Beauty, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is the qualities in a person, or a thing that give pleasure to the senses or the mind. If asked to describe beauty, there’s no doubt that a great number of minds would fly straight to the images of the countless women whose elegant faces and long, slender bodies have been plastered everywhere from Times Square to the fashion magazines on their coffee tables. So what does that really mean and why is it that everyone’s perception of beauty is the same? It means that image of beauty has been altered in the minds of not only today’s youth, but in every generation. The improbable ideals that have been engrained into the minds of people worldwide have left the human race feeling like they will never be good enough. The culprit is the advertising industry, and Photoshop is their weapon. Many activists have begun to take a stand and make it their mission to stop this phenomenon before the damage spreads.
In 2004, Dove launched a campaign to widen the definition of beauty. With the help of six women with “real bodies and real curves,” their mission began to allow women to accept their body shape without the distorted idea that they must be six foot tall and weigh one hundred pounds ("The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty"). Surveys were conducted asking questions like “oversized or outstanding?,” mentorship programs were developed, and the Dove Self Esteem Fund was created acting “as an agent of change to inspire and educate girls and women about a wider definition of beauty ("The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty").” Two short films were created: One, The Evolution of a Model that shows the before and after photos of a woman subject to a professional Photoshop makeover ("The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty"). The second shows a little girl that, as she gets older, is exposed to a world where the strive to be “perfect” is commonplace and everywhere ("The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty"). It leaves off with the message, “talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does” ("The Dove® Campaign for Real Beauty").
Another famous company that has taken a stand against the idea of the perfect body is American Eagle’s intimates store, Aerie. Through the total reinvention of their advertising they have gotten rid of supermodels and replaced them with “real girls” ("Lingerie Brand Aerie Isn't Retouching Its Models with Photoshop For Its New Ad Campaign"). By keeping tattoos, flyaway hairs, and birthmarks, Aerie’s goal is to show girls that they too are beautiful. Through showing their imperfections it aims to boost self-confidence by allowing girls to see what models really look like. They advertise their new campaign by stating that their models have not been retouched and pasting their slogan “the real you is sexy” on all of their bags and as the caption of every photo. ("Lingerie Brand Aerie Isn't Retouching Its Models With Photoshop For Its New Ad Campaign").
Along with popular brands, the government has...