Magazine Covers Are Retouched. Is It So Wrong To Be Built Like A Woman?


I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong? I have done everything the experts say is right. I follow all of the rules and I have never seen a change. Is this as good as it gets?

I started swimming in high school. I loved the cold water prickling my skin, the rush of water that flowed over my body. Swimming for 3 years gave me a body I could only dream of. Trim strong arms, full muscular thighs, and a flat stomach. I loved the body that swimming 16 hours a week gave me. I felt strong and fit.

Then the freshman 15 came and ruined everything.

I have never been someone who worries about weight. I have always been petite and small. All of a sudden I have feminine curves. Curves aren’t something we see walking down the runway. Curves aren’t showcased on the cover of magazines. Curves aren’t even found on the big screen or the red carpet. These images make me wonder, is it wrong to be built like a woman?

Society has us believe that it is ok to have a feminine figure but it needs to be slimmed down to fit into the clothes that are supposedly “trendy.” Size 0, is a sample size. Anything above a 4, is fat. Who decides what my body should look like? Who decides what I should wear? Oh yea, that’s right, magazines.

I work for one of the country’s leading fashion magazines. (Name will go unknown) I would like to share a secret with you all. EVERYTHING you see in a magazine is retouched. From the cover to the last page, every image is retouched by a specialist sitting in a small cubicle in some office somewhere in Manhattan. My job is so send these images to the retouching company. I personally see every change that happens to an image. Women’s skin tone corrected, legs thinned, hair shined, and teeth whitened.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing is as it seems. The other day I had to ask the retoucher to add some weight to a model on a runway because you could see her bones through her skin. That poor woman walked down a runway, had her picture taken and now it is being praised in the name of fashion. She probably has a liquid diet and spends most of her day exercising, or unfortunately she is anorexic. Too many young girls see these magazines and think they need to do whatever possible to look like those models. I feel that this shouldn’t be true.

Although I know about the deception of fashion magazines I still feel the pressure from society too. The women in my office are all tall and lean. The clothes they wear are expensive and they always look effortless and perfect. Everyone feels the pressure to look and be the best, even the people who produce the magazine.

Fashion magazines are all about self-improvement. What clothes are IN this season, where to find them, and how to wear them. I read about 6 magazines a month. I read every article, rip out pages, and take mental notes. I love magazines and I always have. All of the articles say the same things. Drink more water, get more sleep, use the right foundation, eat healthy, and exercise.

I do ALL of these things. I drink 6 water bottles a day. I get 8 hours of sleep. I have more beauty products than I could possibly ever use. I exercise 3-5 times a week and I pre-cook almost all of my meals. I have healthy snacks throughout the day and I try to take an afternoon walk during work. All of these things have been suggestions made by magazines.

After drinking all of this water and religiously washing and moisturizing my face, my skin is still blotchy, red and prone to breakouts. After 8 hours of sleep I’m still tired and drink 2 cups of coffee a day. All of my meals and snacks are healthy but aren’t what I crave and I’m usually still hungry after I eat them.

So why should I even worry anymore, if all images in a magazine are retouched and glamorized. I should stop worrying if I will ever have a thigh gap. I should be proud of my thick but strong thighs. I could dress better to hide the extra weight around my tummy. I can use makeup to cover the blemishes and blotches on my face.

Or I can do something even better. Smile and not care about any of it. Go to work without makeup. Stop looking at the size tag and wear whatever fits instead. Go to the gym because it makes me feel energized, not to lose weight. Eat what tastes good and makes me happy. So what I weight 15 pounds more than society would like me to.

So what?