How to spot airbrushing beauty tricks

  • Age: 13-16 yrs
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How to spot airbrushing beauty tricks

The media is full of retouched images of women that just aren't real. Play our fun Retouch Roulette beauty game with your daughter to see the difference between real and airbrushed images and help her understand she doesn't need to try to compete.

Most girls enjoy reading magazines and looking at pictures of celebs, but often they don't realise the effect that it's having on their self-esteem. Endless images of women with flawless skin, no body fat and luscious locks help perpetuate the myth that there's only one way to be beautiful.

But how would she feel if she knew how much effort goes into retouching these images? Often we look at photos of other women and just don’t consider the process behind making them look the way they do.

Or perhaps she is aware of airbrushing and digital enhancement and can guess when thighs have been made thinner or blemishes have been erased. But does she realise that many images of women have undergone lots of different changes, not just one?

It's easy to look at media images of women and compare our own bodies and looks to them, but by having a bit of fun playing Retouch Roulette, you can help your daughter see things for what they really are. So maybe next time she sees a beautiful woman in a picture online or in a magazine she'll look that little bit closer...

Action checklist:
Ways you can help your daughter to understand airbrushing

Play the game with your daughter: get your daughter to play Retouch Roulette to see how well she can spot a fake. All she has to do is decide whether the photo is real or if it has been retouched using computer-retouching technology.

Look a little closer : there may be several things that have been retouched in each picture, so she can really test her knowledge by seeing how many retouches she can find.

Talk about what you learn : which retouches were you both most surprised by? Ask your daughter why she thinks so many changes are made and if she’d prefer to see more natural images.

What next: action steps to help

  • Share Retouch Roulette with your daughter. It's a fun way to learn more about how retouched and airbrushed images are made – and why it's impossible for us women in the real world to look that way.
  • Play the Retouch Roulette game with your daughter – and then talk about your scores.
  • How did the Retouch Roulette game make her think and feel?
  • Encourage her to send it to her friends and talk to them about what they learnt by playing it.
  • Would your daughter have the confidence to write a letter to the editor of her favourite magazine to ask how much they retouch their images? Why not encourage her to do so?

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