Exclusive: Model Whitney Thompson Urges Ad Companies to Stop Digitally Manipulating Models
Whitney Thompson, Cycle 10 winner of America's Next Top Model (the first plus-size one ever!) and a model for Wilhelmina, shares her thoughts on Make Up Forever's new "first unretouched" makeup ad.
At this point most people are aware of the heinous retouching that occurs in every advertisement that we see, and if you aren't, then here's your wake up call. The fashion industry will put a model in a bikini and if her breasts are “too small” they Photoshop some new ones in. If her hips are “too wide,” they Photoshop them out (instant lipo!). Heck, if they couldn’t book the model that they originally wanted, they might even shop on a whole new face. I have been saying for years that these advertising/marketing tricks are mean and unnecessary. How are we supposed to feel about ourselves when the standard is being set at someone else’s definition of perfection?
You don’t even have to be pretty, have good skin or be healthy to be a model anymore. All you need is to fit into the fashion industries’ cookie-cutter mold and they’ll shave down that nose, plump up those lips, erase those rib bones, and place your photo on every magazine cover and leave us “normal people” scratching our heads, wondering why we don’t look like “everyone else." That is why I am so thrilled and refreshed to see the new campaign for Make Up For Ever.
Make Up For Ever’s new advertisement features a close beauty shot of a model with the words “You’re looking at the first unretouched make up ad” next to it. Hell did not freeze over and the ad is still beautiful. The model is gorgeous, the lighting is flattering and the makeup looks really good without looking “fake." I remember seeing my touched CoverGirl advertisement and thinking that I looked like a fish. I wasn’t used to seeing my face without any lines, imperfections and it didn’t look right to me. The model for Make Up For Ever can be proud of her work because it is just that, her own work. There’s nothing worse than doing a shoot and not being able to use the tears, or prints, in your portfolio because they don’t resemble you. Who decided that faces looked better without any flaws? I like the little wrinkles on my forehead. It gives me character, shows that I’m not a child, and that I’ve lived. Perfection is so boring.
I fully support Make Up For Ever in their endeavor to release real, beautiful ads that show their products in action. I hope other make up companies do the same. Can you imagine living in a world where the before and after photos were real? I would love to know how products really work before buying them. I’m so sick of mascara companies claiming that they will “plump your lashes” while flashing the face of a model wearing the biggest set of fake lashes. That isn’t even retouching, it’s just lying.
It’s time that we, as consumers put our money where our mouth is. If you are sick of being lied to every day by badly air-brushed ads, then show your desire for change by purchasing an item from Make Up For Ever. If you don’t have the money then send them an e-mail expressing your support and you will aid in the continuation of these fantastic ads.
Also, make your voice heard by contacting your favorite make up brands and asking them to do an ad campaign like this one. Love CoverGirl? Why not send them an e-mail or letter, or call customer service and tell them that you love their products but will not be able to continue supporting them until they put girls who look like you in their ads. At the end of the day, you are their boss. If you stop buying from companies that Photoshop their models, they will have no choice but to surrender. Please take this seriously. It only takes a couple of minutes and will save thousands of people from self-esteem issues.
In addition to her thriving modeling career, Whitney also designs and sells candles and jewelry on her website ShopSupermodel.com, where a percentage of the proceeds go to the National Eating Disorder Association. You can also follow her on Twitter @WhitneyANTM.