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Friday
Jul062012

Teen girls and Abe Lincoln: a tale of manipulation

Pressure has been successfully brought on several magazines, including Seventeen, to change their ways when it comes to altering the images of girls and women. It's an old story. Older than most imagine.

In fact, as photojournalism historian Mary Panzer reminded me for the above-cited piece in The Daily Beast, both Honest Abe Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, his spouse, had their images doctored by the fabled photographer Mathew Brady.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mary Todd Lincoln photograph retouched by Mathew Brady. (Library of Congress)

It doesn't justify what the magazines have routinely done but just reminds us that part of a larger continuum. Bye-bye blemishes! And bye-bye long, unappealing necks! The more things change....

At minimum, we might hope, as Panzer suggests, that "girls should be taught to distrust photography in general, and not to have confidence in what they see in ANY magazine."

"The magazines COULD get around to showing girls with all kinds of shapes and sizes, not to promote a single body type----that's where the real problem is, if you ask me," said Panzer.

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Jim,
I think you need to up the point size of your blog for us oldtimers, and maybe change the font to something like Times Roman. Typewriter style is kinda hard to read. Enjoy reading you. Oh, and I don't think 8-year-olds should be exerting themselves in this heat.

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Naureckas

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