decided to hire models of all shapes and sizes.
Aerie’s decision to stop using Photoshop came as a result of their desire to present more “realistic standards” for their young customers. The brand spoke with Time Magazine: “We’re hoping to break the mold… we hope by embracing this that real girls everywhere will start to embrace their own beauty.”
4. Darling Magazine
Darling‘s editor-in-chief Sarah Dubbeldam stated, “by not Photoshopping women, we are saying women are not in need of alteration in any way shape or form and that they are beautiful the way they are.” It’s great that magazines do it, too! She claims that wants to create a magazine that will focus more on “self-esteem” and “character,” rather than on “body image”.
Photo: Unilever/Wikimedia Commons
Although the campaign started a decade ago, the cosmetics manufacturer hasn’t stopped ever since.
For her #WarriorWomanProject, Natalie wasn’t afraid to strip down – because she knows that it’s not just her strengths that make her beautiful. “My beauty is fierce because I’ve embraced my vulnerabilities and tackled them head on.” – Natalie @stylemesunday #fierce #RealBeauty #bodypositive #embrace
They started the “Campaign for Real Beauty” over 10 years ago and become one of the first ones to show ads with women of all body types.
This fashion brand believes in representing “all women”. They stated on their website: “We don’t alter the shapes of our models, we don’t airbrush their bodies, these are real women who enjoy feeling comfortable in their own skin.”
7. Verily Magazine
The magazine has a Photoshop policy, stating that “they never alter the body or facial structure of our models, remove wrinkles or birthmarks, or change the texture of their skin.”
8. Photographer Peter Lindbergh
Photo: William Arthur Fine Stationery/Flickr
The German photographer makes his collaborators sign an agreement that they won’t retouch his photos.
Lindbergh once told The Guardian: “The cosmetic companies have everyone brainwashed. I don’t retouch anything. ‘Oh, but she looks tired!’ they say. So what if she looks tired? Tired and beautiful.”
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Sometimes, these alterations may do more harm than good. They lighten skin tones, erase freckles and moles, or eliminate stretch marks, and so much more. All of this has made people believe that certain parts of their body aren’t beautiful.
As activist Jean Kilbourne puts it, “Ads sell more than products. They sell values, they sell images, they sell concepts of love and sexuality, of success, and perhaps most important, of normalcy.”
Although some brands will probably never commit to body positivity, the Internet is full of pages and companies who are celebrating the new beauty standards of accepting your body with all its ‘flaws’.
The above-mentioned brands got great feedback from the media. Their stories have been shared, retweeted, and featured in major magazines like Cosmo and Teen Vogue, showing the impact they’ve had on the public.
Here are some Instagram pages that promote body positivity.