How Airbrushed Models on Magazine Covers are Distorting the Reality of Beauty

Beauty comes in all different shapes and sizes, but whenever you walk into a newsagent’s or supermarket and examine the covers of the multitude of magazines on offer this is not the impression you are left with. Instead, you come to the conclusion that you have to be skinny, wrinkle-free, and with no visible flaws in order to be perceived as beautiful. This is despite the fact that the models and celebrities who appear on magazine covers are often airbrushed to within an inch of their lives, so that any wrinkles or spots magically disappear with the aid of some computer software. It is no wonder that women are never satisfied with their appearance when they have to contend with these unrealistic images of beauty.

At least, now, women are more familiar with the techniques employed by magazine editors and their staff to sell magazines, as there are some high-profile individuals who have come out against airbrushing, though it doesn’t necessarily affect the way they feel about their own bodies. Kate Winslet, for instance, was very critical of the decision to use airbrushing techniques to make her appear slimmer on a magazine cover than she actually was. Women often feel insecure about their appearance as it is, and when you are constantly exposed to the idea that only one type of look is acceptable you can easily find yourself trying to conform to this ideal, even when you know in your mind that the images you are seeing are in fact fake.

Even though everybody is more aware of airbrushing and how it is used, you don’t often think about the difference it can make to a person’s appearance when you see their picture on a magazine cover. You just think that they represent perfection, without envisaging the process behind it, and despite some controversies surrounding airbrushing it hasn’t yet fallen out of favour, so obviously it must serve a purpose. As far as magazine editors are concerned images of conventionally attractive people with no flaws are what sell magazines, and so they are not going to change a formula that appears to work for them. Maybe they’re right, since there is an aspirational element to most magazines targeted at women. Ordinary women want to be like the successful women that appear on magazine front covers, and purchasing these magazines is representative of this desire.

Unfortunately, you can find yourself becoming immune to the perfection of the models used on magazine front covers, so that you forget the variety of beauty on offer and that features which may be perceived as quirks or flaws are actually what actually attract you to a person. The use of airbrushed models on magazines just distorts the fact that beauty is extremely diverse and makes it more difficult for beauty to be embraced in all its various forms.