Christie Brinkley was on the cover of People magazine, and I pointed out the story to the twins: “Can you believe she’s 60?”
“She doesn’t look 60,” the Wolvog agreed despite NEVER being able to judge a person’s age regardless.
“How does a person not look their age?” the ChickieNob asked.
“You have a lot of work done,” I commented.
“You get a job?”
“Well no, it’s just something people say when someone else has had plastic surgery or other treatments to change their skin or hair or body. I actually don’t know if she’s done anything to enhance herself so I shouldn’t say that*. But a lot of women do have surgery and then other women compare their natural body to that surgically-enhanced body, but it isn’t a fair comparison.”
“She’s definitely been Photoshopped,” Josh commented. There was not one blemish on her perfectly smooth, perfectly highlighted legs.
The ChickieNob is taking a digital illustration class utilizing Photoshop so she stared at the picture. “How was it Photoshopped?”
“Sweetie, when you see pictures of people in magazines, they’ve been digitally altered. Even in movies, they sometimes digitally alter people’s image sometimes, frame by frame.”
We started showing them videos on YouTube, explaining how images are manipulated until the final result looks nothing like the original model.
Or this one; a little hair and make-up, and a whole lot of Photoshopping:
Later that day, I took the twins to the library to check out books, and while I was talking to the librarian, I noticed that the ChickieNob had wandered over to the magazine rack and was perusing all the covers. I walked over to look at the pictures with her.
“All these women have been Photoshopped,” she said, running her finger over Rihanna’s nose. “I don’t think her neck looks that long when she’s singing.”
“No, they probably lengthened it,” I agreed. “But take a look at the faces of the men.”
She touched the crow’s feet, lining their eyes, and the wrinkles in their foreheads and the stubble along their jaw line. “They left all the things that make them look old.”
“I’m sure they’ve been Photoshopped too. But their skin hasn’t been smoothed out and had all the blemishes removed. They’re still allowed to look a little like a human being.”
You could practically see the little gears in her head turning, and she returned to the topic a few more times since, wondering why women’s bodies are changed and why we can’t just look the way we look and how do women feel when they see themselves Photoshopped and can they ever be happy with how they look after they’re told quite clearly that certain features they possess need changing? And she wanted to know who came up with the idea of make-up or hair dye. And who decided that bigger eyes or longer necks were prettier?
And you could see the gears turning and turning and turning. I just hope they stop somewhere that allows her to laugh at the ridiculousness of others and love herself intensely.
* She has, it turns out, according to the article. Though nothing invasive… yet.