Summary: It’s no industry secret that Hollywood airbrushes its stars to create the most appealing effects. Digital manipulation is so pervasive in the film industry that it’s considered risqué to pose without retouching (and is almost never done). Then along comes high definition, when previously undetectable physical imperfections are rendered readily apparent. The pressure to be beautiful and flawless is made that much more difficult.
Yet, despite the general public’s awareness that characters on the screen aren’t accurate representations of real people, the concept is still difficult to drive home among men and women who want the same red-carpet-ready look. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve your appearance, the film industry may be inadvertently responsible for creating unrealistic standards of beauty, as well as unrealistic expectations for what cosmetic treatments can do. Here are four of the most common larger-than-life expectations created by Hollywood-style beauty:
1. Everyone Ages Gracefully
As one of Hollywood’s most adored couples, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, enter into the later half of their careers, they remain remarkably elegant and sexy as they age. In response, aging men and women can feel pressured to achieve the same flattering transition without realizing the extent of digital manipulation behind each shot of the actors.
These days, airbrushing is not only used to remove wrinkles, but also to transplant younger wrinkles onto an older person’s face for a more realistic effect. The result is someone who doesn’t look so airbrushed that everyone knows it, but who looks young enough despite their chronological age that the audience mostly chalks it up to healthy living and good genes. While men and women can certainly improve the aging process with lifestyle changes and cosmetic procedures, even Pitt and Jolie don’t actually look like Pitt and Jolie.
2. All Women Have Incredible Biceps
Women today are expected to be just as toned as their male counterparts, thanks in no small part to such famous “gun shows” displayed by celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and even Michelle Obama.
When the filming process ends and the editing process begins, an editing team often spends weeks or months correcting the “flaws” of each individual shot, which can mean taking extreme measures. Beauty editors can actually transpose an actor’s face onto a slimmer, younger or more muscular body, transforming otherwise unremarkable muscles into marks of fitness and youth.
3. No One Jiggles in the Wrong Places
Jiggly parts of the body, including thighs, buttocks, upper arms and more, are all completely normal and, for most, unavoidable. Celebrities are able to achieve a rock-solid appearance from every angle through the efforts of a comprehensive team—not just nutritionists and personal trainers, but editors whose sole job it is to make them look perfect. Beauty editing often involves taking a shot of an actor or actress and moving entire pieces of skin or warping parts of the body. The aim is to create a flawless appearance, not a realistic one.
4. Celebrity-Level Beauty Is Achievable with Cosmetic Surgery
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about cosmetic surgery. While cosmetic surgery is nearly ubiquitous in the celebrity world, that doesn’t mean it’s the sole reason for the impossibly perfect images you see in the media. In fact, the vision created on the silver screen is mainly a result of digital effects, not cosmetic work.
Cosmetic surgery can bring out the best in your appearance, but it’s important to understand the limitations of any cosmetic procedure. The ‘you’ a cosmetic surgeon can help create is very much an authentic version of yourself, not a completely different person. A natural enhancement should be the goal of any cosmetic procedure rather than an attempt to look as flawless as a digitally-altered movie star.