Human Beings by Claudia Serino

As human beings, we tend to associate ourselves with everything we see. When a young child stares at the cover of Vanity Fair, a model dripping in high fashion, they don’t see art”, or a strong selling tactic, instead, they see a girl unidentifiable to them. Skinny legs with a clinched waist, long, shiny hair, and symmetrical face; a model is a human, or she was, at least, before she was attacked with the brushes of makeup and scissors of photo shop. But we don’t see that, all we see is a girl who symbolizes perfection, a standard that us humans will never live up to. These advertisements hit too close to home, using people as part of your deception, creating a façade of beauty is dangerous.

The fashion industry is one that facilitates and feeds off the insecurities of girls across the globe. Generating profit from deceit, it is rapidly causing image problems that can lead to extremes such as eating disorders and fatalities. Unlike advertisements for cars or food, that can experience no reaction to edits, fashion advertisements feature women that have been altered. These images are ones that apply directly to us- selling us a warped image of perfection, convincing us that this “product” is one we desperately need.

All we see is a glossy image of perfection, and how different these girls are to us. There is no evidence of direct correlation between photoshopped images and eating disorders, however, there can be no dispute that these images project a skewed view on perfection. Knowing that there is a standard of beauty that can never be reached takes a toll on the human brain that strives for perfection.

I go to a boarding school, ages 14-18. Each day when I walk into the cafeteria, I see empty plates. Girls who have created a pact to “do it together.” Quotes such as “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” plastered on the walls of my friends. Boys preaching on how they want a “skinny girl, who isn’t too skinny, like, she still has to have curves, you know.” My friend has to check into the health center each day, stand upon a scale and make sure she is rising above eighty-pounds. My old girl checked into the hospital, missing her senior spring because she just can’t eat. Yet still, on the walls of our dorms scatter pictures of models, smiling up at us, killing us.

A picture of a girl who is actually recognizable, one with the same flaws as us, one that emanates the beauty of our best friend’s older sister, that’s the one that should be pasted on the covers of all these magazines. That’s the one that could do more good than harm. That’s the one that can portray a beauty to look up to.