‘Target’ ads gets touchy

Though it is a crude but common practice, retailers and various fashion magazines Photoshop models to create the perfect woman.

Recently Target.com got in trouble for photoshopping a model so bad a part of pelvic area was obviously missing.

In what state of mind did Target really think that no one would notice this butchering of the young woman’s body?

It is one thing to change the lighting or erase a few flyaway pieces of hair but to remove a woman’s crotch, shave down her hip and cut her arm width in half is a different story.

Not only is it wrong to alter photos the way the fashion industry does, but to promote it just to sell a swimsuit is horrible.

On top of the butchered images being in swimwear, the pictures in question were in the juniors department, meaning they were targeting young girls.

Target along with many others use this unethical method and only apologize for it if they even are caught.

Clothing distributors like Forever 21, Bloomindales and Ann Taylor need to learn to use authentic women instead of making up unnatural body forms.

When an image changes drastically just to create a false image of beauty, it encourages young girls to alter themselves to fit this projection of what beautiful is.

Whatever is healthy should be considered ideal not starved looking bellies and thigh gaps.

Although Target representative Evan Miller said, “It was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize,” the apology reads more like their version of, “Our bad we got caught unlike the countless others.”

Perhaps now with Target’s blunder more people will look into the images on pages and see them for what they really are.

How does the fashion industry get away with falsifying images and selling it as an actual representation of the human body?

The woman in the magazine rarely looks the same way off the page.

Even though it is not uncommon to use a beautiful woman to sell clothes, it should not be common to digitally change the young woman.

If there were some sort consequence, even if it were minuscule, companies would at least think twice before they altered images.

Fashion advertisements need to take a page from photojournalism’s ethics book and put their eraser tools down.

As consumers, we should stand up and tell clothing companies and ad designers that distorting images is not what gets us to buy things.

How companies think unobtainable body types gets women to purchase clothes is positively psychotic and needs to end.

Enough is enough; selling clothes to women should not be about the model but the actual garment.

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Misconception of Beauty

From costly procedures to the next fad diet women everywhere think they need to alter themselves to get ahead in life.

Is it survival of the fittest in some acute sense that pushes women to change themselves?

In their minds, is it their personal truth that only the beautiful prevail?

When did long straight flowing locks become the only acceptable form of beauty?

In Hollywood and many parts of America many other women of color are expected to share this quality.

Perhaps modeling agencies and their plethora of exotic beauties that strut down catwalks had some influence on the standard of beauty.

While some women are satisfied with a simple auburn to blond dye job, others go under the knife to get a perfectly cinched waist.

On one hand, you cannot really blame women in the entertainment business for making sure everything on them is perfect.

In Hollywood, a young stick figure blond is more likely to further her career and get roles than a curvy middle-age woman for the same role even without it being about ethnicity.

Robust women in Hollywood are usually not in serious roles and are even more rarely leading actresses. They tend to play the funny or quirky fat sidekick that overcomes all odds as part of a sideplot.

Eventually Hollywood forces her onto to use some highly sought after trainer and diet just so she’ll be taken seriously.

Just like Hollywood women, young girls model themselves after what has become the standard of beauty instead of learning to love what they already have.

Young girls with a decent amount of meat on their bones starve themselves just to see a gap between their thighs that isn’t a natural muscle formation.

What happened since the 1970s that told women they could not be free to express themselves in its purest form?

African-American men and women alike used to proudly wear magnificent Afros. Now the Afro is labeled unkempt or exotic depending on the venue.

“Natural” to Black women can mean doing their hair without much alteration, especially chemical: braids, pressing or anything considered protective.

Black women practically kill themselves to have perfect hair. Some do it just to fit in with their lighter skinned counterparts. Others do it because natural until recently, has been widely frowned upon.

Black women you are automatically expected to have a weave in your hair and Ebonics flowing from your lips.

Where did the natural woman go, is she afraid to be herself due to ridicule and ignorance?

For the sake of young women everywhere I pray she comes back soon.

Dancers or pint-sized robots?

Dancing is not just about hitting your counts; it is about living and breathing the music. To dance is to express yourself or tell a story like no one else can.

Lifetime’s Dance Moms shows the weekly coming and goings of about nine budding dancers. Each girl is pitted against each other in pursuit to bring glory to the Abby Lee Dance Company.

There is nothing wrong with a little competition but if all they do is practice, what happens to their childhoods?

Abby Lee Miller’s company does not create dancers with passion; it creates dancers that hunt after gold trophies and blue ribbons.

These girls are not nurtured into being works of moving art, but rather robots systematically doing counts.

Abby Lee verbally abuses the young impressionable girls if the smallest move is not to her liking.

Their personal feelings just do not appear to matter at all to Abby.

That is just not right.

People make mistakes all the time and are forgiven. However, whenever they make mistakes the dancers are chastised and degraded.

Though Abby Lee is mostly to blame for what is sure to be a psychotic based breakdown later on in life, you cannot forget about the mothers.

The dance moms whom the show is named after also push their girls to their limits.

Instead of pushing their daughters just enough to light a fire under them they’re pushed to be the definition of perfect.

Abby’s toughness will create strong professional dancers, but at what cost?

The Abby Lee Miller Dance Company does have one constructive thing in place, a pyramid to show whom the top dancer is.

The pyramid, however, is mainly used as another tool to tear the girls down.

As Abby goes through the pyramid she raises the dancers self-esteem and then brings it right back down only to thrust them right into rehearsal.

God forbid the dance company faces what seems to be their nemesis, The Candy Apple Dance Company.

Abby turns into more of a monster then usual with the girls taking on this assault.

How the girls are treated is simply barbaric. It’s mind boggling how any of this isn’t considered child abuse.

Perhaps due to dance moms being a reality show people consider these events a reality of society.

Even Kelly Hyland of Dance Moms admits Abby sucks the life out of her own child.

Abby isn’t all to blame though, if Kelly can admit Abby is a succubus then why does she continue to let the verbal abuse ensue?

Yes, Abby is a bully, but these women are adults that need to stop letting the show go to their heads.

Trying to find a villain in this show is like looking for the worst of the worst: you may find a winner, but they’re all bad.

Very rarely does this show have feel good moments and when it does it never makes up for the overall toxicity.

When the girls win, are they genuinely happy? Or are they happy because they met expectations?

Dancers are things of beauty and grace, so why do the girls of Dance Moms seem so much like automatons?

Nothing Nice

‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’ For some people aka many of the citizens of the internet, that concept just seems to escape them.

When recent Miss America 2014 winner Nina Davuluri was crowned, she was greeted by an onslaught of racially charged tweets.

Many referred to her as a member of Al Qaeda, an Arab or Miss 7-11 even though Nina Davuluri is an Indian American from New Jersey.

Miss Kansas, a gun totting, tattoo having, army loving American woman congratulated Nina even though she was the one many said was the true Miss America.

Who are they to say who is truly more American?

Historically speaking one way or another many can trace their ancestry back to an immigrant, however their first insult to a “foreigner” is to tell them to go back home to their slum or village.

The rights activists marched for and died over are now being used as weapons toward other people.

You cannot help but wonder why people flock to the internet to hurl slur after slur at unsuspecting people whom they have never heard of.

Who seriously in their right mind wakes up and says, “You know what this random person really needs to do today? Kill themselves.”

For someone out there, that tweet or anonymous message to kill themselves could have been the final straw.

When up and coming African American rapper Azealia Banks felt Lady Gaga snubbed her for cutting a song featuring Banks off her new album due to her “bad attitude” Azealia foolishly took to Twitter.

Something Azealia might not have seen coming was the tenacity of Gaga’s fans the ‘Little Monsters’. Apparently, appropriately named, the little monsters subsequently tore Azealia Banks a new one.

Even though Gaga is known for preaching a credo of non-bullying and equality, the little monsters took to Twitter and various forums to call Azealia Banks racial slurs. Some even went as far as to tell her to kill herself using some very creative wording.

It is sickening and oddly impressive to think that with 140 characters a person can say such horrendous things to a complete stranger.

The Naked Truth

Oversexualized with modest criticism

We live in a world that condemns the flesh of the nontraditionally beautiful. Scantily clad woman grace the covers of magazines on a daily basis and

yet when we see the smallest bit of areola elsewhere it’s a national emergency.

Someone somewhere at this very moment is being exploited in some way, shape or form and yet all America seems to care about is a nip slip or a bit of peek-a-boo vagina at an award show.

How did we become so hypersensitive to nudity and the over-sexualization of woman in the media yet in the same instance learn to scoff at embracing our own sexiness?

Society’s dual minded attitude towards nudity is astonishing.

So what if Susie down the block has a bit more cleavage than you feel comfortable seeing, it doesn’t make it right to condemn her for being comfortable in the skin she’s in.

It makes you wonder if people are so ashamed of their own bodies that they feel the need to force others to feel just as bad or worse about themselves.

Why is nudity such a faux pas?

Perhaps I should answer my own question: sex sells.

The majority of ads are based on beautiful people selling luxurious things in the gaudiest or most provocative way possible.

Every year millions of people tune in to watch the annual Victoria Secret Fashion Show.

Woman in various colorsproudly parade down a runway in themed bras and panties with no one bating a discerning eye toward the models, in fact they applaud them.

Maybe the fashion show isn’t entirely fussed about, other than by jealous woman who wished they looked like the Victoria Secret angels, due to fashion being a form of art.

Why is it such a crass thing for the average person to be naked?

Has society’s idea about nudity really changed so much that it isn’t acceptable to don the flesh you’re in unless you’re considered a vision of beauty?

We spend more of our time fussing about some young starlets side boob exposure than on events that really matter.

If people are going to rally behind something that’s common sense let it be texting and driving instead of slut shaming and celebrities.

I don’t know about everybody else but seeing Janet Jackson’s nipple during the Super Bowl did not alter the way I turned out at all.

‘Reality’ vs. Reality

Reality is defined as the state of things as they actually exist, rather than how they may appear or might be imagined however shows like Preachers of LA and Bad Girls Club really make you question if there is anything real in reality television.

Do the preachers in “Preachers of LA” really live these grandiose lives or is it all rented to portray this mega pastor image they wish existed for them?

Are the people on The Bachelor/ette really looking for love or just a chance to be on national television?

Reality television has this unholy knack of glorifying all the wrong things in society and perpetuates this false sense of “if I do this I can be just like that person” mentality.

What kind of example does that set for today’s youth when the only rags to riches story they seem to care about is Kim Kardashian and her journey from sex tape to possibly getting married rap superstar Kanye West?

Some reality shows play out more like scripted dramas or rather daytime soaps so predictable it’s almost unbearable.

Shows like Vh1’s Love and hip-hop show this perfectly.

The show shadows the lives of new, old and often forgotten hip-hop “stars.”

Often words in the show lack authenticity making it apparent that what people say aren’t always their own thoughts.

If only life was that undeniably simple that when you need an idea of what to do next was already written down for you.

When the words in your brain just don’t seem right a list of suggestions could be handed to you on the sly.

There really can’t possibly be an abundance of ignorance and excessive drama as television executives put out for our viewing pleasure.

There’s usually no sign of intelligence life present on shows placed in the reality TV category.

Is the average woman really as aggressive as the young ladies of Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club or has someone cleverly found a way to expose mob mentality?

No matter how much you don’t like the cast, you can’t help but watch another episode all in to see if misfortune befalls them.

Makes you think about how these people are hand-picked solely because they’re a vile and so ignorant it’s almost scary.

At least with most reality competition shows the contestants seem to be real people.

So You Think You Can Dance has real dancers auditioning trying to make their dreams.

The Voice actually judges real people on their ability to sing based on nothing but their voice.

Is there a secret formula executives and ratings hounds have concocted that keeps us coming back?

What does it say about us a people that we sit religiously in front of televisions watching this perpetual filth instead of dealing with our real issues?

I guess you’ll just have to tune in next week to find out.

Justice for all of US

By Marissa Bostick

Does justice really exist anymore?

Time after time and criminal after criminal somehow seem to get away with every crime imaginable.

One has to wonder if the justice system is failing the people or maybe it’s been failing us this whole time and now we’re finally noticing it.

Most times families of victims of violent crimes don’t feel that the offender never truly received the punishment they deserved. Does the fault lie with overworked and underpaid public defenders? Or perhaps the fault lies with easily corrupted officials influenced by corporations that have no business in politics.

The National Rifle Association’s presence in politics shows how easily the justice system can be corrupted. Sure you have a right to bear arms, but that doesn’t mean shoot first ask questions later as they would like you to rally behind. It seems like every time there’s a gun related crime in the news the NRA sticks their hands in it.

Statistics put out by government agencies tell us that crime has been on a steady decline in the United States since the 1990′s, yet today in 2013 it seems only a few hours can go by without a new crime on the news or in the papers.

With an abundance of crime around every corner and police being overextended it’s no wonder that justice can’t properly be served. It seems like when police aren’t harassing young men who fit gang profiles they’re giving tickets out in an effort to hit a quota that supposedly doesn’t exist. With police work like that it appears like their motto, “To Protect and Serve” just isn’t true.

“Every man gets his day in court” or so the saying goes, also no longer seems true.

Overpaid prosecutors seem to get extremely guilty and exceptionally rich people’s charges dropped faster than a hot potato, meanwhile the poor and guilty until proven innocent man rots in jail.

In fact it seems the more money you have the less likely you are to even make it to a jail cell. If a non-celebrities pulled half the crimes Lindsey Lohan has pulled they’d be in a jail a couple times over. Somehow every time Lohan went to court she managed to leave with a proverbial slap on the wrist and sent on her way.

No wonder the American people no longer believe in a system that is supposed to condemn the wicked, when in reality its true purpose is to reward whoever can afford the best lawyer.

Where’s the justice in that?