We all know airbrushing of pictures creates unhealthy beauty goals for women. We know it affects women’s health in more ways than one, when they look at crease free skin with perfect tone and shapely figures of women and then look in the mirror. Yet, despite knowing everything, many women and men aren’t happy that actor Jameela Jamil has come down so hard on airbrushing. It comes as a surprise to me that her op-ed for the BBC is fetching her so much criticism.

In her op-ed, Jamil has called airbrushing “a disgusting tool that has been weaponised, predominantly against women, and is responsible for so many more problems than we realise because we are blinded by the media, our culture and our society.” She further adds, “It exists to sell a fantasy to the consumer that this “perfection” is indeed possible. If you have yet to achieve this beauty standard, it tells you, you should buy some expensive products immediately, because then you will look like the person in the photo. (But, as I said just a moment ago, you won’t.) How is this ethical or even legal?”

Perhaps the reason why Jamil is facing such a backlash is that her take comes across as accusatory and aggressive.

Almost every person today uses some airbrushing tool or another, when taking photographs. The idea is to hide our imperfections and enhance one’s attractiveness. But deep down airbrushing is indicative of our dissatisfaction with our own body and face. This has got to do with the outlandish beauty and physique standards our culture has laid down for us. But we toe the line, thinking if a little tweak here and there can make us look more appealing, then why not?

SOME TAKEAWAYS

  • Jameela Jamil is facing criticism for taking a strong stand against airbrushing.
  • In her op-ed, she calls airbrushing a disgusting tool that has been weaponised, predominantly against women.
  • Airbrushing embodies all that is wrong with our standards of feminine beauty.
  • Women develop eating disorders, mental health issues, etc, all in eagerness to be perfect like that woman on a magazine cover.

Many people have taken Jamil’s comments personally. Also, she has taken some nasty shots at celebrities like the Kardashians. People don’t take it well when those whom they worship are criticised for their lifestyle and beauty choices because millions of people go on to embrace those very choices. When you criticise a celeb or influencer for airbrushing or promoting detox tea, you are also criticising her fans for doing the same.

The most outrageous argument against Jamil, however, is that since she is conventionally beautiful, she has no right to berate beautifying apps and techniques.

But, dear people, isn’t that the entire point? To get rid of that conventional definition of beauty? Just because the one pointing at our flawed beauty standards is herself the one who fits those parameters, doesn’t make her argument invalid. Stop looking at Jamil for a few minutes and pay attention to what she is saying.

We all know that the standards of beauty are much stricter for women. It is not just about looking young, it also about being fair, thin, having a certain kind of hair texture, and not having cellulite or dark circles. Airbrushing embodies all that is wrong with our definition of beauty. Women develop eating disorders, mental health issues, etc, all in eagerness to be perfect like that woman on a magazine cover. It pushes them towards extreme diets, risky surgeries and expensive beauty products. But despite spending much money and bearing the trauma, women often do not attain the desired results.

For once, women need to stop defending their zeal to look good. Choose the real you, that you see in the mirror every day, instead of the one which is a residue of sieving through a hundred filters. Because in defending airbrushing we are defending the conventional beauty standards which bog us down, over our well-being. Nothing we can say to support it can prove otherwise.

Image credit: Net.hr

Also Read : How Dusky Still Struggles To Find Space In Our Beauty Standards

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are the author’s own.

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