April 14, 2010

Britney Spears un-altered: does it matter?

The Daily Mail posted an article along with a series of photos of Spears for an upcoming Candies campaign, unaltered and altered.

I agree that it is a “brave” move, especially since Spears continues to be taunted for weight fluctuations.  As stated in the article:

Celebrities, and the industry around them, are often accused of producing images that affect young people’s body image.

Which is why it’s so refreshing to see one of the world’s most famous pop stars allowing all of their imperfections to be highlighted.

One thing that I think is important to note is that Britney Spears looks good *unaltered* yet, according to industry mandate, must be altered to remain within the unrealistic, nonexistent beauty standard that has been created and is maintained incessantly.

Spears’ decision to release the unaltered photos next to the altered versions is to be applauded along with French Elle’s recent “Curvy Girl” version (or their make-up free issue last year). These efforts correlate with Dove’s ongoing Campaign for Real Beauty which gained attention (not all positive, mind you) in 2004. Since their campaign launch they have produced several campaigns and videos ironically critiquing their own industry (not to mention Dove’s use of “real women” to sell firming cream and the fact that they are owned by Unilever, a company that also owns sex AXE).


Do these efforts matter? Well, yes. Of course.

Do they represent “change?” Not exactly. Real change will occur when these images are not the exception but the norm and these images do not represent a handful of images and in a sea of millions of taken-for-granted but absorbed images that counter their positive message.