All Bodies Are Good Bodies
Too tall, too fat, slim lips, big breasts... The perfect body does not exist. What for some might be beautiful, for others might not.
The ideal of beauty has varied throughout history. In ancient times, broad hips were synonymous with fertility. For the Greeks a slender, symmetrical and harmonious body meant wisdom. In the baroque period, voluminous and fleshy forms were preferred while the Victorian age welcomed the establishment of the corset and celebrated the tiny waist. During the 20th century, being thin was the goal as the standards of what was considered "acceptably skinny" gradually changed. Advertising and fashion have been imposing impossible canons: very small sizes and perfect bright skin, without marks or even pores.
Thankfully, this ideal of beauty is evolving‑ not only physically but also psychologically. Dove was one of the pioneers in the beauty industry in promoting body confidence by including real women in their campaigns; clothing brand Desigual was the first to have a model with the skin condition vitiligo as their image; and since 2015 we have seen plus‑size models taking over the runways of Fashion Weeks around the world.
We see more and more brands embracing diverse body types. Many brands that include real models in their campaigns see their revenue increase, but what is more important is the role that they play in body acceptance. All bodies, all shapes, all sizes and all skin colors are worthy of respect and admiration. It’s through representing real bodies that we can drive a positive change.
Social media has had an important role in shifting expectations as well. Instagram and Tumblr have acted as a microphone of many women ‑and men‑ to reject the "perfect body" and embrace authentic beauty. The message has been so strong that governments are getting involved. Almost a year ago, France enacted a law in which publications that use Photoshop to alter bodies, must accompany their images with the phrase "Photographie retouché." Here at Getty Images, we went a step further and decided not to accept images where the bodies of the models have been retouched and many other brands have followed suit. CVS and Target have recently banned the use of Photoshop to alter the body and skin of their models. Aerie, already with a long trajectory in announcing non‑retouched women, has included for the first‑time models having some type of disability, as have River Island, ASOS and Primark.