Models Now Being Made to Look Fatter in Pictures

September 13, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. curvy (adj.) 
[kur-vee] – having a rounder or fuller body shape
Example:  The dress fit her very well and showed off her curvy figure.

2. retouch (v.) [ree-tuhch] – to change  or to improve the appearance of something or someone with artificial methods (e.g., with make-up or computer editing)
Example: The staff retouched the actress’ make-up by adding more color. 

3. plumping (n.) [pluhmp-ing] – the act of making something or someone fatter or fuller
Example: To look younger, actresses pay doctors for facial or lip plumping.

4. slimming (n.) [slim-ming] – the act of making something or someone thinner
ExampleSlimming is part of most women’s New Year’s Resolutions.

5. body image (n.) [bod-ee im-ij] – the way a person thinks or feels about his/her body
Example: Many young teenagers have poor body image.

Read the text below.

For years, magazines have been editing digital images to make models look thin. Recently, however, the opposite is being done as models are now being made to look curvy.

Famous curvy women like Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian have set a trend of plump body figures, bigger breasts, and fuller faces.

To catch-up with the trend, many magazine editors retouch photos of skinny models to make them look healthier. The practice, called “reverse retouching,” has been done even by health and fitness magazines like Healthy and SELF.  

Editors of fashion and lifestyle magazines Cosmopolitan and British Vogue also admit to reverse retouching.

The trend has also found its way to the movie industry. Keira Knightley, a famously slender British actress, expressed displeasure when photo editors made her bust look bigger in the poster for the movie “King Arthur.”

Although the trend may seem positive because it promotes healthier figures, some experts on body image say digital plumping is no different from digital slimming. In both cases, media is promoting an unreal body image as the standard of beauty.

Jena la Flamme, founder of a weight loss program, says consumers might start comparing their own bodies with the fake bodies in the edited photos.

According to body image expert Sarah Maria, the fashion and entertainment industry will, of course, do whatever it takes to earn profit, and right now plump is popular. Former model Nicole Clark says, on the other hand, that it would probably be easier to just hire healthier models in the first place.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think many women, men, and even children struggle with poor body image?
·         How can we help make people view their bodies in a more positive way?

Discussion B

·         What is your idea of a beautiful person?
·         How do you think media affect the way we define beauty?

September 13, 2012