The ‘Ideal’ Woman’s Body... In 18 Countries

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Amity
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15 Aug 2015, 11:09 am

What The ‘Ideal’ Woman’s Body Looks Like In 18 Countries-Link
"The goal of this project is to better understand potentially unrealistic standards of beauty and to see how such pressures vary around the world."

Quote:
What does a "perfect body" look like? It depends who you ask -- and where they are.

UK online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors recently created a project called "Perceptions Of Perfection" that features 18 photoshopped images of the same woman. The company hired designers from countries around the world to photoshop a stock image via Shutterstock to reflect the beauty standards of their specific countries.

Quote:
What does a "perfect body" look like? It depends who you ask -- and where they are.

UK online pharmacy Superdrug Online Doctors recently created a project called "Perceptions Of Perfection" that features 18 photoshopped images of the same woman. The company hired designers from countries around the world to photoshop a stock image via Shutterstock to reflect the beauty standards of their specific countries. Image

Quote:
The designers photoshopped everything from the size of her waistline to shoe and hair color to mold the photo into the ideal body type of that culture... Some of the images appear only slightly altered, while in others, the original image is barely recognizable. Photos from China and Italy were dramatically photoshopped to have very thin legs and arms. Images from Colombia, Mexico and Peru reflect the traditional voluptuous beauty standards of those areas with tiny waists, large breasts and curvy hips.


I thought it was interesting to see the distinct differing physiques for the 'Ideal woman'... Based on the 18 photoshopped images which countries do you think value the most realistic standards for the perfect body?



xxZeromancerlovexx
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15 Aug 2015, 6:18 pm

The ideal body type in Spain is kind of similar to my body shape. I have thick upper arms, my waist measures 39 1/2 inches (I took a progress picture and posted it on the health and fitness board because my waist used to measure 46". Here is the link: viewtopic.php?t=28412

I think I'm a bit shorter than that though.


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Fnord
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15 Aug 2015, 7:17 pm

I love how the article had an advertisement for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the bottom of the page.

:lol:



Amity
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16 Aug 2015, 4:41 am

xxZeromancerlovexx wrote:
The ideal body type in Spain is kind of similar to my body shape. I have thick upper arms, my waist measures 39 1/2 inches (I took a progress picture and posted it on the health and fitness board because my waist used to measure 46". Here is the link: viewtopic.php?t=28412

I think I'm a bit shorter than that though.


Fair play, you have taken quite a few inches off! That must of taken a lot of hard work and discipline.

There are quite a few countries that prefer the curvy shape, and only a few that prefer the super skinny look! Spain and Italy have such differing 'Ideals', China also seems to be the only other country to prefer the very slender look.
The photoshopped images sort of contradict the advertising 'Ideal'!

Fnord wrote:
I love how the article had an advertisement for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the bottom of the page.

:lol:


Lol, strangely I had a hankering for Butter Pecance Knowles, anyone for RaspbeRihanna Fudge Chip!
I wonder what B&Js Feminist shortlisting criteria was... Female, check. Globally famous, check...

So Fnord, any comments on which countries have a realistic ideal body shape?



MjrMajorMajor
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16 Aug 2015, 7:07 am

The Netherlands (and one other, forget which) seemed more realistic to me. I've heard that many women tend towards a pear shape, but the waist to hip ratio in most of the pics seemed almost like comic book proportions.

An interesting addition would be women in localized ads placed along side the Photoshop pics.



iliketrees
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16 Aug 2015, 7:20 am

They all look really creepy and unnatural. The only "impossible standards" this shows is looking like a creepy real life doll.

By the way, this "study" asked only one person from each country to design for they thought were the beauty standards for only women. I don't think that is at all an accurate representation of anything.

The title should be "we gave 18 people from different places an image of a slightly fat woman with the intent of them photoshopping her to look thinner than is possible and to spark a discussion about how it's unrealistic and is horrible and (cue more whining, etc)".

What they should have done is, you know, asked more than one person from each country? :roll:

I can't buy into any of this "unrealistic standard" stuff, it's mostly bullshit articles stripped of any meaning. I don't think a proper study has ever been done. I haven't seen any. I'm not even convinced that these "standards" exist.



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16 Aug 2015, 3:07 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
The Netherlands (and one other, forget which) seemed more realistic to me. I've heard that many women tend towards a pear shape, but the waist to hip ratio in most of the pics seemed almost like comic book proportions.

I agree that the Netherlands version seems quite regular.
MjrMajorMajor wrote:
An interesting addition would be women in localized ads placed along side the Photoshop pics.
Yes that would be an interesting comparison.

Quote:
They all look really creepy and unnatural. The only "impossible standards" this shows is looking like a creepy real life doll.

By the way, this "study" asked only one person from each country to design for they thought were the beauty standards for only women. I don't think that is at all an accurate representation of anything.

The title should be "we gave 18 people from different places an image of a slightly fat woman with the intent of them photoshopping her to look thinner than is possible and to spark a discussion about how it's unrealistic and is horrible and (cue more whining, etc)".

What they should have done is, you know, asked more than one person from each country? :roll:

I can't buy into any of this "unrealistic standard" stuff, it's mostly bullshit articles stripped of any meaning. I don't think a proper study has ever been done. I haven't seen any. I'm not even convinced that these "standards" exist.

Some of the images are creepy, especially the ones where they altered her facial features.

Its a project completed by designers, not a research based study, and yes it is 'chewing gum level' supplied by a health and beauty retailer.

I didn't see any whining responses here. I posted it because I simply found it interesting that curvier shapes are portrayed in this project as ideal in various countries, and I have noticed a lack of realistic female body shapes... everywhere within environmental images, just the super skinny early 20's look seems to be represented. There are of course other shapes and ages, and they don't all look like waifs with/without a boob job.

I don't always want to discuss serious 'womens' topics, sometimes I enjoy chewing gum no-brainer stuff, like those harmless quizzes in a magazine.

If you don't see the unrealistic standards, perhaps you limit your exposure to advertising even more than I do, or maybe you don't notice the images that I see?



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17 Aug 2015, 2:25 am

Or I just don't care. I know every image is photoshopped anyway. It makes the women look better so more people buy them and I don't see why that's a big deal. I know I'm a healthy weight and I see no reason to aspire to blurry skin and uneven sized limbs. Just seems like a stupid thing to do. It's not an expectation. Nobody is telling you to be like the photoshopped girls in magazines. I don't get girls at all. You never see men complaining but yet the men are also photoshopped. And yet, not saying you are doing this because you're not, people complain of the unrealistic standards of women. But the women are creating them themselves. And blaming the men. Girls are weird.



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17 Aug 2015, 7:51 am

I guess that you are currently in a position where you are fortunate to not care.

This thread has an interesting discussion about the influence of advertising:
http://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=287514



iliketrees
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17 Aug 2015, 8:01 am

But why would you care? Am I missing something? I genuinely don't get why you'd care. Sorry if this seems aggressive.



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17 Aug 2015, 8:45 am

I care very much and I have no specific reason, except that I very strongly dislike being manipulated in any shape form or manner, a pet peeve is advertising.

I hate that small world toys are shaped like Barbie, or are scantily clad, that childhood seems to be a dying experience, as children become mini-adults, but without the cognitive abilities.

I hate that in many music videos women are portrayed as ornaments/decoration, that when I look at billboards for clothing companies I want to chuck sandwiches at the models and tell them to eat a doughnut and not cotton wool.

A lot of this stuff bugs me, and I have no idea why I care except that the attempts to manipulate my self image through environmental imagery irritates me.

I'm not overweight, or unattractive, now that I'm in my thirties I am aware of the aging process, but I have always felt this way about such advertising imagery, perhaps now I notice that the bulk of images of women my age are selling wrinkle cream, maybe that bugs me too!



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17 Aug 2015, 8:59 am

I recently read that the idea of childhood as something to be cherished and valued is actually a product of the Victorian age. Earlier, children were considered inconsequential and had a lower societal status than even women.

As for the Barbie influence, it seems to be slowly dying. There's an awesome Goldiblox line that encourages girls to play with engineering and science. Target is reversing the blue/pink isles of toys that encourage gender division. I am surprised at the uproar, because the heyday of toy gender division came about in the 1980's to help "double" the toy consumer market. I see a good evolution here.



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17 Aug 2015, 9:09 am

But how does advertising manipulate you? It just shows their product in an appealing way, doesn't it?

I haven't noticed that in children and definitely not in my own childhood. Outside of pageants is that a thing children do? I only recall saying I was fat once as a child. I didn't know what it meant really, and in that context I meant too big to fit into a tiny gap. "I am too fat". Didn't mean I actually thought I was overweight. I saw barbies as a kid, never thought about how thin they were. Wasn't even part of the thought process.

Women are? Never seen that. What sort of objects? You mean wearing those comically sized suits shaped like food and whatnot? And the women on billboards aren't real girls. They're photoshopped. Made thinner and stuff. Marketing strategy perhaps.

How does it effect your self image though? I still don't get it.

And is 30s when you start getting wrinkles? I don't know, I am young. If it's the age where they only start forming then it would be more appealing to the company than those in their 80s since small wrinkles would be easier for their product to cover up. Seems like a logical decision.

I feel as though I am missing something. Maybe a brain. Who knows?



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17 Aug 2015, 9:32 am

For example..your wrinkle question..

The advertising influences us by presenting wrinkles and aging as a bad thing. Then it presents the solution to the problem it created...wrinkle cream! A lot of advertising is creating a need that never really existed.

The problem of influence is when everyone accepts the advertisement that wrinkles and aging is a bad thing. People start believing this, and feel bad because they have wrinkles. What do some do? Buy that wrinkle cream, get plastic surgery, burn their skin with lasers. They spend lots of money because they now believe wrinkles are bad.

Which was the point of the ad. Make you feel bad about something, and then tell you "my product will fix it".

Does that help?



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17 Aug 2015, 10:13 am

Thanks for the explanation Mjr.

Yes it is happening with children, and not just girls, children are exposed to ever increasing subliminal advertising messages, from younger ages.
Look at the free angry birds game, or any 'free' game they are littered with banner advertisements or gather data for marketing purposes. Until recent years supermarkets could place their 'unhealthy' products at a child's eye level, while fruit and veg remained on higher level shelving. Pester power is an actual marketing strategy. Children become excellent consumers and develop well ingrained habits before they even reach their teenage years.

The adolescent stage is where we see the bulk body image issues, and again not just in girls. Im not just referring to billboards (advertising I dont choose to have in my environment), when was the last time you looked at the images of women in online clothing catalogs(advertising I choose to look at)? Well anyways I would also like to throw doughnuts at them. :wink:

And yes fine lines appear in your thirties, some day they will develop into something that looks like valleys in close up images, and I will need collagen Q50 or some other magical product to wage war on the natural signs of aging.