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Crazy Bad Photoshop

In previous episodes of Crazy Bad Photoshop, we've dissected newsstand images of Demi Moore and Drew Barrymore.

Today's subject is Kimora Lee Simmons, who this month released an ad for her Baby Phat line's "Dare Me" fragrance. My, the web is atwitter with talk about her body's resemblance to the infamously over-retouched Ralph Lauren ad a few months ago. Are celebs and designers now purposely morphing their models into impossible freakshows as a tactic to generate buzz?

Here is the ad in question:


Anyone who has seen even a commercial for her reality show, Life in the Fab Lane, can tell you this is not Kimora's natural state. Not even close. For one thing, girlfriend has a weak chin (which is obliterated here). She actually carries some weight in her neck, and although I don't think it's shameful or anything, I can understand why she'd feel it necessary to remove from an ad photo.

What I can't understand: Although her weight fluctuates, Simmons has generally struck me as a women within a healthy weight range--not your typical malnourished catwalker. As evidenced by this 2008 photo of her on the runway with her two daughters, and her natural body is bangin' MILF material:


She's had a third child since this photo was taken, and it's unlikely to think she's shrunk herself down to underfed 20-year-old proportions. Why the need to turn what is a beautiful and healthy ideal for women and girls into an unattainable, dysmorphia-inducing fantasy? Check out the side-by-side below:


Forget about sending a message to all women, and ignore the overused and incorrect position that "all bodies are beautiful" (because some bodies are unhealthy bodies, and there's nothing wrong with praising role models of vitality and healthy lifestyles). Why can't a woman with so much editorial (advertorial?) power make the decision that will send the right message to her own children?

I was recently discussing with a very old friend of mine that we both experienced some disordered eating in our teens. Neither of us knew it about the other at the time. She summed up the influencing factor as not being told there was anything wrong with her, and not being deprived of healthy eating and exercise education, but somehow always knowing that her mother was never satisfied with her own body and weight.

The unspoken cues we give, like making decisions to Photoshop ourselves into oblivion and creating life-long records (like photographs and other printed materials) of these deceptions, are the foundation for another generation of girls who starve themselves, maintain unhealthy food relationships, and perpetuate the "never too rich or too thin" mentality.