Real Not Retouched, A Darling Revolution

“A flaw is not a flaw unless is measured against an ideal”

Our culture manipulates everything. Women have come to face the effects of manipulation firsthand. We are all aware of photoshop and its ability to change how we view women, but it didn’t begin with photoshop.

Women have a need to feel beautiful and appreciated, women also have an innate sense of awareness towards others. Our insecurities in beauty and our awareness have come to create a constant comparison of ourselves with those around us. We began to create ideals out of other women because of our comparisons. The ideals we create allow us to identify flaws within ourselves. This began the first form of d920468fdeb2ce29f9e3abe66a14f137image manipulation. Women manipulated their own body image hundred of years ago. In the 16th century, Queen Katherine of France required women to bind metal frames around their waste to reach the 13 inch ideal. In the 17th century, women wanted to become curvy and voluptuous, hence the popularity of the coursetts. The manipulations continue throughout the ages to1920’s when women would bind their chest to have a more boyish figure. Each of these ideals are extremely different and each cause a physical form of manipulation.

Photoshop is not the heart of the issue, it has only made it easier and unattainable.

(Read Darling’s article on photoshopping our souls away)

Manipulating is nothing new, but it has grown exponentially. Today we stand with computer generated ideals. We are not comparing ourself to the girl next store, we are comparing ourself to a girl that doesn’t exist. We are not helping anyone though our comparisons, but we certainly are not helping by comparing ourselves to an unattainable ideal.

If our ideal has become computer generated then no real women can be fully beautiful.             Olivia-Wilde-on-the-Cover-of-Glamour-Magazine-June-2011-olivia-wilde-21725821-835-1150womens-health-feb-2012-marisa-millerurl

“Sexiest Body Ever. The Best Thing I Ever did for My Body. Eat Up, Slim Down. Shed Two Sizes. Fit and Sexy.” Over and over again, the repetition adds to our mindset. But the worst part is, next to all of these words are photos of computer modified women. These words are enforced by an unattainable ideal making each women flaw’s greater.

This is a slippery slope and women have been greatly effected. But, there has been a culture shift. With the rise of large corporations, media modifications and unreal ideals people have begun to question.

Sarah Dubbeldam met in her house with women in Los Angeles for 4 years. They got together and discussed all of the issues they were facing, their struggles and heartaches. Living in LA, they were in the thick of the man made computer generated ideal. It was their job. real-not-retouched-440x294

Out of it a revolution was born. Darling Magazine was started as a blog after those 4 years of talking. Then it became a magazine, now its a social movement. It is a lifestyle brand. They are centered around the art of being a women, removing the ideals. They make a stand against the computer generated ideal of photoshop by offering a magazine that celebrates womanhood. Where none of the women are retouched in anyway. No supposed flaws are removed. They are working to redefine the ideal. Working to celebrate who you are instead of someone else.

Almost a year ago, darling printed a page in their magazine that simply said real not retouched. They asked women to take a photo of themselves with the magazine and post it their instagram using the hashtag #realnotretouched. Over 5,000 people have used this hashtag.

(Read what the #realnotretouched means to the women who work at Darling Magazine)

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Darling has been picked up by Anthropolgie and is sold world wide. They are invading homes and conversations. Working to change the standard of an ideal therefore removing the need for manipulation will not happen over night. This company has only been around for 5 years and has already made global impacts. I am confident their influence will continue to grow and slowly less women focused companies will manipulate photos of women in order to gain respect.

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