Jennifer Lawrence agrees that her new Dior campaign doesn’t look very much like her.
“Oh my god, I haven’t seen this,” she told Access Hollywood upon being shown the ads for the first time.
“That doesn’t look like me at all. I love Photoshop more than anything in the world. Of course it’s Photoshop, people don’t look like that.”
Lawrence actually acknowledged something that’s completely obvious to the rest of us with eyes that work — that those ads, like every image of a woman in advertising or magazine editorial photography that isn’t explicitly stated to be otherwise, have been heavily manipulated — but which there seems to be a taboo against talking about in Hollywood. (Nobody wants to jeopardize their big-$$$ luxury brand contract!)
This behind the scenes video of the same Dior shoot offers a bit of insight as to how much goes into a single photograph
Lawrence isn’t the first one to publically acknowledge being photoshopped. Jennifer Aniston made similar remarks on Letterman in regards to her GQ Cover.
She made a point of thanking photoshop and has also admitted to a nose job, trying botox and her love of laser procedures.
On one hand, I want to commend Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and actors/actresses of the like – because they acknowledge their images have been manipulated. But that being said, doesn’t it still perpetuate the problem. Regardless if their making the audience aware, they’re still portraying an unrealistic standard and image of beauty.
To be honest, I think it comes down to an occupational hazard. Anyone that works, especially when having to deal with other people, has to deal with things they do not like or fully agree with. That is not to say you are throwing your morals out the window every day, but chances are you have to compromise and work as a collective effort and sometimes, that means not getting your way 100% of the time. That’s the same as when creating a magazine cover or spread. Jennifer Aniston did not create this cover by herself – a whole team of professionals went into this. Beyond them, they are answering to professionals above them who are attempting to appease their readers. It is a collaborative effort that has decided this picture should be edited. That partly has to do with the fact that what looks good in a photo doesn’t always look good in real life. Chances are if you were to sit in that position in real life, you would have wrinkles and rolls that just appear from body movement.
Being a visual culture, we choose to smooth them out like a painting. Does that mean it’s Aniston’s fault? Does that mean it’s Lawrence’s fault? Should they undoubtedly refuse to work under any conditions that will use photoshop? Well lets take that a step further, if we’re talking about image manipulation, shouldn’t the same be said for using makeup? Should they refuse to do that as well? Have you ever seen someone under hot lights without makeup? Their skin, regardless if it’s Jennifer Lawrence or your next door neighbour, will look greasy enough to fry something on. Film lighting is harsh and couldn’t put people in a “worse light” (which is ironic on so many levels). So there we have another occupational hazard.
The truth is, regardless if Aniston & Lawrence agree with the use of photoshop, if they want to work in their chosen industry, they have to accept it. Just like if you want to work in customer service, you have to accept that someone is going to unreasonably yell at you at least every now and then. Just like if you want to work in food & restaurants, someone is going to tell you their meal is under/over cooked – even when you cooked it the exact same way as the 100 times before. Someone is going to tell you that you have to change something you’re doing – regardless if you agree or think it’s right.
So what do you do? Accept the standards forced upon you and simply pretend like you don’t see the veil being drawn? Or acknowledge it’s existence as well as it’s presence at large. If we looked at photography the way we looked at painting, this issue would not be the same. When painters paint the female (and male) form, many are not trying to accurately depict their subject. They are depicting THEIR interpretation – a representation which is often exaggerated and manipulated in their minds and then transferred to the production. But because photoshop exaggerates and manipulates a realistic image, we’re up in arms. Is it not a new form of art that has presented its self with the changes in technology? Have you seen some of the things it is capable of asides from lowering our self esteem?
Watch this and tell me it’s not art. The painter spent over 50 hours on this piece