Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Demi Moore's Photoshopped Ad: Illusory Image

Demi Moore at an event

Did you ever envy celebrity goddesses, stars and media personalities? Well, maybe you shouldn't. After all, vengeful time grinds them into a pulp of insecurity and appearance terrors. Sure, Suzanne Somers looks great because of all the treatments she is getting. But let's face it. She has to keep them up. So far there is no reversal of the destructive process that we had hoped science could arrest with an easy pill and painless medication to promote health and beauty forever. And for a beauty, aging is worse than death. Just ask Marilyn.

 If only it were only possible to avoid looking old. Well there is Photoshop! For those celebrities in the media, entertainment and fashion industry, it is a fabulous way to skew reality until you can either get lifts, tummy tucks, fat sucks, eye sluices, gain or lose weight, put on pounds of make-up or just stay inside and never be seen by the light of day and papparizzi who are looking to get those compromising and TRUE pictures of the real you. This is your wake up call. Right now, toss any wistful desires to be like a certain "beautiful" goddess you or your boyfriend, husband or male friends have hitched your appearance to. When these lovelies grow old (in their 30s) they will have to confront the abject hell of atrophying ugliness and imperfection which shadows them to exacting an ever rising pain quotient of multiple mutilations: surgeries, acid peals, procedures, needles.

For someone like Demi Moore who has been battling this scene for years, you would think the terrain has become familiar. But her weight loss and the January incident where she used nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to get high and then had severe reactions to its overuse requiring hospitalization, coupled with the stress of the relationship break-up with Ashton Kutcher who was involved in a very public and extremely humiliating cheating affair with a woman in her twenties appear to be the symptoms of Moore's attempt to negotiate her intense celebrity life with Kutcher. The crushing media pressure to look beautiful and be perfect as she ages only adds to creating personal and career stress. As many celebrities do to enhance their diminishing careers or hawk their products (Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Andy McDowell) Moore has taken to appearing in advertisements. And Photoshop which should be an aid is not.

Moore's ads, especially photos for the most recent Helena Rubinstein 2012 campaign  are extreme. The dichotomy between Photoshopped ad and photo taken around the time of her hospitalization is as wide and deep as the distance between here and the moon. Moore is sans tan, wrinkles and acute thinness. And according to other media pundits, her facial features appear to have been tweaked and crimped, though it might be the camera angle. This is not the first time that Moore's image has been subjected to the wonderful, age defying digital program. And as she and other celebrities pile on the years yet advertise, it will not be the last.

Helena Rubinstein ad obviously Photoshopped
The tragedy in all of this is that eventually, the monstrous faux images that the digital universe has accustomed us to, supplant celebrities' reality and human vulnerability. They are stuck with the latter and we are envious of the former. The difference is devastating and increasingly they react to it. For example, have we seen Cher lately? Or is she in one of her hiding modes? Though Whitney Houston was beautiful, Kevin Kostner's remarks at her funeral reference her tremendous insecurity about her appearance; she was near Moore's age.

There is always a point of no return. Regardless of the flurry of surgeries, procedures, enhancers and treatments to align the beast with the beautiful image, age wins. Witness Dame Elizabeth Taylor who eventually used her Photoshopped image to sell her perfume though the photos were from the early 1980s and the reality of her true appearance grew painful to look at as she tried to mirror the beauty of the past. How the stars negotiate the trauma of the dichotomy evidences their strength of character and courage or their devastation and resignation.

The media culture's obsession with appearance and youth has created tremendous hazards for celebrities and young women alike, encouraging them toward eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, obesity). It has misguided our focus emphasizing externals, promoting a shallow understanding of ourselves and how we function in relationships. And it has doubly influenced young men and older men to disregard and keep at low priority a woman's inner beauty at the expense of a woman's status as eye candy or trophy associative. Photoshop may be a technological advancement, but like all advancements, the power of its usefulness is only found in its ability to improve the human experience, and not in its fallout to devastate through exaggerated illusion. If Photoshop promotes enslavement to iconic images that don't exist, then it is promoting addictive waste. The only way such bondage can be broken is through a concerted effort by all celebrities to OUT the process and condemn its injustices.

God forbid that we all should "grow old more gracefully unphotoshopped?"  At the very least, celebrities and media personalities should discuss how the caged lives they lead are beholden to devastating images they can never live up to and not, as some are wont to do, deny that they "have had work" or have been Photoshopped.

None of us is perfect. Holding ourselves and each other up to ridiculous ideals that are media fabrications meant to injure our self-esteem in order to create the need for a company's product is a pathetic, mind bending use of our humanity. Unfortunately, the Rubinstein ad is one more example of this.

A similar article was published on Technorati about Demi Moore and the Photoshopped Helena Rubinstein article.


Maia Dobson said...

I think Demi Moore had too much plastic surgeries she looks so far from her natural and original look. She must have had buccal fat removal too but I hope she just kept it simple.

daniellaprice30 said...

The media has played a big role in influencing a lot of people in having plastic surgeries. Say for example some Asian undergo rhinoplasty in New York because the Hollywood stars like Demo Moore has all the perfect features and perfect nose.

Stew said...

It's such a shame how awkward her lovely face turned out to be after countless cosmetic surgeries she has been through. I remember having her on my wall back in 1999 and she looked totally perfectly divine back then. I hope the people of
los angeles plastic surgery can bring her back to her eternal sunshine.

Laura said...

Seeing perfection from celebrities like Demi Moore have prompted many a lady to consult with a surgeon for Perth cosmetic surgery. They should know that part of it is illusion courtesy of photo editing software.