Airbrushing, says Bazaar cover star, actor, and activist Jameela Jamil, is a profoundly damaging thing to have happened to women. It promotes an impossible ideal of flawless skin and bodies. It distorts reality, causing so many of us to experience body dysmorphia by comparing ourselves to digitally-manipulated images. Airbrushing is part of an advertising industry where perfectly symmetrical faces, the fairest of unblemished skin, and thin body types have dominated imagery for decades. However, change is in the air.
Inclusivity, diversity, and body positivity are now the leitmotifs of a sea of change occurring in the way women respond to the imagery that is pushed at them from every angle, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Women are calling out impossible beauty standards, which are racist, sexist, and exclusionary to their core. In turn, many brands themselves now realize it’s not only ethical but also good business sense to create alternatives that relate more fully to women’s diverse realities.
These brands proactively celebrate the diversity of women and men’s beauty, bodies, and experience. As creative director, Abhishek Elango, one of the founders of young Indian underwear brand Tailor & Circus, says, “We were tired of subjecting ourselves to a mind-numbing cocktail of hyper-sexualized men and women every time we shopped underwear.” Their latest unairbrushed, body positive campaign is nothing short of incendiary