A British retailer has vowed never to Photoshop out their model’s stretch marks in a new campaign. An artist is making glittery works of art out of women’s stretch marks.
The goal is to promote images that challenge people to accept themselves as they are — stretchmarks and all. Miami needs to get on board.
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The Magic City is known for a lot of things: beaches, warm weather, bad butt jobs. But it’s not necessarily welcome of the un-airbrushed body. You never see billboard ads saying “You look great. Keep driving!” No, they’re always trying to convince you that your butt is too small, your waist too big, your skin too pale, your veins or stretchmarks too visible — problems that can be fixed.
But are our bodies really an issue? Or are companies just trying to profit from the insecurities they helped breed in the first place? It’s definitely not the former.
Still, it can be difficult to accept what we’ve come to believe are flaws when many images we see are altered beyond natural recognition. That used to be restricted to magazine covers, but with Photoshop-like apps available to the masses, it’s easy to blot out a pimple, forge an hourglass figure or elongate a pair of legs. So stretch marks online could quickly become a thing of past, especially in photos taken in Miami where less clothing is common.
There are a lot of fake things we are comfortable with in Miami. Take for example, our fake winters. But how far will we go with our love of fake? Will we sacrifice ourselves, our bodies and our esteem?
Maybe it’s just the contrary nature of art and the fashion world. But the move by Missguided, UK clothes retailer, to normalize stretch marks by leaving their models’ pictures alone is a welcome gesture. Even better? Artist Sara Shakeel celebrating the one-of-a-kind beauty of stretch marks with viral Instagram posts that interpose women’s stretch marks over photos of glitter.
Both made major headlines pioneering just the type of acceptance that is void on the internet — and in billboards sprinkled along Miami streets.
Our city is regarded as a global purveyor of beauty. We have the uncanny privilege of declaring something cool, then everyone else following suit. But Miami also suffers from a toxic mixture of accommodated nudity and inflated beauty standards.
The question is, what would it take for our city to embrace people’s natural qualities?