I teach high school students when I’m not acting as a human tissue for my children. And honestly, I’m not sure which of the two groups is more gullible. On one hand my 5-and-under kiddos still believe in Santa but on the other hand even they can spot a fake woman when placed at their eye level in the grocery store checkout line.
“What’s wrong with it?” My three-year-old pointed to Posh Spice and her gravity-defying fat-free silicone rack, during a recent (and rare – have you ever shopped with a three-year-old?) trip out. What’s wrong with it? Indeed.
Back when the whole Faith Hill cover scandal was cracking, one of my teenaged students remarked “Well, I know they touch up like zits and stuff but, I mean, those stars, like, really look like that. Pretty much.”
I replied, “Of course they do. When Santa Claus is manning the camera and the Easter Bunny is the makeup artist and the tooth fairy is their stylist. Other times… not so much.”
Now this was one sixteen-year-old. Surely they aren’t all that naive? Sadly, it’s an opinion I have heard from many many of my students. They know, on some level, that it’s a lie. But then they spend hours and hours reading the fashion mags and surfing the style sites and all that truth gets pushed behind the shiny expensive fashion spreads and perfumed ads.
Adult women aren’t immune either. There has been many a hot discussion at my gym as to whether a current celebrity “really” follows Harvey Pasternak’s Five Factor Diet or “really” lost all that weight from a hamburger diet and sporadic exercise. It’s enough to make me want to smack them with whatever magazine they’re holding (especially if it’s Vogue – that sucker has enough ads to cause some serious pain).
If the Faith Hill or Britney Spears pic (above, from her newest and enhanced video) wasn’t enough to convince you, then check out Jezebel’s “photoshop of horror” (oh, those girls, they’re so witty!). There’s also the now infamous Dove Campaign For Real Beauty Video Evolution. And the follow-up, Onslaught.
Even teeny-weeny Gwyneth Paltrow has admitted she wears not one, but two pairs of Spanxx before she feels worthy to walk the red carpet. And she’s not alone.
I hate to be the one to disillusion you if you are still holding onto to the fantastical ideal but, really, someone had to do it. And I’d rather you hear it from me than from the next three-year-old you happen to stand behind in the grocery store.