Over the last few years, my world has been a roller coaster of emotions. In the world of fashion, the message is that beauty is only skin deep. It is a hard one to grasp because let’s face it. In paper magazines, if you’re not beautiful they won’t even use you as a marketing tool for brands. How does fashion magazines or social media contribute to low self-esteem, even when we are not conscious of it? In a poll done by People Magazine, 80 percent of women feel worse about themselves after flipping through popular fitness and fashion magazines. It’s not just women, men too have been shown to have the same response. This for me is what I define is ugly, the true definition of fashion.
The Function of Magazines
The function of magazines and many online sites is not only to provide you with often relevant stories but also to sell advertisements. Many websites and magazines targeting females have been notorious for convincing women that something is wrong with them (e.g., hair, body, sex life, etc.) so that they can sell their product (i.e., the content of the magazine) to fix it.
The more anxious they make you, the more likely you will buy the magazine and the larger their readership, which increases advertising sales. The same is true for many men’s magazines, as well as online content. Next time you are reading, look for this.
Physical Tactics and Digital Enhancement
Physical tactics and digital enhancement are used on almost every picture, whether it’s to lighten up the background or to alter someone’s face. Even though they aren’t “real,” exposure to these images make us more insecure. A famous example is Cindy Crawford. It was revealed that it took 2 hours to Photoshop her! Duct-tape is often used to tape breasts together to create cleavage and excess flesh is duct-taped in the back for a front angle photograph depicting a taut, streamlined, wrinkle-free body. Models can be taped from the front for a rear or side angle photograph showing tight, firm hips, bottoms, legs and arms. Heavy clamps are used to cinch clothing in and weigh it down to create an illusion of the perfect fit.
Social Media Marketing Versus Magazines
I have three platforms to play around with when it comes to advertising both male and female brands. I have to admit than when I get a guy or a girl image, that I know does not fit the messages described above. I feel somewhat guilty. Should I use these images on our Facebook let alone on our Instagram? Our followers are really harsh and the last thing I want is that the individual’s personal image is deflated. Sadly in many cases that individual has asked me to take their image down. Because in their eyes, they are deemed ugly. The image is not deemed magazine-worthy.
I have found the solution by the way, to avoid this. It’s called #YOURFASHIONOPINIONONLY
On our social media platforms, I find our followers are more gracious than paper magazines. I can put an overweight person on our Facebook or Twitter. I can put short people on our Instagram or I can put very unusual characters on our Twitter. The reason is the images on our social media are real people in real situations. Our followers get that we are all about the man on the street. Trying to inspire that all walks of life in fashion should be marketed.
Of course on the mobile phone, I enhance the lighting and the worst-case scenario I always edit the wrinkles or the baggy eyes.
But online platforms such as ours, we can fight against what paper magazines can’t and won’t do. I have done many photoshoots and I assure you no duct tape, or enhancing my breasts have been done. We only edit my wrinkles and baggy eyes, I have to admit I look a whole lot better for it.
The shoots we do on MenStyleFashion we certainly don’t mess about with the guy’s body images. Why on earth would you do that? Our followers wouldn’t like it anyway. That’s the beauty of online magazines such as ours. We are and we will continue to fight back regarding your personal image in fashion. The decline of readership within magazines is helping us too. Don’t hold back send us your shoot ideally no duct tape allowed. Let alone enhancing body parts, that really don’t need enhancing at all.