Ban Air Brushing – UK Department Store Debenhams Leads By Example

Madonna before and after air brushing

Air Brushing

The well known dirty secret of the fashion and beauty world


Have you ever wondered why on magazine covers celebrities always look perfect and flawless, with seemingly pounds lost (did she go on a secret diet)? Then you see them in a casual street shot taken by the paparazzi, or you see them in a more casual setting on TV and you are left wondering whether it is the same person?


Madonna before and after air brushing


Some of these celebrities are almost unrecognizable. Britney Spears for example is not tall and slim, she is actually shorter and chunkier in real life, but you would think she was twenty pounds lighter in some of the shots.


Britney Spears air brushed


Kate Moss is well known for her hard living lifestyle – yet all her magazine photos are of woman that looks as if she has never had a late night in her life : no baggy dark circles, no lines, no shallow skin, no blemishes. As if….


Kate Moss not air brushed


Demi Moore? OK, we know she has a pretty good body for her age (which is 50) but do we really believe that she has reached that age with no wrinkles what so ever? Her daughter looks older than her in this ad:


demi-moore-air brushed


And last but not least Beyonce – now if it did not have her name in uber bold on the picture, would you know it was her? She is looking mighty bleached out…


beyonce-4 air brushed


So when the UK department store Debenhams decided to publicly ban air brushing for their swimwear photo shoot, it caused an all mighty stir in the fashion industry.


Debenhams no air brushing swimwear


What? Show the fly away hair, the less than perfect stomach and skin imperfections? (Mind you, the models still look amazing ). Yes, said Debenhams’s director of creative and visual Mark Woods :


‘As a responsible retailer we want to help customers make the most of their beauty without bombarding them with unattainable body images.

 ‘Our campaign is all about making women feel good about themselves – not eroding their self belief and esteem by using false comparisons.

 ‘Not only does it make sense from a moral point of view, it ticks the economic boxes as well. Millions of pounds a year are spent by organisations retouching perfectly good images.

‘As a rule we only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair and rely on the natural beauty of models to make our product look great.

‘We are proud to bring the issue of re-touching into the main stream when the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna are using unairbrushed but over-lit images as a shock tactic.’


What do you think?

Will banning air brushing in photos make you more confident in your body and your looks?

Let us know!



Read more: here, and here



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