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social media

“Haters Will Say it’s Photoshop”

A few weeks ago, there was a big ~drama~ because a photo of Cardi B at a shop wearing a face mask and gym clothes, with no makeup (I mean, why bother if half your face is covered and you’re just buying shower gel?) went viral. Big whoop, I know.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, there really isn’t one but people are pretty sad these days and apparently have nothing better to do than insult celebrities (rarely males, though, ever noticed?). Melters people started slabbering accusing Cardi of “Photoshopping” her Instagram photos because she (particularly, her figure) looks different in them than this photo of her at the shop.

I mean, 1) IMAGINE not going to Tesco (during a pandemic) wearing makeup, heels and a bikini ? and 2) Prepare for the irony: the photo was fake, anyway. Someone edited the original photo to make her thighs and stomach look bigger. So, no wonder she didn’t look the same. Bloons.

Anyway, the point is: Even if Cardi B did edit her photos on Instagram, so what? Everyone and their ma edits their photos. Surely, that’s why Instagram comes with built-in filters and prompts you to apply one before you post your photo? Surely, that’s why the Instagram ‘Camera’ comes with effects and filters that can change your skin complexion, face shape and eye and hair colour? Or am I missing something?

How is ‘editing’ your figure any different than wearing illusion clothes, sucking in or tensing your stomach, pushing your legs back, wearing a push-up bra and posing in certain ways or taking photos from certain angles? Like, actually, how?

The same people calling Cardi fake are the same ones who upload photos of themselves doing these things, or with Snapchat/Instagram beauty filters. We all know that social media – especially Instagram – is a platform that people feel that they have to post photos of themselves at their best. I don’t look like my Instagram photos in day-to-day life (sadly). Like, does anyone’s Snaps to their best mates look like their Instagram photos?

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People say that ‘Photoshopping’ photos sets an unrealistic beauty standard or a ‘bad example’ to young girls. Cardi B is a self-made, female multimillionaire. She made her mark and her fortune as a successful rapper, despite being in a male-dominated industry (I mean, she’s definitely a better rapper than her husband). She’s won countless awards, broken records and has worked really hard for her success. She made her money, had a child and came back to make even more. How is that a bad example? Is insulting and bullying someone because of their appearance a good example?

As far as an unrealistic beauty standard, Cardi B has always been very public and honest about her cosmetic surgery. She’s posted videos on Instagram about her breast enlargement, and announced to thousands of fans at her concert that she should be at home “recovering from lipo” instead of performing. So, she’s never pretended that her current look or figure is something she was born with.

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Okay, imagine how a young girl feels seeing “natural” photos of celebrities. Now, think of how they feel when they see that all the comments are insults and full of hate. What sort of message does it send when ‘picture-perfect’ photos of celebrities with their professional hair, makeup and best outfits are full of comments calling them fake, unnatural and unrelatable; “Show us you naturally! No one likes someone that fake and superficial”. When more natural and toned-down looks and outfits are posted or ‘off-guard’ photos in supermarkets, the comments are calling them catfish, ugly and fat;  “Wow, you’ve let yourself go, put a bit of makeup on!”; “You left the house like that?”. No matter what, you can’t win.

What Do You Want From Me GIF | Gfycat
Natural and “ugly” or made up and “fake”? Decisions, decisions…

Maybe people do edit their photos because when they don’t, they get torn to shreds. Maybe these negative comments about women’s appearance makes others who have similar features, want or feel that they need to change themselves or how they look to avoid this hate. What if they think, “Well if people think someone who likes as amazing as she does is ugly, what the hell does that make me?” Maybe the fear of showing your natural self and not making any changes – digitally, or physically – isn’t just about the photos you see, but the hateful comments underneath.

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Leave my rolls alone

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She’s a geg, like.

Cardi responded by posting a video of her in a bikini on Instagram, to show everyone that she does actually look like her photos, and her figure is in fact, real. But, she didn’t need to. She shouldn’t have to feel like she has to “prove” herself to people, especially those who no doubt filter, pose and dress to look different than they naturally do. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best in photos, it’s your profile, your feed, your face and body.

Stop slabbering to women about their appearance. We have to fight so hard to be judged on our merit rather than our looks, but what’s the point if successful, record-breaking women are judged on their ‘Gram, rather than their GRAMMYs? What’s the point telling young girls that, “looks aren’t everything”, if it’s pretty damn clear from the hate and abuse that women are subjected to online, that they basically are? It’s a ridiculous, patriarchy-fuelled self-fulfilling prophecy.

Rant over 🙂

Categories
Advertising Feminism

Remove Stigma, Not Hair: Why Brands Are Promoting Female Body Hair

Dove launched a campaign which is all about removing the “ideal underarm” beauty standard (aka 100% hair-free and the exact same colour as the rest of your skin). So, in their ad, they showed REAL underarms, that is, non-photoshopped, edited or filtered ones. Some of the models shown had underarm hair. Hold your gasps of horror, fellas. 

Image result for dove ideal underarm campaign

But, it isn’t just Dove promoting female body hair, it’s become a bit of a recent trend. Which, is actually pretty sad considering it’s been a natural ‘trend’ since the beginning of humanity. But sure, better hundreds of years late than never, right?

Razor brand, Billie, showed women with ACTUAL body hair in their ad. AND they even used Billie’s razors to remove hair and show how good it is. This is pretty groundbreaking, because for some reason, brands seem to have an obsession with showing women with scarily reflective and hairless legs pretending to use razors ? The before and after is literally the exact same, not a great way to sell a £10 razor, in my opinion. 

Image result for billie ad

Rather than Gillette Venus‘s standard “you need to shave your legs to be a goddess” message (which is great for the kids), they ran a “my skin, my way” campaign which used models regular people who had scars, stretch marks, tattoos and vitiligo. But, this inclusive “to hell with beauty standards” campaign got a lot of backlash. Partly because people love a good scrap, yes (@ 90% of my blog posts). But, mainly because it showed a woman shaving her arms. As if girls and women don’t have ENOUGH body parts to worry about having to shave to satisfy the patriarchy and society. PLEASE give us more to do. We aren’t pressured enough!!

Image result for venus woman shaving arm

There’s also the Janu-hairy trend which was encouraging women not to shave for the month of January. Which, by the way, is no more “unclean”, “weird” or “disgusting” than ‘Movember’. At least we don’t get food and beer caught in our leg hair. Hmph.

So, why are brands doing this? Because it’s about damn time people got over the fact that WOMEN HAVE HAIR TOO. I mean, how come women get judged for not shaving body hair, but men get judged for shaving body hair?

Image result for thats not fair gif

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for women shaving. I believe that women should shave. IF men have to. Men ‘have’ to shave their faces. IF they want to, but sure, beards are in! Women ‘have’ to shave everywhere below the eyebrows. Either both should have to shave every bit of body hair, or neither should. Fair is fair.

So, I’m pro-male grooming. I am more than happy for men to endure the pressure, pain and price that we have to from the age of about 11 years old. We’re literally children when we’re told by society to hide and remove something which grows naturally on ALL GENDERS. But, nah, boys you can keep it. Tough luck, gals. 

Image result for the patriarchy has spoken gif

We see all over social media how everyone prefers “natural” women, or the “natural look” is in. As long as any hair is either bleached, clipped in or drawn on, of course. Ah, nature. ‘Tis a beautiful thing. 

If you ask women why they shave, they’ll probably say it’s because they think it looks nicer, or because they want to. But, why do we think it looks nicer? Maybe because we’re conditioned and socialised to believe that it looks nicer, and the alternative is ugly, unclean and unnatural. All we see in the media and in the people around us is shaven, hairless people, so of course we assume that’s what people SHOULD look like. 

Image result for shaving gif

We “want to”. Do we really? Or do we want to avoid the disgust, judgement and abuse if we don’t? Ask women if they want to shave, they might say yeah. Ask them if they “want” to perform dangerous shower-acrobatics, suffer the pain of accidentally nicking themselves, wrecking their towels and the hour of bleeding after the cut (because those cuts NEVER seem to heal???), and spending an arm and a leg (literally) for razors, waxing, threading and laser hair removal. If it’s so FUN and wantable (don’t) then why don’t men join us? Why doesn’t everyone want to? 

See, brands aren’t just promoting female body hair, they’re promoting choice and removing stigma. And they’re promoting their products too, like, smashing the patriarchy won’t pay the bills, I guess.

Categories
Fashion Feminism

How to Dress: A Girl’s Guide

Well ladies, there is an abundance of beauty standards and ‘rules’ for us to follow. This means choosing what to wear and how to look can be really hard and pretty damn confusing. Luckily for you, I’ve made a wee guide of basic beauty do’s and don’t’s to help keep yourself right. You’re welcome.

clothes
Me, before choosing to rewear one of my 3 staple outfits

Hair: Men like blondes, they’re more fun. But it’ll make you seem stupid and like a bimbo. Brunette? Eugh, how boring. Red head? They’re fiesty and fiery, but, well, that’d make you a “ginger”, yikes. Black? Hmm, emo. A bright colour? Well that’d just make you an attention seeker, wouldn’t it.

You shouldn’t have grey hair, it’ll show your age. If you do, dye it. But not noticeably. You don’t want to look like you’re in denial of your age. Your (not grey) hair should be long, because short hair is for boys. Duh. It should also be healthy and shiny. People should be able to see their reflections in it.

Makeup: Wear it at all times, but it shouldn’t look like you’re wearing makeup. You don’t want to look caked or tacky, do you? It should also be done perfectly. But don’t spend too long in front of the mirror; always looking at yourself makes you seem very self absorbed, you see.

mirror

Nails: They should be perfectly manicured; preferably nude or French. Not red. You don’t want to look like a prostitute, do you? And don’t bite them either, honey; it’s a disgusting habit.

Lips: They should be large and full. If you have fine lips, you can get fillers. But it shouldn’t be noticeable, you don’t want to look like a blow up doll, do you? You can always overline them, but, only if no one will know it’s fake. People will judge you, you Kardashian wannabe.

Boobs: You should have large breasts. This has be natural of course, getting cosmetic surgery will only make you look like a page 3 girl. Who do you think you are, Pamela Anderson?

pam
Pamela Anderson, not you.

Note: If your boobs are too big, no matter what you wear, it’ll look like you’re trying to “get them out”. People will think it’s an invitation to stare at them and pass crude comments. If they’re too small, people will pass comments and call you things like “pancake tits”. Don’t stuff your bra, though. That’s seen as desperate.

Clothes: They should attract but not invite attention. It wouldn’t be fair to make a man think he can touch you if you don’t want him to. Why would you want to send him mixed signals?

You should wear revealing clothes that show off your body. But not too revealing, that’d make you a slut. Choose outfits carefully, don’t you know your clothes apparently determine whether or not you consent to having sex? You mighn’t realise it, but you could be “asking for it”.

Bras: You should wear bras which show off your assets, men love boobs, ya see. But don’t wear a push-up bra, that’s very misleading. Underwire bras are hella uncomfortable, but they give you a nicer shape. Besides, who doesn’t love getting searched at airport security? Beep.

tsa

Underwear: Choose these carefully, too. Briefs are always a safe bet, but these are so-called “granny pants” and cause a VPL (visible pant line). You shouldn’t have a VPL, so thongs are suitable. Then again, wearing these apparently equals sexual consent, so don’t wear them if you don’t want to sleep with someone. Do you see why you have to choose carefully?

Note: Your underwear may end up being used as evidence in court, so make sure they’re pretty.

Shoes: Wear high heels, these make your bum look more pert and your legs longer, you know. But not too high, you’re not a stripper for God’s sake. And don’t even think about wearing trainers, catch yourself on. Wearing high heels may lead to foot problems such as bunions, but, well, beauty is pain.

Tan: You should have a nice glow so you don’t look sick or anaemic. But not too dark, you don’t want to look fake, of course. And nobody likes that smell. I don’t care what the label says, that’s not “coconut”.

tan

Handbag: Carry one at all times, your pockets are merely for decoration. This bag must hold all of the essentials that others may need: a tissue, paracetamol, tampons, mints etc. You also need enough room to carry your partner’s possessions too. You don’t want him to have carry these around needlessly, do you?

Wrinkles: You shouldn’t have any wrinkles. You don’t want to look old, do you? If you decide to get botox or dermal fillers (which is pretty vain of you, frankly), it shouldn’t be noticeable. You have to try to revert the natural aging process, but it shouldn’t look like it, silly. Yes, there are anti-wrinkle creams, but do you need to waste so much money on those weird potions? Eugh.

botox

Attractiveness: Be more attractive than your partner. People have to think he’s lucky to have you. Don’t go out with someone more attractive than you, you don’t want people thinking he could do better.

Physique: You should be physically fit, with a firm and toned body. But you shouldn’t be muscular, it’s manly and you don’t want people to think you’re on steroids. Men don’t like muscular women either, so put down the weights and pick up the dish cloth, love.

Over-all appearance: Your body is a temple vessel. You are a show piece, a display only. You must always look pristine, but don’t take longer than 20 minutes to get ready. Its not fair to leave people waiting for you. Dress for your audience. Think not what you want to wear, but they want you to wear.

Well, I lied (there’s a first time for everything). This wasn’t really a “guide” for girls, it was more a “this is all the crap we have to put up with on a daily basis” for men. In case you didn’t get that. It’s very hard to get the tone right for these things, you see. And, I have mastered the art of subtly and subliminal messaging, so don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t notice the hints of sarcasm and passive-aggression laden throughout.

But yeah, I didn’t actually tell girls anything here. Because society already tells them these things every day. So next time you even THINK about complaining or asking us why we take so long to get ready, here’s your answer

.