It’s an interesting question, apparently. I mean, human beings are made up of all kinds of people, from tall to short, black to pasty-pink, stupid to genius, figure-skaters to train-spotters. By definition, we live, eat and breathe diversity across all humanity – indeed, it’s something we love to stand up and celebrate. In fact, our very diversity is one of the reasons our species is so robust – lots of different genes make us strong, genetically speaking. But still, according to one writer from Marie Claire magazine, TV shows – even ones she’s never seen – shouldn’t include characters who are overweight because she’s “grossed out” by them.
Without doubt, one of the most difficult, painful and awkward aspects to living with extra weight is all wrapped up in the clothes that we wear. Clothes shopping for me is a little like walking on a knife’s edge, balanced between delight that I find something that I like and that fits me and that looks good and I can afford – and the opposite, where everything I look at is too small, too expensive, a dreadful colour, or more often than not, so old and frumpy I wouldn’t let my grandmother out in it.
It’s no secret that magazines alter images of women to make them look better. I’ve always found it amusing that whenever the debate about body image comes up, the magazines all shrug in innocence as though they don’t really have any control over it.
But regardless of who controls it, the simple fact of the matter is, when images of women’s bodies are altered to make them look slimmer and younger, it leaves an impression on anybody looking at it. And if you feel a little lacking in confidence, or if you already have a poor body image, seeing altered photos will make you feel bad about yourself. Even if it only happens on a subconscious level – which is, to be honest, where all the damage is done.