Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents 226 scoop WINTER 2010
It s on an almost daily basis that I peer
panda-eyed into the mirror and trumpet
my request (upwards, to the bathroom
gods) that my life be Photoshopped.
At no point does this conversation with
my mildewy ceiling turn to some deep-seated
desire for me, a "real", "curvy" ("caffeine-addicted",
"gutter-mouthed") woman to grace the cover of
anything, ever. As "real" as I am, nobody wants to
see the fruits of years of binge drinking and an un-
healthy relationship with the local Thai takeaway
on a cover, not when they ve shelled out $15 for a
bit of escapism.
Mostly, I m not sold on the idea that the
archangel Photoshop is out to take something
basic and ambush the world with evil computer
trickery, until every woman takes one glance at
my retouched thigh and wants to hang themselves
with their stockings.
No, I just sort of wish that my eyeballs were a
bit whiter; that maybe the mystery bruises on my
shin would disappear and that my towels would
match my bathrobe.
I might be alone in this. You may have noticed
there are people all over the joint who are taking
the poor defenceless program and stringing it up
like a sacrificial goat. It s been bravely bearing the
brunt of tonnes of criticism to the point where it s
now being boycotted completely, in an attempt to
portray "real" women.
And you know those who aren t pro-toshop
mean business once Jennifer Hawkins, professional
sexpot, turns up naked and un-retouched on the
front cover of Marie Claire.
Yes, nothing says "reality" quite like hiring
someone who was once crowned hottest woman
alive and who probably maintains an exercise
regime and diet akin to an elite athlete. Just strip
her down, coat her in makeup, chuck her in a
studio where unflattering midday shadows are
never cast, in front of the best photographer Pacific
Magazines can buy, and then wait for Australia
to rise up to applaud the brave move to not use a
concealing tool on a skin crease at her hips.
The point is that fashion shoots are largely
a suspension of disbelief, a construct. Carefully
selected models pose in carefully selected locations
for photographers who make their living capturing
hot people on film in great light from flattering
angles. A vast array of perfectly accessorised outfits
(because not even models look good in everything),
and makeup artists and hairdressers stand poised,
ready to strike once an eyelash falls out of place.
If you then turn around and say, "Oh, no
thanks," to Photoshop and choose instead a
raw image where the colours aren t as rich and
you might see a glimpse of masking tape on the
bottom of a stiletto (as the model runs down a
dune in a two thousand dollar silk frock)... well,
it s like Mister Creosote taking the wafer-thin
mint home in a doggy bag.
There s a lot of bad retouching out there, but
this isn t about some Frankenstein-style attempt
to stretch legs, eradicate hips and make celebrities
look less strung out. That kind of ridiculous
Photoshopping isn t for here and it s usually mocked
by anyone with a modicum of taste -- just like tie
dye and Kyle Sandilands. Just because it exists,
there s no reason for you to believe it s everywhere.
And like Kyle, Photoshop is just a tool. Used
correctly, it adds a layer to the artistry. Consider the
little foundation gun our makeup artist uses to
coat our models in a layer of flawless makeup: it s
about as far removed from day-to-day as you could
get, but it s not like we re going to wrestle it away
and make the models slap Revlon on their faces
while they re driving, like the rest of us... sm
factor text rachael ciccarelli « illustration mike rigoll
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