Perfection when it comes to beauty has always been the fashion industry’s weak spot. But the false images gained through artful photoshopping have created an illusion that few women can sustain in reality


The media has a lot to answer for, doesn’t it? Especially those pesky tabloids and magazines. We’ve all seen the full page spreads that the big fashion companies buy, showing off their S/S or A/W collections. Dare it even be a signal that (gasp!) Christmas is coming? But when you look at these adverts, I think it’s possible to question one of the biggest mistakes the media made big: Photoshop.

Don’t get me wrong, Photoshop’s incredible. We can make beautiful images look even more beautiful, and we can make less than beautiful images look kind of OK too. It’s a complicated weapon and in much the same way as politics, we can use it for good or we can use it for bad.

How many fashion magazines or photoshoots on full-page spreads show models that actually look like themselves in real life? How many have you seen that have been ‘airbrushed’? The second is significantly more prevalent than the first, and it shouldn’t be this way.

You used to be able to say, ‘The camera never lies’. Now, it’s ‘not so much’.

Poland seems to be getting it right though.

Over there, there is a plus size fashion retailer named XL-ka where, on the streets of Lodz, the so-called fashion capital of the country, they shot pictures for their autumn fashion line with the plus size fashion blogger Kasia. Doesn’t seem too incredible, but the shop decided that there was to be no Photoshop edits with these photos, except for a few colour enhancements.

In short, when going through Photoshop, Kasia’s body was left untouched, clearly the way the shop, and nature, intended.

Martyna Nasiłowska is the founder of the retail chain, and she said, ‘We did not let computer graphic change even her natural shades under the eyes. We emphasize that simple make-up is the only thing that a woman needs to enhance her beauty’.

‘We think she looks beautiful when she is natural’.

The campaign is branded with the slogan, ‘Dare to be yourself’, on which model Kasia comments, ‘even though it sounds very simple, nowadays it is very difficult to be truly ourselves’.

‘We constantly imitate other people and try to be perfect in every aspect of our lives’.

It’s clear to see that Poland is on a trend, or at least XL-ka is, with getting it right with modelling. As the shop said about themselves, they’ve decided to finally ‘do away with convention’. If only British retailers would do the same.

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