Shrinking Women

I have great faith in fools–

self-confidence, my friends call it.  

Edgar Allan Poe



“Shrinking Women” by Lily Myers

Happy April Fools, Everyone!   These Huffington Post beauty image heroes remind us there are other ways of getting a good laugh without making fools of ourselves–even when it’s not April:


Shailene Woodley, star of the movie “Divergent.” refuses to wear makeup at events after seeing how her photographs published in magazines show bigger boobs, flawless skin, a flatter stomach that she doesn’t have.  “I realized that, growing up and looking at magazines, I was comparing myself to images like that — and most of it isn’t real.”



Artist Nikolay Lamm used CDC measurements of an average 19-year-old woman to create a 3-D model which he then Photoshopped to look like a Barbie doll. There is quite a gap between a “normal” Barbie next to the doll sold in stores.  (Never mind that my neighbor’s brunette daughter asked for a blonde doll, firmly believing she will grow up to be just as blonde one day.)


Plus size model Jennie Runk says, “I remember often feeling like I should be unhappy with my body, but it was confusing, because I never thought there was anything wrong with it until people started talking about it.”  H&M won raves for featuring her in their May 2013 swimwear campaign.  In a piece for the BBC, Runk wrote of her newfound media attention: “This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always wanted to accomplish, showing women that it’s ok to be confident even if you’re not the popular notion of ‘perfect.’… There’s no need to glamorise one body type and slam another.”


Trina Hall Dallas yoga

Trina Hall, a Dallas-based yoga instructor, abandoned all diets last year to see how her body changed and how people in her life reacted. The results of her project were not what she expected.  She gained 40 pounds but,  “The people who didn’t know, who were just with me in my life — there was no difference in the way that they treated me. The difference came in my own perceptions of myself.  I became very judgmental. Instead of looking at the whole of my body, I would look at different parts and analyze what’s wrong with them. My most shocking discovery through the process is that I’m afraid of not being loved.  I noticed the self-talk was that my beauty is only on the surface.”


Sheila Pree Bright’s photo series “Plastic Bodies” examines how beauty ideals affect women, especially women of color. Her striking images combine doll parts with segments of human bodies, and the discord between the two is startling. She told HuffPost in an email:
American concepts of the “perfect female body” are clearly exemplified through commercialism, portraying “image as everything” and introducing trends that many spend hundreds of dollars to imitate. It is more common than ever that women are enlarging breasts with silicone, making short hair longer with synthetic hair weaves, covering natural nails with acrylic fill-ins, or perhaps replacing natural eyes with contacts.
Even on magazine covers, graphic artists are airbrushing and manipulating photographs in software programs, making the image of a small waist and clear skin flawless. As a result, the female body becomes a replica of a doll, and the essence of natural beauty in popular American culture is replaced by fantasy.
Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share a foolish fantasy.


Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mountain
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 08:40:14

    Good for Shailene! To me there is nothing like the beauty I see in a woman the way she (really) is. Little or no makeup the same for perfume, I prefer the scent of a woman. Of course be healthy for yourself when it comes to weight but for the women that maybe have that little extra, naturally, I like that too. I find very diverse body types to my liking, but they are typically natural beauties and not the “fixer uppers” whether they needed it or not. The “perfect female body”, I see them everyday all shapes, sizes and ages. Of course Goddess perfection does exist in my mind, a fantasy come true. 😉

    Always the Fool…



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