In the latest body positivity movement news, Maxim magazine is under attack by the social media jury for a photo of plus-size “it” model Ashley Graham.
Graham appears naked on the cover of Maxim’s April issue covered by nothing but a white button-down shirt she’s holding.
And she looks amazing – but not everyone thinks so.
Shortly after Graham posted the shot to Instagram this morning, online commenters began slamming the male-oriented magazine for going overboard with photoshop, claiming that the model’s curvy body is rendered virtually unrecognizable.
‘Too much photoshop,’ read one comment. ‘@theashleygraham you’re an ambassador for curvy girls and self esteem building. Than you get photoshopped to look like eva mendes. Just be true to what u believe in and what you’re trying to encourage.”
Admittedly, she does look a little thinner than she does in her recent Addition Elle campaign or as she has on red carpets as of late. It’s also difficult to compare the two shots with the majority of her body hidden beneath the shirt.
Regardless, all the photoshop banter is distracting from the fact that she’s on the cover of the magazine in the first place – something that should be a celebrated choice in our move away from the waif-thin models and an embrace of “real” women in glossy pages.
The naysayers, of course, claim that there’s nothing “real” about the cover, defeating the whole purpose of the decision to feature the model with a “nice try, Maxim” dialogue ringing louder than any praise.
Newsflash: It’s a damn magazine cover, so of course she’s being photoshopped to some degree. All models are photoshopped. What we’re really talking about is the amount of photoshop – and when to draw the line. We live in an age when everyone alters photos, even if with nothing more than a subtle filter. We edit pictures of both our baby niece or nephew and our grandparents alike.
While I’m all for the whole body positivity movement for both sexes, we need to also accept the fact that magazine covers, photo shoots, the internet, and basically ads of any kind are not – wait for it – real life.
Every person appearing in an ad – whether thin, fit, curvy, overweight, woman, or man – will probably be photoshopped in some capacity. In the case of Graham, she happens to be under the social media microscope more than others given her representation of the plus-size model movement and subsequent redefinition of what it means to be sexy.
Of course, there is a fine line between a little and too much. In this case, Maxim may have indeed crossed that line. At the end of the day, though, Graham (who’s never been one to hide her perceived “flaws”) is clearly proud of the image, and that’s empowering to see.