Australian model Meaghan Kausman made the wonderful decision to fight back after a swimwear company photoshopped her body down to an X-small.
This was her response:
"Making art is my passion. Creating beautiful photos and meeting inspiring people has really given me a new lease on life. I recently did a photoshoot wearing Fella Swim, with an extremely passionate and talented underwater photographer, Pip, @seagypsea_photography Her photos are magical; they capture women in water and celebrate their beauty. This morning I was extremely shocked to see that Fella Swim had uploaded a photoshopped version of Pip’s original photo to their Instagram page. They had drastically altered my body, thinning out my stomach and thighs in an attempt to box me in to the cultural ideal of beauty. Above is their version, below is the real version. My body is a size 8, not a size 4. That’s my body! I refuse to stand by and allow ANY company or person to perpetuate the belief that “thinner is better”. All women are beautiful, and we come in different shapes and sizes! This industry is crazy!!!! It is NOT OKAY to alter a woman’s body to make it look thinner. EVER!"
These are the photos with the photoshopped image on top:
We hardly ever get to see women how they actually are.
This is a terribly harmful thing, when you think about it.
No wonder so few of us feel beautiful or happy with our appearance - we are always striving for a totally unrealistic standard that we think is the norm... when in fact it is a totally artificial standard.
I know we all know this theoretically, but the more models who stand out against it like Meaghan, hopefully it will become less easy for companies to distort the image of beauty that they are shoving down our throats.
It's fascinating how notions of what is sexy and beautiful have changed over time.
Even in the 60 and 70s women could have curves and short waists and imperfect skin and still be considered mega hot.
nowadays it seems like the ideal female beauty is an androgynous teenager, with no curves.
This is a sad image for women to live up to.
These teenagers are also hyper-sexualised in a way that is hard, easy and tough.
Just to hit home how extremely different notions of sexiness was about 100 years ago, have a look at these amazing photos of burlesque performers from the 1910s. These women were considered the epitome of erotic beauty.
Audiences became so wrapped up in the beauty and sex appeal of these performers that stories circulated about some men who were willing to kill themselves in fits of lustful passion. Their costumes were considered absolutely scandalous and so tantalising that they really were the equivalent of today's pornography.
Oh my, how times have changed!!
How cool (and easy) would it be to have felt beautiful and sexy in those days!
And notice how none of them look like teenagers. They are all women. Yes, they may be wearing silly costumes (obviously fantasy fetishes will never change!), but they look pretty healthy and normal.
Nowadays every single one of those women would be considered fat and unattractive and certainly far from sexy.
And it is all just due to the power of indoctrination from the media.
As a society we are so at the mercy of it... images that come at us from every angle.
I don't even know how we can free ourselves from this entanglement, but at least women like Meaghan certainly contribute towards our freedom in important small ways.
Don't you love the horse-suit?
She certainly is a far cry from this, isn't she: