The Keep It Real Challenge: Day Two

After yesterday’s success on Twitter, Day Two of our Keep It Real Challenge encouraged individuals to blog about the effects of photoshop and why magazines should pledge to drop it for one picture per issue. The public joined and our collaborators SPARK Movement, LoveSocial, Endangered Bodies and I Am That Girl in creating a firestorm of conversation across the internet. Here’s a recap of the day’s activity thus far:

Many discussed their youth and the faith they put in magazines to show them the truth about women’s bodies.

I didn’t know about lighting, body make up. I didn’t know about camera angles that can make a woman look totally different. I didn’t know about Photoshop. I certainly didn’t know to the extent that photos could be altered. I believed them. 

There used to be a saying “Photos never lie” but now it seems they always do.” – Waiting for Skaia

Ever since I was old enough to look at myself in the mirror, and be surrounded by other girls my age, I have doubted the way I look. …whenever I see a photoshopped photograph of a beautiful woman who does not in any way need to be photoshopped, it hurts me, it hurts the woman, and it hurts every other girl and woman who can’t digitally alter the way they look in the mirror.” – Hannah Johnston of Powered By Girl, age 16

No one told me I was smart when I was a child; they only said I was pretty.” – Jamie Martina

Jennie F. spoke out on the Facebook event page because she is concerned about the effects of these messages on her sister, who is “stunning and vibrant and is wating way too much energy caring about how others will perceive her.” YingYing Shang of SPARK Movement, age 16, shares this concern:

“My sister Melissa is 9 years old, and has Charcot-Marie-Tooth, a form of muscular dystrophy. She wears leg braces and uses a walker. But she, and every other girl out there, deserves to know that she is beautiful, which, as cliché as it sounds, is from the inside out. I support the Keep It Real Campaign because physical beauty should not influence how teen and preteen girls perceive their worth.”

High school teacher Ashley Lauren was inspired to take action by her high school students:

Almost every day, I hear teenage girls talking about diets and idolizing pictures of women in magazines that are so clearly unreal … While I feel good about being able to teach my students about media literacy, we still have a long way to go. Most of my students will tell me that they are aware that the images they see aren’t real, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to emulate those images.” – Small Strokes Big Oaks

Others spoke out about specific aspects of photoshop that have damaging affects, such as the erasing of full-figured or older women and and the white-washing of race.

Fat is one of the only things that it is acceptable in almost every group to mock and deride openly… Magazines that photoshop every female body on their glossy, glossy pages are telling every female body that they’re not good enough, that they don’t have value, and that no one will ever or should ever love them.” – Big Fat Feminist

Spark Movement was joined in their criticism of Cosmopolitan’s latest magazine cover featuring Demi Lovato with independent bloggers such as The Feminist Feline.

We see the body of an eating disorder survivor, trying to use her status as a celebrity to speak out against our current cultural obsession with thinness, being digitally manipulated by a totally journalistically irresponsible publication, to become yet another cover model to be used as thinspiration by the very people she is trying to help.
SPARK Movement

Other organizations joined us to call out magazines and promote media literacy:

Somebody needs to go on a diet and it’s not us. It’s the media. Their current regimen? High in digitally deceptive additives (ahem, photoshop), low in nutrient rich reality and diversity. The cure? We want real.

Immediately [after reading a fashion magazine] I started comparing myself, analyzing body parts, mentally circling my imperfections with a bright red highlighter with the word “FLAWED,” spelled out in all caps for dramatic effect. That’s when it dawned on me; how can magazines get away with this? I am the consumer, which means I’m practically their boss. So why as the audience, can we not demand a different product with a better message?
I Am That Girl

I have confidence in our generation and in magazine editors, that soon we will revolutionize our definition of what is beautiful. I’m lucky to have a diverse concept of beauty but this came through a lot of education and therapy on body image – and we aren’t all afforded that opportunity.
Eating Disorders Awareness Initiative

And others joined in with video blogs, including 14 year-old Julia Bluhm of SPARK and a digital retoucher rethinking his career here at

Keep It Real picked up some press as well, from Jezebel and Feministing – while New Moon Girls and The Huffington Post joined the blogging campaign with posts of their own.

Yesterday we got the magazines’ attention, and today we put in the time to convince them! Tomorrow we’ll show the world what real beauty looks like.

There were so many amazing #KeepItReal blogs written today we couldn’t possibly keep track of all of them. Post a link to your own or one that we missed in the comments below!