19-year-old actress Zendaya took a stand against the absurdly unrealistic representation of bodies in fashion magazines, by correcting a magazine that posted a heavily photoshopped image of her body. Did I mention she’s 19?
“These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.”
The actresses huge following and reach prompted the magazine to pull down the images and fix the “retouching issue.”
This kind of alteration of images is damaging. What message are we sending our daughters with the absurdly unrealistic bodies we see plastered all over fashion magazines? Hearing a young woman like Zendaya take a stand is a breath of fresh air. Why shave inches off her already model-thin body? When even the most beautiful and thin aren’t “good enough” — what exactly are we striving for?
Her stand is a reminder that people in the public eye can make a difference when it comes to their representation. They can refuse to be digitally manipulated to these ridiculous extremes. We’ve gotten to the point where we don’t know what real people even look like anymore. There are retouching filters on our phone so we never have to show the world an “imperfect” image. Why? Who decided that an unblemished, stick-thin figure was an image of perfection?
The fact is, she looks amazing on both sides. Why mess with her image and alter her real, 19-year-old features? Zendaya got her start in Kidz Bop videos and on the Disney Channel, so there are certainly plenty of young girls who admire her. Good for her for using her spotlight to deliver a message to those girls: what you see in those magazines isn’t reality! It’s something that we should constantly be reminding our kids, especially in the image-saturated social media landscape in which they are growing up.