Tag Archives: photoshop

Grow Your Voice To New Decibels

BeBoldIt’s time to be bolder, older. The complex navigation of the “in between stage” is something we all go through, some of you might be there now, and others have come out on the other end, thriving.

There’s this new phenomenon, OK not new just now being talked about (finally). It is the “losing their voice” phenomenon that is muting girls in the adolescent phase through to adulthood as they become more astute to the culture and societal, albeit ridiculous, standards infiltrating their psyche.

Does this really happen? Absolutely, I’ve been a witness to it time and time again through friends and young girls I interact with at the dance studio. Does it have to happen? No way! And here’s why…

When I was young, I was the girl that hid behind my mother’s legs in elevators, never uttering a peep until I got into the house or car with my family—my “safe” space, while other kids were running around giving their unfiltered opinion of the world around them. Today, I’m a more confident woman, who is bold and isn’t afraid of voicing my opinion, something that has developed over time and really escalating in the last few years, post-college. Who do I have to thank for that?
The real world: It’s complete with an all-too-often male-dominated (we’re working on that!), career driven environment forcing me to be ballsy and step out of my comfort zone.
My mother and other positive female role models and entrepreneurs in my life: They encourage me to be vocal, go after what I want (no matter how big the dream) and never bat an eye at the haters (because haters gon’ hate..hate..hate..)

How can you encourage those girls and women currently idle in this “in between”? Well, Fast Company published a well-articulated article to encourage women to not be comfortable fitting in the feminine and often “passive” role, but to instead be confident, fearless and wildly obsessed with their lives and own their opinions!

Here’s my commentary on Fast Company’s list on how to pump up the girls and women in your life (p.s. you’re included in this!):
1. Encouraging their interests
If it’s boxing, snowboarding, dancing, or putting together vision boards lift them up.  Step into their world, be curious and ask questions, who knows you may learn something yourself. Never ever, shrug it off or tear them down for being into something that’s not your mug o’ joy.

2. Call out and monitor the media, which includes user generated social media (Instagram, I’m looking at you) and be avid in smashing the stereotypes into smithereens through discussions 😉

3. Watch your own talk
OK, THIS IS THE HARDEST. If I’m having a downtrodden day, we all have them, and overall feel “bleh” about my body, I try to spin it around and find something positive about myself, rather than intoxicating my social feeds both online and IRL with my “woe is me” messages, that inadvertently girls and women are reading and listening to which leads to the appearance dictating self-worth in their subconscious, similarly to those Photoshopped teen magazines that show the unrealistic beauty standards. This is a great practice for all you mothers and sisters out there who are constantly around your favorite girl!

4. Create a safe space for them to express themselves
For me, growing up, my expression was in the dance studio, which looking back is strange because I think dance has a stigma of being body obsessed.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a studio that believes dance is for everyone (shape, size, color—all are welcome!)

5. Bring awareness to the “loss of voice” phenomenon!
Sometimes talking it out (or writing it out) and helping others see that this does happen at their age—but it doesn’t have to—if you’re surrounded by the right people with the right uplifting messages you will forever build your voice to new decibels.

 

 

Face Strip Down

Celebrities of the musical variety are using their powers for good! They’re using their talents to stand up and go public about their distaste with how the media is portraying false beauty standards, as reality. And I love it. First, Lorde took to her Twitter page by showing a side-by-side photo comparison of her in concert. Now, Colbie Caillet, the beach vibe singer is making her voice heard and her face seen through her new music video “Try.” In the video, Caillet along with several women of all ages, shapes and colors strip down. No, not stripped down like they’re starring in a rap music video. They’re stripping down their faces. One woman after another wipes off her make-up and lets down her hair in exchange for basking in her “au natural” glory! I adore this concept, and in fact it inspired me to go make-up-free all weekend. Even when I attempted to cheat and dabbed on some mascara, the wand stabbed me in the eye. Karma. Make-up is the real life Photoshop, it makes flaws disappear with the sweep of a brush or a dab of a sponge. But who said they were flaws to begin with? It’s safe to say that the media played a large role in pointing out others flaws, which then make us think, from viewing the media, “well if I look like that, then am I flawed?” We start to question, we start to hide behind who we really are in exchange for what society wants us to be.  And before we realize we’re looking in the mirror not knowing who’s staring back at us. Caillet’s lyrics give beauty ideals the one-two punch. HIIIYAAH! Her lyrics zoom way in to the thought that, you know, being you is enough. She sings:

Take your make-up off Let your hair down Take a breath Look into the mirror, at yourself Don’t you like you? Cause I like you

A message that Bruno Mars can stand behind: “girl, you’re amazing just the way you are.” You just have to believe it, for everyone else to do the same.

Have you ever gone make up free? Would you? If you have, was your experience difficult or invigorating!?

Hey Internet, here's me sans make-up. It's freeing and really quite scary. GAH!

Hey Internet, here’s me sans make-up. It’s freeing and really quite scary. GAH!

update: My friend and fellow blogger Jess brought my attention to John Legend’s new song You & I (Nobody in the World) that was just released this month and it sends a similar message to Caillet’s—”you don’t have to try” because being your true self, without all the glitz and glam, is the best part about you. This video speaks 1000+ words!

Amen, Lorde!

She’s never seen a diamond in the flesh, she cuts her teeth on wedding rings in the movies because she’s just that badass, so naturally, we’re on each other’s team.

Lorde, music’s royalty and über talented 17 year-old became my Twitter heroine March 30. P.S. how is she only 17, amiright?!

She tweeted a side-by-side photos of herself, one photoshopped eliminating her blemishes and another sans editing with this amazing caption: i find this curious—two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-)

Being that she’s a 17 year-old (again, HOW?!) and in blinding light of fame, it’s refreshing that she use her fame as an opportunity to shatter some p-shoppin’. By using Twitter she was able to reach her fans directly (which I’m sure many are teens themselves) using herself as an example of the unrealistic results of photoshop and telling her fans that giving your flaws a big ol’ hug is a good thing, because it makes you, you.
Amen, Lorde!
Other celebrities should jump on this golf cart to dissecting photo editing! Forrreeee!!

A Breath of Fresh Aerie

aerieREALThere’s a new real beauty advertising campaign on the rise by American Eagle apparel’s lingerie line, Aerie. Its spring 2014 advertisements will not be featuring Photoshop retouched images. (Cue happy dance.)

Aerie seems to be taking their lead from Dove’s Real Beauty campaign who took a risk and cannonballed into the deep end of the body image pool 10 years ago, and fortunately surfaced with numerous viral advertisements that are changing the way women view themselves.

What makes Aerie different? It’s young. Founded in 2006, Aerie is aimed at the high school and college female demographic. Females between the ages of 15-21 are the most impressionable when it comes to their sense of body image and these self-opinions are often dictated by what is seen in the media.

Aerie hopes to make women feel confident about the body they’re rockin’ and is asking them to participate by tagging photos of themselves using the hashtag #AerieREAL. Because “the real you is sexy.” (oh, snap!)

Though the ads still feature beautiful girls with model-like features: hourglass figures, legs-for-days, blemish-free faces, it still beats the alternative where images are digitally sculpted and shaped by the strokes of an (air) brush.

What do you think about Aerie’s real campaign? Good idea? Bad idea? Marketing ploy?

Let me know in the comments!

Photo-shop or Drop?

Dove Canada’s recent ad campaign by Ogilvy Toronto used reverse psychology of sorts to inform those graphic designers, photo editors and art directors, who are responsible for copying, pasting, shrinking, deforming, whitening images what Real Beauty really is. In order to get straight to the source of the problem, said editors, Dove packaged their message to in the form of a Photoshop Action, a downloadable file that applies an effect with a single click. They created their “Beautify” Action that appeared to add a skin glow effect and planted it on websites that these creatives already visit. However, it reverted the image they were applying this “glow” to back to its original pre-altered state. Genius….though I suppose a bit misleading. Ok, ok a lot misleading.

Advertisements, magazines, “get skinny” websites, and social media networks like Pinterest are often the sources of what we as females, and males for that matter, view as beautiful. It’s everywhere! We are suffocated daily by these images and sure, we understand this celebrity or that model are apart of this fantasy world when we’re flipping the pages of a magazine or scrolling endlessly on our computers. But we are often left standing in front of the mirror naked going “wait, where did that dimple come from and when did that zit decide to rent space on my face?” It’s bonkers, and it makes me mad. Hmph.

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