Zendaya’s retouching scandal unmasks a new monster…

I’ve got to admit, I only know who Zendaya is through Dancing With the Stars (old lady moment right there), but she’s been making headlines lately for being Taylor Swift’s bestie (one of them) and for speaking out about some retouched photos for Modeliste magazine.

The pop-star, asked the magazine to pull her cover story after the photo-shopped images of her began circulating online.

Look at some of the photos and then we’ll talk…

First of all, Zendaya’s a beautiful girl, no doubt about that. She’s stunning.

HOWEVER, isn’t this just a case of a shit photo-shop job getting attention for a no-name magazine?

Have you ever heard about Modeliste before right now? Honestly. I haven’t. I think she might have done them a FAVOUR by calling out their photo-editing skills online. There is literally nothing wrong with the original photos! Zendaya has the type of body people retouch to look like they have!

If the lighting and skin tone was an issue, slap on an Instagram filter and warm that right up. Valencia that shit! X-Pro II ! Nashville! Nobody ever uses Nashville!

I’m glad Zendaya’s shining some light on what’s real and what’s fake for this generation of young girls who are inundated with flaw free images on Instagram from people who become Instagram famous for being beautiful. Seriously, I feel like we’re taking several steps backwards here for celebrating people’s beauty for doing nothing.

I was a teenager when there was the brand of unrealistic beauty that was unattainable BECAUSE we knew we didn’t have the photo-shopping technology readily available to us. We allowed for a certain extent of manipulation but we knew that was at the hands of fashion magazines. We could look at a picture and magazine and we expected photo-shopping. The villain had a face, and it was fashion and men’s magazines. We still bought them, and to a certain extent we still felt like shit about ourselves, but we knew there was the “other” – the models, the photographers and the people behind the scenes who’s job it was to make pretty things, even prettier  skinnier.

Now, girls don’t know what’s a manipulation of the media or what’s a manipulation from their own peers. Models are the girls they see on Instagram, who take pictures of themselves. The beauty standards are raised even higher because girls are seeing that it isn’t the job of the fashion mags to photo shop or edit pictures, because average All-American girls don’t have the access to the same glam squad as Zendaya and they’re STILL pulling off the picture perfect look. We’ve taken steps to unmask the monster of the fashion industry, but now we’re battling a bigger demon – ourselves. There are apps that let Instagram users photo-shop their own pictures, trim inches off their waist and airbrush their own make-up to be camera ready, even if they’re just “Chillin at home with bae #blessed.”

I feel as though this disease we’ve been battling for decades on the unrealistic representation of women in the media, has shape shifted. When women both in and outside of the fashion/beauty industry began exposing the secrets of photo-shop and insisting on a more accurate and diverse depiction of beauty, the disease morphed into something that could permeate the psyche of young girls and women everywhere on a deeper level and do even more harm because it made the “every girl” the one to covet, the new unattainable.

To some extent, it’s always been this way. We’ve all known that girl in high school who got all the boys wanted to date and all the girls wanted to look like, but now we’re taking every pretty girl in high school, and giving her the exposure of a celebrity.

No offense to the pretty girls everywhere. You do you, boo. Just DO something else, too. Make something. Say something. Don’t focus solely on your beauty, likes, and followers.

I feel as though there needs to be an awareness as to what’s happening. Maybe this is all some Feminism Beauty Myth 101 tripe that I’m spitting, but maybe this is really the time to look at the new face of what’s giving girls an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation of beauty.

Rant, over. For now.


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