Some people (well, those who have drunk the Palin Kool-Aid), are in a tizzy about the latest Newsweek cover that depicts a close-up of Saint Sarah, wrinkles, facial hair and all. The horror! GOP media consultant Andrea Tantaros went on conservative news agent Fox News and vented her rage--not concern--unabashed RAGE--about the fact that Sarah's image was not airbushed. "It's a slap in the face!" she ranted.
Honey, you need to do your research.
Before Andrea went off ranting and raving like a lunatic, one simple internet search "does Newsweek airbrush?" would have brought her to an article the very same magazine published in MAY called, "The Backlash Against Magazine Airbrushing," and I quote:
Most serious news organizations, including NEWSWEEK, have strict rules against photo manipulation. But for now fashion, women's and lifestyle publications typically honor no such code. They may not admit it outright, but it's common knowledge within the industry that retouching and thinning models and celebrities is not just standard procedure, it's expected and often demanded by publicists. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," a Manhattan-based photo retoucher tells NEWSWEEK, speaking anonymously for fear of professional backlash. "Sometimes I feel a little like Frankenstein."
Airbrushing is "often demanded by publicists," eh? Who is Andrea Tantaros? Oh right, she's a publicist.
Here on Product Fiend, we've always been concerned about airbrushing and its negative impact on women. And you know what? It actually disheartens me that any young woman in this day and age would go on national television and demand that a celebrity, in this case, Sarah Palin, be airbrushed. (Read more about airbrushing in the fashion magazine industry.)
Now, to be fair, she also pointed out that the covers of Obama have been exceptionally flattering and that this "liberal media elite" publication was deliberately trying to portray Palin in a negative light, even though it looks to me like they simply wanted to show her close-up because it's supposed to be an intimate portrait, which makes editorial sense. It is, after all, demonstrative of her "folksy" politics, which is basically her entire platform. Well, last time I checked those Obama covers, his wrinkles, pores and stray facial hairs were on full display too. THEY DON'T AIRBRUSH. Get it? Then please lady, get a grip.
Julia Piscitelli from the Women and Politics Institute at American University (elitist!)--also in the report, although I don't know why because they barely let her speak--tried to bring a more measured, completely non-partisan view of the "travesty" to the table when she said, "When I see this cover, I see a beautiful woman," which is exactly how we as a society need to start reacting to un-retouched images in the media. But the clearly biased, literally sneering news anchor shut her argument down, and then went on to criticize Newsweek for having an agenda. (It would have been kind of a hilarious classic pot-calling-the-kettle-black moment if it weren't so pathetic.) Clearly, this reporter, or her assistant, rather, isn't so well versed in the idea of basic research either. But then again, if you did your research, you would know that this whole Ayers, "Obama pals around with terrorists" line that Palin is spewing is a complete crock as well. Moving on...
Let's face it. Even members of the media have opinions, and sometimes that bleeds into their work. (Guilty, although arguably, I write op-ed pieces and even though I have a degree in journalism, I'm not positioning myself as a hard-boiled reporter, so I don't really have to apologize.) But first, as one of those "leftist" people that Andrea so disdains, the idea that Newsweek is liberal seems quite laughable to me and "my cronies"; and second, watch the "news" report and tell me if they aren't being as biased as the publication they chastise so much. And then let us know how you feel about Palin Newsweek-gate, airbrushing in the media, or oh, how you're feeling today.
Read more about body snarking: A related trend that also hurts women's body images.
Image via CoverAwards.com
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