Photoshoppers Beware: The Self-Esteem Act

Ladies, how many times have you stood in front of your mirror and analyzed the different parts of your body? Have you ever actually gotten to the point where your body is exactly the way you would like it to look?

Let’s face it: we’ve used firming crèmes, lengthening mascara, push-up bras, Spanx, and hair extensions just to feel pretty. I’ve even gone so far as to wear colored contacts! Our definition of “pretty” is often defined by pop culture and advertisements that are endorsed by gorgeous models with perfect…everything. So, regardless of the assumption that even the models in these photographs don’t actually look that good without digital alterations, we still feel bad about ourselves.

What happened to inner beauty and character in flaws? Or the beauty in smile-wrinkles and, God forbid, letting your personality shine?

These ridiculous standards are contextualized in advertisements that we consume every day. We can always complain about this, but what exactly can we do to help minimize these standards?

Seth and Eva Matlins, co-founders of have initiated a campaign, The Self-Esteem Act, which stands against digital manipulation in advertisements. This bill will be presented to Congress in an attempt to mandate that all advertisements that have airbrushed or photoshoped models contain a Self-Esteem Act label that serves to identify the use of digital alterations.

Humans are naturally social beings. Our sense of self-worth is greatly affected by how we see ourselves in comparison to how we see others. This is especially relevant in teenage years when our environment is extremely influential and our physical appearance matters. In fact, when we are rejected we experience physiological pain and to make ourselves feel better, we adapt.

We can’t force all marketing efforts to change content they put in their advertisements. After all, isn’t the whole point of their marketing efforts to make us want to look like the models and somehow achieve what she has by using the product she endorses?

What we can do is ask these brands to add a label to their ad that serves to remind us that beauty standards in these pictures are not realistic. If passed, the bill will hopefully lower these statistics:

  • 53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies; by the time they’re 17, 78% of them will be;
  • 7 million girls and women under 25 suffer from eating disorders;
  • 80% of women feel worse about themselves after seeing a beauty ad.

And to all of The Self-Esteem Act haters out there: yes, we can tell our children they are beautiful and do our best to make them feel a part of our society – but some things are out of our hands, and it’s important that when parents are not there, these girls and women will have a reminder that they don’t need to look like the model in an advertisement to be beautiful. This Act is part of a much larger effort.

Have you ever opened a magazine and didn’t see yourself fitting in there? What is your experience with trying to reach these standards? Comments? Questions? Hit us back!

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Category: Welt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , One comment »

One Response to “Photoshoppers Beware: The Self-Esteem Act”

  1. Pen

    Excellent! I was hoping that marketing and advertising could look more like “real life”…

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