Sunday 4 December 2016

Fashion magazines are an escape from reality so keep giving us perfection, please

Lorraine Courtney

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

Fashion models.
Fashion models.

'Vogue' editor Alexandra Shulman said in a recent BBC Radio 2 interview with Lily Allen that she really doesn't believe that readers want to look at "real" people in the pages of her magazine. "People don't want to buy a magazine like 'Vogue' to see what they see when they look in the mirror. They can do that for free." She pointed out that women buy magazines like 'Vogue' for escapism: "I think 'Vogue' is a magazine that's all about fantasy to some extent and dreams, and an escape from real life."

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It's true. Everyone on television looks smooth and perfect, even if they're just there to read the news. Fashion magazines are even more picture-perfect. Glossy magazines present an impossibly beautiful world where everyone's flawless.

Every photograph is basically a female forgery. The gawky beanpole undergoes heavy computer-aided airbrushing with waists whittled down to the size of a normal neck, a benevolent mouse contouring and readjusting to make hips look narrower, faces smothered in thick make-up and eyes altered to an otherworldly cerulean blaze. This isn't what a woman looks like, it's what a magazine model looks like.

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