Huffpost UK Lifestyle uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sheila Hageman Headshot

Minnie Mouse and Lady Gaga Love Them Some Photoshop

Posted: Updated:

From comic characters to rock stars, has the fashion world obliterated any strides made by the teens who campaigned against fashion magazines and their extreme photoshopping?

The headlines declare--Skinny Minnie! Skinny is an understatement.

Barneys New York is partnering with Disney for their Electric Holiday campaign, which means classic Disney characters will be modelling haute couture in the Barneys' windows and in a film made for the celebration.

But even Disney peeps agreed that high fashion just doesn't look the same on squat, plump bodies, so Disney executives gave the a-OK for the artists to supermodel-ify classic Disney characters like Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Daisy.

The results? Scary-skinny beanpole versions of their real selves. Because fashion only looks good on women 5'11" and as thin as a rail.

What message does this send to girls? When even their beloved Mickey and Minnie are deemed too fat to wear nice clothes.

Well, at least girls can look toward their rock star heroines who encourage girls to be true to themselves like Lady Gaga, right?

Maybe not so much this month. Lady Gaga appears on the cover of Vogue looking like a caricature of her "be proud of who you are" anthem Born This Way.

Behind the scenes footage reveals Lady Gaga did not look anything like the final results of her magazine cover. High-fashion photos that end up on magazine covers are often altered to make them look a certain way, but where is the line drawn?

When the photo barely resembles what the image began life as, is it really even a photo anymore? It's more like an illustration, or a cartoon.

Hmm...maybe Vogue took their inspiration from Barneys' campaign and Disney-supermodel-ified Lady Gaga.

I am personally drawn more toward the untouched image of Lady Gaga where she looks real, authentic and rock star sexy.

This is what I mean when I talk about wanting to see more "real" women represented in media. Sure, some women are naturally skinny and we should celebrate their bodies just as much as fuller-figured women. But it's the realness factor that's so important today.

But in this world of reality TV and Botox parties, how do we know what is authentic anymore? Or even what is meant by authenticity?

Do we even really want authenticity? Or is that too much realness for us? In this connected world where we can't help but see and know about the "real" horrors taking place around us everyday--war, famine, poverty, environmental destruction--are we desperate for an escape from reality?

An escape from real women and real bodies that don't shine and sparkle on their own. An escape from men who are hairy and smelly. An escape from children who cry and demand of us.

Do we need and desire the media to pretty-ify our leisure activities and viewing materials as a method to balance the ugliness of the real world we have created?

And if so, why is that skinny women represent that safe, beautiful place?

Of course, perhaps we are not as shallow as we seem. Perhaps we are unconsciously aware of our excess in the developed land. Perhaps we surround ourselves with emaciated figures because of unrecognized guilt of the bounty we have. Perhaps we are simply not allowing ourselves to recognize what we really look like, really have and really are.

Or, you know... maybe we just like skinny girls.