Friday, October 10, 2008

Exteme Close Ups and Photoshopping

This week's Newsweek features Sarah Palin. Again. She has been on the cover of one of my favorite magazines too many times now, with her shotgun and McCain, separately. She was obliquely referenced on one cover, with "What Women Want" written in lipstick, calling up her comments about the differences between a hockey mom and a pit bull. I'm done. I don't want this woman on the cover of my magazine any more.  And I'm not the only one who is angry! Fox News is angry too!
Oh, wait. They weren't angry about what I'm angry about. I'm angry that she's on the cover at all (though I did like that article). They're angry Sarah Palin didn't get the photoshopping she deserved. Apparently, it is "ridiculously unfair" to her that she was shown as she is. Supermodels get photoshopped, so Sarah Palin should be photoshopped as well. I've already read the issue. I've already handed it off to other members of my family. And without Fox News' astute grappling of the issue, I would have never actually noticed there was no photoshopping going down. Because she is an attractive woman, and because I was not shocked by the 'flaws' shown in the photograph:

Because there aren't any. This is a beautiful woman. With cool glasses and awesome earrings and straight, white teeth. She has some wrinkles. She has some visible pores. She has some (barely visible) hair on her upper lip. In short, she is 44 years old and could probably still enter a beauty contest. Even in a close up (taken from PDN Pulse):

one almost has to strain to see something amiss. I can understand reacting with ire at the idea that Sarah Palin is one of the folks (and that's a problem). I personally find that ridiculous, and I think calling Newsweek an elitist, liberal magazine because they want someone who is above average to be vice-president to be preposterous. And I find the argument that any "respectable" magazine should do some touch ups on close ups to be strange at best. Any respectable magazine should be doing their best to present the truth, as much of it as they can. To suggest that a news magazine should touch up photos as a show of respectability is utterly ridiculous. 

What I also find ridiculous is that what Fox News is attacking is not the fact that we shy away from the flaws everyone have, but that this magazine decided not to play into that idea that we as human beings are less than acceptable without having our skin smoothed out and polished - that there is something fundamentally wrong with who we are on the outside, and that needs to be fixed in order for us to be palatable. As for Andrea Tantaros saying "it ain't pretty" if the camera pulled in for a close up of her, I am frankly appalled. Andrea Tantaros is in no way an unattractive person; for her to feel that the normal imperfections that make people unique and interesting and human aren't pretty or that she somehow would be less if things like blemishes and pores were able to be seen is a travesty. There is something wrong with that belief, and I sincerely hope that Tantaros was merely posturing instead of actually thinking that there is something bad about being and looking like a human being instead of a Barbie doll.

1 comment:

John said...

to consider Gov. Palin nothing more than a pretty face is sexist. To not do everything in your magazine's power to make sure that face is as pretty as other pretty faces (who are not taken seriously in the political world) is unfair and biased.

We seem to be the only people who are having trouble keeping up with the Pro-Palin forces' way of thinking.