I ran across the following video from a tweet. I have talked a good deal about semiotics here as well as the importance of images in communication. The beginning of this video notes this reality.
This video also provides a frank and honest exploration about how advertising defines reality, especially for women. The video explores the power of photoshop in trimming or enhancing particular areas of the female body in advertising. The thinness of women in advertising has the potential to push women to believe that being thin is the only way to loved, appreciated and wanted in our culture.
The video quotes Cindy Crawford, who says, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.” It also describes a story about Kate Winslet. Kate appeared on the cover of the UK version of GQ magazine. The editors of the magazine photoshopped the image, making her appear thinner than she really was. When the cover was released, Winslet issued a statement noting that she did not approve of the changes made to her through the manipulation. She stated, “I don’t look like that and I don’t desire to look like that.”
Please Note: This video does not have nudity, but there may be some pictures that are not suitable for some audiences.
While this particular video is about the impact advertising has upon women, do not think men are not targeted as well. Consider the P90X or Insanity commercials. Look at the covers of Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness. These are all about men’s six-packs, and chiseled, sculptured bodies. If men could look like that, they could get the women they desire and live their dreams.
Images are powerful. Be careful how you use them. Be careful how you view them. Do not let the images flashed before us define our identity. If we let them, they will.
Rather, let our identity be defined biblically, as one created in the image of God, loved by God, and called into relationship with God.