Generation Photoshop

Maybe she’s born with it? Sure, if her mother owned a pink plastic car and was married to a man named Ken. These days you can barely walk half a block without confronting hoards of overblown, airbrushed faces staring you down from billboards, newsstands and TV screens. Kim Kardashian has a new bikini body? No she doesn’t. Kim Kardashian has good lighting and a very savvy photo editor. At Peppermint, we couldn’t care less about keeping up with Kim and her clan of Kardashians. Our goal is to keep pushing the Voluntary Industry Code Of Conduct created by the National Advisory Group on Body Image to help create more positive beauty ideals. Its aim is to bring about long-term cultural change in the media by encouraging the normalisation of natural and ‘real’ looking women, diversity in the idea and ideals of beauty and use of faces and bodies which have not been digitally manipulated. (Plus we honestly think pore-less, airbrushed skin and facial/body homogenisation just looks eek).

But we’ll be the first to admit it’s definitely not easy trying to champion change in an industry firmly set in its ways, and we certainly don’t always get what we want: from photographers who refuse to release unretouched images, to modelling agencies without girls beyond a Size 8 on their books and clothing labels without the sample sizes to fit a woman any bigger than this anyway. It’s an industry where professionalism is judged by the lack of texture on a model’s face (and the bronzed, digitally-lengthened limbs that accompany her), and for most, to steer away from this expectation is a huge risk.

They call it ‘polished’. We call it problematic. What do you think?