Nellie: “Reach Out and Retouch Someone”

15 09 2008

This morning, Coquette pointed me toward this article on Jezebel about the new 90210, and how the new cast is shockingly thin compared to the old cast.

Now, I’m all for size diversity. I’m a fatty, yes, but I’m not one to throw insults at or harbor any ill feelings toward skinny women, and I’m a firm believer that size-acceptance should apply to everyone. But when you compare the photos of the original 90210 series cast to that of the new series, it’s more than a little disturbing.

The new female cast members make Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, and those other two look downright voluptuous. Considering we know that our favorite West Beverly High Schoolers were offered as perfect specimens the 90s beauty standard, and were therefore quite thin, the obvious shift in the beauty ideal over the last 15 years is truly astounding. What exactly will the standard be like 15 years from now? Will there be a backlash (yes, please?), or will Hollywood continue to shove ever-thinner and ever-more-airbrushed women into the spotlight until the “beauty ideal” is literally unattainable by anyone?

And is that so far off? When you take advances in retouching software and its widespread use in the publishing world into account, it matters very little what the original photo looks like. For example, check out another Jezebel article about the recent Redbook/Faith Hill debacle, in which the editors had poor Faith Photoshopped within an inch of her life in order to make her look younger and thinner. All of this for a picture that was already beautiful.    

So getting back to 90210, just think – even the very tiny new cast members’ photos have been airbrushed, which makes me think about all the young girls out there who are constantly beating themselves up because they don’t look like AnnaLynne McCord. This prompts me to fly into a rage coma, because even AnnaLynne McCord doesn’t look like AnnaLynne McCord. And then I become very concerned, or possibly vaguely horrified, about where things are headed.

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