Besides criticizing the impossible ideal body type created in media, your book also mentions the image manipulation of “plus-sized” women as a marketing strategy. Are you suggesting a problem more complicated than skinny or fat here?--Marshal Zeringue
Studies suggest that an increased presence of plus-size models (i.e., larger bodies) in fashion may alleviate the trend of bodily dissatisfaction; however, these plus-size models are not average women. So, the mere presence of these models in the media landscape should not be our only focus and, in fact, may contribute to the persistence of bodily dissatisfaction. Let me explain.
While a plus-size model is, arguably, closer in size to the average woman, her body is still atypical in terms of symmetrical facial features and proportional frame. A fashion expert chose her because she was a standout among the crowd. Then, as a fashion model, she is a blank canvas. A slew of aesthetic professionals—her agent, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, and hair professionals—work on her. On top of that, photographers and image editors manipulate the photos either by airbrushing or photoshopping, a practice exposed in Dove’s Evolution commercial.
The final product that appears in print or the Internet is, ultimately, a carefully constructed fantastical image, i.e., an illusion. These images reveal a fun, flirty, and fashionable woman but hide...[read on]