Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Lad Mag Readers Should Despise Photo Retouching

I admit it. I'm an occasional lad mag reader. In fact, I bet that anyone who's in proximity to a Maxim magazine would not be able to resist picking one up. I had such a chance this past weekend sitting in a restaurant, waiting for a friend to get off work. I flipped through the latest issue while eating two dozen raw oysters and I felt the same disappointment I always do (with the magazine, not the shellfish).

The women in Maxim are like the Thomas Kinkade version of the human female. This fact should be an outrage to the common lad mag reader, but it's obviously not, considering how good sales are. Recently I found a link to an interesting Flash demonstration on the process of magazine photo re-touching. The before and after pictures are striking. The before-woman looks fairly average while the after-woman is the female version of this schlock. Why is the modern guy duped by this crap? While I agree that many men are just a couple of clicks above wielding a club in the woods, most are not---or should not be---so slobberyingly stupid as to think that Ms. Sally Photo-Retouched is sexy.

To further illustrate my point, spend some time on, a website where there is a slew of sexy, real ladies whose images have little to no photo re-touching. There's an occasional shiny forehead, pimple or visible pores, but isn't that what drives us crazy? The sexy imperfections in a woman? That's something to jerk it to---not the insults the poor trod-upon lad mag fan must endure today.

I propose publishing a magazine like Maxim full of females whose beauty has not been insulted by Photoshop. I'd subscribe to it.
It's possible that these magazines, or photographers, are showing us images of women (and men too) the way we see them. For example, we know that glue is used for milk in ads because real milk doesn't look like milk when photographed... at least not the way we see milk. I think magazines exaggerate women's features so that they appear, in print, the way we see them in real life. Sort of like stage actors wearing tons of makeup to exaggerate their features so people in the audience see them the way we think we see them in real life. Just a thought...
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