Beauty Standards

The Best Lingerie-And Lingerie Models!- Come in All Sizes and Shapes

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Vogue’s latest bra shoot features five gorgeous plus-sized models. Shot by Cass Bird, the editorial titled“Give me a D! Give me an F!” Because Gorgeous Bras Come in All Shapes and Sizes” features well-known models Ashley Graham, Inga Eiriksdottir and Maquita Pring. Both high fashion and shopping mall brands are featured in the shoot, making the bras modeled accessible to all women. Most notably, high fashion brand L’Agent by Agent Provocateur is featured in the shoot. In the editorial, the models discuss how they have felt purchasing lingerie over the years, and how they feel about all different types of bras.

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This come at a time when the fashion industry is facing changes in the definition of plus size models. With the array of criticism that the industry is receiving over-photoshopped image and the health of sample-sized models, this shoot is refreshing.

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The best part of the whole shoot is that Vogue makes no reference to the women’s size, and instead focuses on the beauty of the clothes, just like they would if sample-sized women were used in the shoot. Vogue states, “when it comes to gorgeous undergarments, there is no such thing as cutting corners—and if the cup fits, why not make sure it’s pretty?” By treating these women like they would their normal models, Vogue is setting an important precedent. They are saying that all women are beautiful and deserve to be treated the same way. That is a concept that the rest of the fashion industry needs to grasp.

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All images courtesy of Vogue

Sexism and Halloween

According to Alliance Data Retail Services, Halloween is the fourth most popular holiday for consumers to spend money—next to Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. It seems everyone drops big bucks on halloween, the costume industry will make a wapping 2.6 billion dollars by the send of this halloween season. 65% of consumers will spend an average of 66 dollars on their costume. But this issue is, these costumes are increasingly sexual- at least, they are for women. As Mean Girl’s says “Halloween is the one night of the year where girls can dress like sluts and not be judged”. If you want to dress in a more provocative way, I’m all for it! More power to you! But there are little other options.

Below are a series of gifs (Courtesy of Buzzfeed) that show the progression of female halloween costumes, from adorable baby to over-sexualized adult.

The Devil:

Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Angel: 
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Bumble Bee:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Witch:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Unicorn:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Pirate:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
The Nurse:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Minnie Mouse:
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz 
Proof That Halloween Costumes For Women Become Painfully Sexy As You Get Older
Furthermore, these costumes are so much sexier than their male counterparts. The images below, all from Buzzfeed, show the major difference between female and male costumes. As you can see, the female costumes are always sexier, and show much more skin.
The comic below (courtesy of Hairpin) shows the ridiculousness of the costume industry!
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It is coming to the point where “sexy big bird” and “sexy pizza” outfits are the norm. Maybe Halloween Costume Producers can take a more feminist view on the issue, and provide a multitude of costumes- some sexy, some more modest- so that women across the world can feel comfortable and confident in their costume choices.

The Science of Beauty: Part 3: Photoshop & The Subconscious Standard Of Ideal Beauty

The Science of Beauty is a new feature on The Mirror Reflects. This 3 part-series will dive into the mathematics of beauty, what is considered beautiful, and how that is achieved in 2014. It looks to shatter the myths of conventional beauty and promote the ideal that everyone is beautiful. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here

In Original Ideal, editorial photographer Scott Chasserot works to uncover our subconscious beauty ideals through psychology, brain scans, and Photoshop.

Chasserot begins by taking a plain studio portrait of his subjects. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Chasserot said he selects subjects that he finds “facially very interesting. Or that have interesting stories. A few people on the website are transgender.”
Chasserot then creates 50 new images by making small manipulations to the original portrait in Photoshop. These alternations can include tweaking the size of a subject’s eyes, the tone of a subject’s skin, and the width of a subject’s nose and chin.
Chasserot’s subjects are then hooked up to an Emotiv brain scanner and shown the portraits in rapid succession.

Based on whichever portrait the individual has the most “engagement” with, Chasserot determines the subject’s ideal self-image and displays the altered portrait beside the original. Below are the results of the experiment. The photos on the right show the original subject. The photos on the left show the “ideal” alterations, as chosen subconsciously by the subject.

All Photos Courtesy of  Scott Chasserot 

 

Chasserot can remember the precise moment that inspired Original Ideal.

“What got me thinking was seeing a woman with four toes on each foot, from a congenital disorder. It was a hot summer day and she was wearing sandals. My gut reaction was: Wow, I would never. If I had four toes on each foot, I wouldn’t wear sandals. That vain reaction we all have sometimes.”

“My second thought was: She’s very brave. She’s intelligent enough to not care too much about what other people think of her physical appearance. It made me think about how much we project onto other people, even strangers.”

The project questions: “What do we find instinctively in the human face and how does this translate to self-image? What assumptions would be make about another person if we could see their ideal self-image? Original Ideal combines portrait photography and neuroscience to isolate the subjects’ ideal self-image, a cerebrally sincere preference obtained by circumventing conscience thought.

“The idea is to produce a set of variations that either conform to the canons of beauty that have already been established, or go against it,”saysChasserot.

He goes on to say that, “the real goal of the project is to get people to react in that way. To get them thinking about how much they’re projecting onto the subjects’ ideal self image.”

 What do we define as the ideal face, for both ourselves and others? How does our subconscious influence beauty standards today?

Our subconscious idea of what is beautiful effects every part of our lives. It reflects how you style your hair or how you do your makeup (for example, those who wish for bigger eyes might style their eye makeup in a way that makes their eyes appear wider or fuller). Next time you look in the mirror, challenge yourself to re-think the typical thoughts. Don’t just criticize your appearance. Understand that you are wired to appreciate a specific type of beauty. Learn to embrace that the beauty you see in the mirror is just as precious as the one you subconsciously desire.

Realistic Swedish Mannequins Showcase Diverse Body Types

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The above photos are from Swedish department store Åhléns. While they have been incorrectly linked to H&M, the mannequins are unique to this department store. This story first broke in October 2010, by Rebecka Silvekroon on her blog Becka.nu. She states that the story is important because “we need to change the way most super skinny mannequins look! Walk in to any fashion store around the world and you will see mannequins with a tiny waist and flat stomach. That is not how normal people look! Let us try to change the way retailers think when they are about to purchase new mannequins. And let’s try to change the way mannequins are produced by manufacturers. Simply put, let us try to change the world of fashion, one small image at a time!”

Then, the Facebook page “Women’s Rights News” posted a picture of the mannequin to Facebook and generated a tremendous response from social media users.

“It’s about time reality hit … ” one of nearly 2,500 commenters said. “Anybody saying these mannequins encourage obesity or look unhealthy … [has] a seriously warped perception of what is healthy,” another shared. “I guarantee the ‘bigger’ mannequin in the front there represents a perfect BMI.”

Mannequins have been criticized by many for their unhealthy-looking frames. In 2007, a British health official demanded that high-fashion London stores ditch the stick-thin figurines for mannequins that represented a wide range of shapes and sizes, Yahoo reported.

“We have the same kind of doll in all our stores”, says Ann Almqvist, store manager at Åhléns City, Malmö to Sydsvenskan. “We are the only chain in Sweden that currently have them”.
“Since several years back we have mannequins in different sizes, because all our customers are different,” says Therèse Johnsson Sundberg, deputy CIO at Åhléns, to Aftonbladet.
“For us, it is quite natural, we try to reflect how it looks in society “. Our customers look different and therefore we use mannequins in different sizes. We actually sell a lot better with these dolls, says Monica Hultgren, Communications Officer at Åhléns to DN.
Silvekroon’s hope is that the unexpected uproar will give other retailers the courage to challenge stereotypical “size 0” depictions of women. “It would be nice if it got retailers to start using real, beautiful women in their commercials, catwalks and stores,” she says.

What we need is a mixture of different heights and widths of mannequins in our shops to reflect the reality of peoples’ different shapes, sizes and build.

Although the mannequins in the majority of retailers’ windows are a size 10 they are generally taller than the average woman and with the addition of heels create an unrealistically long and lean image. According to the Chicago Tribune, most mannequins are 6 inches taller, and 6 sizes smaller than the average person.

These images are unachievable in the main and can provide unhelpful pressure causing women to compare their own bodies unfavorably.

“Well done to the department store [Åhléns]”, said feminist author and founder of Endangered Bodies, Susie Orbach.

“There’s too much focus on one image. We all come in different sizes, shapes, colours and heights, and thank goodness for that!”

Sophie Bennet, spokesman for women’s rights charity, Object, added: “Women and girls are constantly under pressure to worry about what they look like.”

“Advertising, the media, music videos, video games all perpetuate the myth that, for women, to be beautiful is to be young, white or light-skinned, able-bodied and thin, pressurising women to define success by how they look rather than what they have achieved.”

“This has a negative impact on women’s self esteem, promoting the idea that women are valued only on the basis of their appearance.”

“The introduction of more diverse mannequins would be a positive step forward in challenging sexist representations of women and the sex object culture which promotes them.”

Natural Beauty Includes Armpit Hair

Women are always held to unrealistic beauty standards. London-based photographer Ben Hopper, however, has taken a small step towards dealing with some of these problems by creating a simple and elegant photo series that turns our ideas of feminine body hair and beauty upside down.

For this photo series, which is fittingly called “Natural Beauty,” Hopper asked models and actresses to grow out their body hair and challenge the idea that hairy women are in any way unattractive or unhygienic.

As Hopper explains on his website, “Although armpit hair is a natural state it has become a statement. Why is that? For almost a century we have been brainwashed by the beauty industry, encouraging hair removal. By creating a contrast between common ‘fashionable’ female beauty and the raw unconventional look of female armpit hair thoughts are intrigued and a discussion is made.”

Before 1910, natural body hair was considered normal. But after the first shaving campaign, women were convinced that shaving their body was the way to go. Body hair is natural and normal men are always allowed to have hair, while women are considered “unfeminine” if they do not shave. The photos below prove that women can be feminine and have body hair. For many the photos with the natural body hair makes them uncomfortable but that is purely because they are not used to it. If women restrained from shaving everyday, then society be fine with it. Throughout history, many women have refrained from shaving to prove a point. During the hippie movement of the 1960’s and the feminist movement of the 1970’s, women refrained from shaving their armpits to protest the conventional beauty standards that society places on women. They used not shaving as an symbol of protesting the oppression and sexism that women have to deal with.

Check out the amazing pictures below:

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“Supervenus” Animation Challenges Beauty Standards

 

The new animation “Supervenus” exposes the insane extremes women go to in order to meet the beauty standards of our culture. Fréderic Doazan and Vandy Roc created the animation. In it, the women undergoes a multitude of different surgeries, including  botox, liposuction, and breast augmentations.

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First, the woman must be shaved. It is far too common in our culture to stigmatize women with body hair.

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While the woman undergoes botox and liposuction, the animation also shows her eyeballs being replaced. This gross dramatization shows the extreme lengths women will go to look conventionally pretty.

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The women changes her body, along with her face.

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She also undergoes simple cosmetic procedures. The above gif shows the animation of the woman at the tanning salon.
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Here, we see the woman get repeat procedures. Often times women become “addicted” to plastic surgery, and end up getting the same procedure over and over again.

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The woman gets her brain probed she has become so effected by the beauty standards, that she is almost a robot plastic and without her own thoughts.

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The dramatic ending to the video and the woman’s life. While the animation does exaggerate, it graphically and dramatically shows how many women are effected by  the impossible beauty standards our society imposes on them. Being worried about your looks all the time is not healthy and repeating cosmetic procedures over and over again to achieve an impossible standard isn’t heathy either. This animation is extremely impactful and emphasizes the impossible beauty standards that women are forced to endure each day.

Check out the entire video here!