Home Blog

Things I Wish I’d Understood In My 20’s



By Ellen Hancock – A Not So Model Life

The era of my 20’s is creeping towards an end. I still have until June… but I can already feel it coming… my 30’s! The feeling is a little unexpected, because honestly I’m pretty darn excited. After all my depressing birthdays over the last few years I didn’t think I’d ever be happy about getting older. But I am!

When people say your 20’s are rough they aren’t kidding! We go through so many changes during that period of time. Some changes are voluntary, and some are involuntary. We experiment with who we are and who we aren’t. Or sometimes the world sends us huge rude awakenings. We’re trying to start careers, find love, pay the bills, and still manage to have some fun. There is so much on the plate of a 20-something that it’s overwhelming just to think about it. I’m honestly ready and looking forward to the next phase in my life.

Over the last decade I have been trying to figure my life out, and guess what? I have absolutely not succeeded! And that’s ok! I think my 30’s will be a more calm, self-aware, and accepting era of my journey. Which leads me into the point of this article. As I look back on the last ten years of my life a few things really smack me as things I wish I’d grasped a little sooner. I was always stubborn, one of those people who had to learn by making their own mistakes. In some ways I’m grateful for that. I can honestly say I’ve lived a full life so far – with many ups and downs, and stories to tell. However, there are a few lessons I wish I had been wise enough to avoid. At this point though I just hope my experiences might be enough to help someone else on their journey. It’s a potential upside… so I’ll give it a shot.

1. The important thing is that you add to your value.

At no point in anyone’s life do they have it all figured out. The important thing is that you accept the journey and continually focus on ways to add value to your marketability. So many skills are applicable in ways you wouldn’t even consider, so don’t hesitate simply because you’re not sure if what you’re going after fits into the entirety of the rest of your life. Often down the line you’ll find that all your skills intersect in quite unexpected ways, or get you thinking in unexpected ways.
The important thing is that you just keep working hard and keep adding to your abilities. I wasted a lot of time not doing anything simply because I didn’t know what I ultimately wanted to do with my life. You don’t have to have your whole future planned! Just think of ways to build your value, and go from there. It will lead to somewhere, I promise.

2. Sex does not equal intimacy.

The most intimate you can be with someone does not require you to take your clothes off. Real intimacy is letting your heart be vulnerable. It is letting someone see you for who you truly are – the good and the bad. It is making a commitment knowing that things won’t always be easy. If you can wrap your mind around that it will really change the way you think about love and what it is you’re really manifesting in your relationships.

3. You shouldn’t rush into living with someone you’re dating.

Most relationships don’t work out in your 20’s, and living with someone truly complicates things. Having to split belongings and decide who keeps the place makes breaking up so much more painful, too. I wish I hadn’t jumped into living with a couple of guys so fast in my 20’s. Looking back I wasted a lot of energy I could have devoted to myself because of complicated living situations that dragged on way too long. Give yourself at least a year with someone before you even consider it.

4. If you are depressed or unhappy drugs will only make things worse.

In the age of legalized marijuana I think it is important to acknowledge it for what it really is. A lot of people enjoy it and use it, but like every other drug (ahem, alcohol) it has its downsides. It can make you lethargic, and it can bury your feelings. Sometimes you need to let yourself feel all those not so pleasant emotions rather then covering them up. Because if you don’t face those feelings and pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, then guess what? Things just get worse.

Your emotions get confused the farther you bury them, and they don’t go away – they just start to manifest in other ways. You’ll start to lose sleep, you’ll get anxious about all the things you should be doing, you’ll fail to fix the problems that are actually the cause of your unhappiness, and so on. The farther down that rabbit hole you go, the harder it is to find your way out. If you are down in the dumps that is exactly when you should not be getting high. Treat weed as a reward for a hard days work, for a happy day off, for good times with friends – or stay far away from it. If you are at all using it as an escape, don’t.

5. It’s ok to break up with bad friends.

I think women in particular feel obligated to be friendly with people. We put on happy faces and try to please others. We feel a need to do the things that friends ask of us. But what if those people let you down on a regular basis? What if they are only good time friends who fail to show up when you have a crisis? What if they abuse your friendship or take advantage of you? LET THEM GO. It is ok to let go of a “friend” who really isn’t a friend at all. You don’t have to be dramatic about it, but start to set limits. Stop giving them your valuable time and energy. You should absolutely not feel guilty about needing genuine friendships in your life. It’s better to have no friends then fake friends.

6. It is never too late to turn around or start down a new path.

Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes without judging yourself too harshly. We all screw up sometimes. Acknowledge what happened, give yourself some love, and move on. Continuing down the wrong road longer will not turn it into the right one. Get excited about new beginnings! Your whole life is one great adventure. Don’t ever be overcome by fear of the unknown or the beginning of a large task. Just the fact that you get to start fresh is a blessing – think of it that way.

Profile Of A Top Designer – Meet Donna Karan



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

From up and coming to household names, there many fashion designers across the globe that we need to know. What really is the true career path behind the scenes in the life of a top fashion designer? Is the path as glamorous as we think? Today we take an inside peek of the profile of designer Donna Karan.

Donna Karan, an International fashion designer, normally the talk of the town on any runway, originally planned on being a stay-at-home mom until an unexpected turn in her life led her to becoming the head of the Anne Klein at only 25 years of age. Today, with thirty years in the exclusive fashion industry, Donna Karen redefined woman’s fashion with her famous Donna Karan label, bringing New York chic into the mainstream.

Donna Karan (born Donna Ivy Faske) was born in Lake Forest, New York on October 2nd, 1948. Growing up with a model mother and a stepfather making a living as a suit designer; fashion was clearly an influence in her life as by age 14, she had dropped out of school and was working in a local fashion boutique selling clothes. In 1968, Karan was accepted in the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City and while attending was offered a summer job working for Anne Klein. Her work was so impressive she earned the title of Associate Designer within her first two years.

While married to second husband, painter and sculptor Stephen Weiss, she left the label and debuted her first woman’s collection in 1985. From the very beginning of career, Donna Karan’s mission was to “design modern clothes for modern people.” During this time, there was an increased number of professional women entering the workplace and as a result her timing could not have been more perfect.

In 1988, she realized the need for a more affordable women’s fashion line and launched Donna Karan New York (DKNY). This woman’s line was influence by her original Signature collection and in two years she debuted DKNY jeans. In 1992, the designer launched her first designer clothing line for men. Today there are a wide variety of products under the DKNY label from children’s clothing to furniture. In 2001, she sold her company to Louis Vuitton for a reported 600M and part of the agreement stipulated that she stayed on as the head designer.

Over the years, Donna Karan has received multiple awards – the most notable being the first American to receive the prestigious Fashion Group International’s “Superstar Award” in 2003 and in 2004 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America

Over the years, Karan has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2003, she became the first American to ever receive Fashion Group International’s “Superstar Award.” The following year, she received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. During the same year, she became a published author with the release of her autobiography, The Journey of a Woman. Today she is still involved in many philanthropic organizations and resides in New York.




By Calynn M. Lawrence

What does it mean to be an Instagram model? The pictures below are two examples of Instagram models Don Benjamin and Alana Noel. These are two examples of people who make the majority of the living from posting pictures on social media. Sounds like a great job right? Get paid just to post pics on the Internet right? Well this article is going to give you a synopsis of how it works and why it’s becoming increasingly popular! Speaking as someone who does this personally (@fairytalefacesbycalynn) I know first hand the ins and outs of the industry!


What is a sponsored post? This is when a company reaches out to a social media person and offers fixed price compensation for that individual to post a picture with their merchnaidse and give it an honest, thorough review. This is one of the most common ways that people make their money on Instagram. You have online job boards such as Revluence and Grapevine, that offer to serve as a meeting grounds for content creators and vendors to meet and negotiate rates in exchange for the promotion. These tend to be very useful becuase it brings everything you need to one place!  Therefore, the next time you see a celebrity post a pic with a product raving about thier love for it, be aware that they are more than likely uploading a sponsored post. A great way to tell if something is genuine is if they mention and acknowledge the flaws of a particular company in addition to the benefits.


Affiliate links are available for the general public. What this means is that a company will provide someone with a custom link leading to their website and they will track the traffic that they receive from that specific link and give you a commission percentage from that. Generally, percentage rates tend to stay around 2-10 % but depending on the cost of the product and the amount of purchasers you bring, bonus checks can be very generous and commission rates can very well increase! For example, if a product is $100, with 10% commission, the poster can make $500 just by getting 50 people to purchase the item! For individuals with hundreds of thousands of subscribers/followers, this is fairly easy.


Lastly, paid shoutouts is certainly as simple as it seems. This is when an individual or a company pays for a mention on a more popular person’s social media. It may be something as small as one sentence but rates can go up to thousands of dollars just to provide a shout out!

Hopefully this article has helped you to realize that it’d be smart to take advantage of social media and use it to your advantage! There are tons of fun ways to make money and earn a living from the company of your own home.

Model Millionaires: Tyson Beckford



By Calynn M. Lawrence

Tyson Beckford is a true vet in the male modeling industry. Standing at 6 feet with a tone physique and beautifully ambiguous multiracial heritage, this former supermodel has changed the game for many. Especially those of color. As one of the most well known male supermodels he leads a great way for those seeking to follow in his path. That is why he was named this week’s Model Millionare.

Tyson was born to a mixed race family of Jamaican, Panamanian and Chinese heritage. He spent some of his child hood in Jamaica and some in The Bronx, New York. By the time he was a young adult, he was recruited to “The Source”, a hip hop magazine that worked to include only the top fashion models, by a talent scout, Jeff Jones in 1992. Jeff Jones has since been credited with discovering Beckford as he was the one who gave him his first break in the industry. Soon after, Beckford was contracted by Ralph Lauren as the starring model for the company’s Polo line of male sportswear.

With his career blowing up, he was deemed “Man of The Year” in 1995 by VH1. As well as being name one of the world’s most beautiful people by People magazine. He was also  ranked number 38 on VH1’s 40 Hottest Hotties of the ’90s.

Some of his television and film endeavours as a host and actor include the following: My Wife and Kids, Half & Half, Video on Trial, Make Me a Supermodel, Zoolander, Addicted and Hotel California. For music videos, he has done the following: “Anything” by SWV, “Breathe Again” and “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton, “Act a Fool” by Ludacris, “21 Questions” by 50 Cent, ” Toxic” by Britney Spears, “infinity” by Mariah Carey, “Go Hard” by DJ Khaled and “One More Chance” by The Notorious B.I.G.

With all of this success, he has amassed a net worth of over $14 million throughout his career. Obviously, he’s doing something right! A nice portion of his profits go towards charity as well. Some of the organizations that he stands by are the National RESPECT! Campaign against domestic violence, recording a voice message for the Giverespect.org Web site which speaks about the importance of respect for others. He is also an ambassador for the non-profit Kick4Life which is an organization that uses the power of soccer to engage vulnerable youth in holistic care and support in Africa. What an example to the future male models of this generation!

5 Lazy Girl Inspired Outfits For The Holiday Season



By Simi A Mira

We are coming up to the crazy frenzy of the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are all approaching fast. I’d hate to admit, I am a lazy girl at heart. I don’t always feel like spending hours constructing the perfect outfit or wardrobe. I want to get dressed quickly and feel comfortable while I’m out and about.

If you are anything like me, comfort comes first and style comes in at a close second. But sometimes, I am not too willing to compromise style for comfort– and strive to reach balance in both comfort and style. Here are five “Lazy Girl”holiday inspired looks for seasonal parties, winter casual wear, family gathering attire and just a bit of everything for the holiday season.

Winter Noir: Sleek All Black Street Attire

Sometimes we must wear black. Sometimes we must wear all black. This entirely black ensemble, minus the scarf, is the perfect winter street clothes. It pairs black pants with a black jacket, gorgeous black velvet heels, and the warmth of a knitted scarf giving you a slimming and sleek look while out strutting on the snowy streets of your downtown. It’s easy and simple as well as comfortable. Who said it was impossible to look fly and be comfy at the same time?

Lazy Comfy Winter Outfit: Grey Sweater and Pants With Black Shoes

This, my friends, is literally the most comfy outfit you can put on and still be considered publically acceptable. Pairing a grey sweater and sweat pants, you can’t get any more comfy than that. The black satchel and boots dresses up the outfit a bit to leave you feeling less guilty about feeling so good in this outfit. This attire would be great for lounging around the house with family or for Thanksgiving dinner, mostly because you can eat whatever you heart desires without unbuckling your belt loop. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Dress Up Your Fit With Embellished Beaded Blazer

Don’t feel guilty to totally dress down in a basic tee and jeggings because what will dress you back up is an embellished sweater or jacket and a fetching handbag to add a little something something to your basic wear. Simple, easy, and great for going shopping, meeting up with friends for drinks, or out at a get together Saturday night.

Pair A Neutral Sweater With Black Leggings And Bright Flats

Pair a neutral sweater with black leather leggings and bright pointed flats. Simple, lazy, comfy, and effective. Enjoy the cold weather, holiday parties and family get togethers in this super cozy fit. The flats add a pop of color to enhance and dress-up this rather cozy ensemble.

Perfect Lazy-Girl Holiday Party Wear

This fit counts as a double whammy: both comfy and perfect for Christmas or New Years parties. And guess what? You don’t have to compromise your comfort for this look. Pair a long sleeve shirt (any color that you desire) with a medium length ruffles skirt and strappy black heels. A dressed-up dressed-down paradox, but quite effective for keeping your comfort while still being fashionable while entertaining during the holidays.


Ban The Diet, Embrace Mindful Eating Instead



I used to be a dieter. A fad dieter too. It was like an addiction. It would give me some kind of high when I found out about a new one – because the hope of it bringing me thebody of my dreams made me so excited. Funny thing is – none of them ever gave me the results I wanted. Ever. And I tried them all.

But after 5 years of study and after years of healing myself – I started to become a mindful and intuitive eater. And truthfully I had enough. I kind of gave up and let it all go.  What for! And then – the results came. I treated food as a source of nourishment.  I viewed it in a totally different light. I stopped depriving myself.  I was kinder to myself. I celebrated food and ate it slowly and mindfully. I started feeling grateful for the food on my plate and the fact that my body was my temple – how lucky I am to have a body functioning so well for me.

Then everything changed. My relationship with food healed. And it’s not as easy as this. It’s taken years to heal this.





Quick Fix

Lifestyle & Forever

Cultural Pressure

Individual Approach



Food Is The Enemy

Food Is Nourishment

Restrictive Eating

Flexible with Food

Counting Calories

Nutrient Dense


Top tips to letting go of the diet mentality:

– Practice mindful eating – look at food. Literally look down on your plate and see the nutrients that help keep your body alive and well

– Throw away your diet books – just let it go

– Stop comparing yourself to your friends or family members – you are biochemically unique

– Be kind to yourself

– You have to build the foundation of love for yourself. Otherwise you wont treat yourself kindly. Do something everyday for YOU – even if that’s just 20 minutes of delicious tea in bed

– Practice affirmations


Jessica Sepel – JS Health

How To Attract What You Want In Life



By Jessica Sepel

As one year ends and another begins, many of us treat the new year as a time of reflection.

When contemplating the year thats past, many of us create New Years resolutions, hoping to help shape a happier and more accomplished year to come.

I would have to say one of the most important realisations I have had over the past few years is this….

You can have the life of your dreams – you just have to know you’re worthy of it.

Not only does every single person deserve their dream life, they can also help create it.


Through the power of visualisation.

Years ago when I began my healing process, The Gabriel Method made me realise that we manifest our thoughts physically, often without even realising.

The solution? Think positive, beautiful thoughts

It so important to visualise your dreams.

Every night before bed, I imagine myself living my dream life.

I believe I will manifest these thoughts into reality.

Striving for your dream body?

Visualise the body of your dreams each night before bedtime and say the affirmation, “my body loses weight with ease” as you do.

Visualisation rituals such as these not only help to keep you focused, they also create positive impressions on our subconscious.

As explored in previous posts, one simple but powerful technique I have used to create my dream life is through the construction of a vision board.

A vision board is a tool that manifests your dreams into reality by activating the Law of Attraction… and it really works!

It consists of a poster or foam board of cut-out pictures, drawings and phrases of the things that you want in your life, or the things that you want to become.

In fact, Oprah Winfrey and many other highly successful people have used this technique for generations!

I made a vision board about two years ago – placing phrases and pictures of things I wanted to achieve onto a black board. I kept it on my desk, so that everyday when I walked through my room I would glance at my goals and dreams. Now looking at it 2 years later, I can truly tell you that 80 or 90% of the things I placed on the board have become my reality!

So – how do you create your own vision board?

Take some time to sit quietly and think about what you want most out of 2015 – and life in general.

Start cutting out images and phrases of the things you love – and want to see in your future – onto the cardboard in any way, shape or form. You can be as creative as you desire! Then place it in a position where you will be able to view it each day.

I truly believe that visualising how your life could be is key to achieving our dreams. It is through the practice of visualisation that we can make positive impressions in our minds to help achieve our wildest dreams.

My advice for 2015?

Instead of living a life shaped by circumstance – live a life you created.


Website: jessicasepel.com

Instagram: @JSHealth


Daily Habits Of A Nutritionist Worth Copying



By Jessica Sepel – The Healthy Life

As a nutritionist, I’m asked every day about my daily habits – my non-negotiables – when it comes to health and wellness. Here are my top tips for nourishing your body and mind…

One coffee per day only.

Greens at every meal (steamed, sautéed, raw, cooked – you name it!)

8 hours of sleep.

20-30 minutes of no phone during the day – I go into complete stillness and solitude.

Legs up against the wall every night before bed for 10 minutes.

Phone off by 7:30/8pm.

Daily breathing or yoga practice.

Indulgence weekly – with moderation. I love to indulge but I have learnt to do this without the guilt and in small amounts – the key to balance.

Walk in nature.

Cooking most of my meals – but it is quick and easy food.

Start by adding just a few to your daily routine and see how you go – your body will thank you! xo

Models Giving Back – A Life Off The Runway



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

While theses bold beauties give 100% on the runway, at photo shoots and rush from fittings to interviews. with cell phone in tow; a couple of these vivacious women also give back. The following models are a couple of exemplary examples of women who give back to charity on their very limited time off. Anyone can learn from these women and learn to fit more charitable giving in their lives; whether it is the holiday season or not.

Hillary Rhoda

Hillary Rhoda loves children. This is apparent as she supports both New Yorkers For Children and Lollipop Theater. New Yorkers For Children offers resources for foster children to enable them to become successful adults. The organization offers school supplies, tutors and even scholarships. Lollipop Theater creates mini screenings and movie showings for children who cannot leave the hospital. These children cannot even enjoy the simple pleasure of attending a movie. Hillary Rhoda supports both of these charities, as they bring smiles to children’s faces during the holiday season.

Miranda Kerr 

Miranda Kerr also is involved with charities for children as she supports both Kid’s Helpline and Free The Children. Kid’s Helpline is Australia’s only national counseling service that supports children to young adults, ages 5 to 25, when they simply need someone to talk to. The Kid’s Helpline offers both online and telephone support. Free The Children is an International organization dedicated to children achieving their full potential and much, much more. They work domestically to educate youth an empower them to become active and positive global citizens.

Kyleigh Kuhn

Kyleigh Kuhn and her family founded Roots of Peace in 1997, an organization dedicated to removing land mines and training farmers to restore their fields. She believes in bringing food to the table and harvesting peace from the roots up and was particularly moved when they helped an Afghanistan farmer hold up a bunch a grapes larger than his head.

Lily Aldridge

Lily Aldridge is a strong supporter of St. Jude’s Research Hospital and Baby Buggy. As most people know, St. Jude’s Research Hospital is an incredible hospital that 100% funds the treatment of cancer in children. The hospital is also a wealth of support for the families as well – from housing to food to flights. Baby Buggie is an organization where you can donate baby gear, and in turn they donate to families in need. Lily Aldridge truly believes in giving back.

Liu Wen

Liu Wen supports both Simin Volunteer Rescue Team and American Red Cross. The Simin Volunteer Rescue Team is in the city of Ningbo China, and is a group primarily made up of volunteers who carry out aid missions whenever a disaster strikes the local region. Liu Wen has held fashion charity sales and has donated directly to the organization. She has also collaborated with the American Red Cross and Rag & Bone, to give typhoon relief from proceeds from holiday sales. Liu Wen believes everyone deserves to have a home over their heads.

Cant Touch This.



Retouching is common place in advertisements today. Retouching is even common in film nowadays, with people edited, cropped, lightened, and beautified to look like the ideal screen or advertising vision. Of course, a little cleaning up is to be expected, but there are cases where people in advertisements are rendered to the point where they don’t even look like themselves. While photoshop can do wonders for a photo, it should not turn into plastic surgery.

Too much retouching can actually be dangerous. People will literally kill themselves trying to look like an underwear or lingerie model they saw on a highway billboard ad, but those models don’t even look like that themselves. Sure, they are attractive, but no one is that flawless. Retouchers have a responsibility to the public, and it is vital they learn where to draw the line, otherwise the better photoshop gets the worst the average person’s self-esteem will become. Yes, fashion is about the fantasy, but when young girls are skipping meals because they want to look like Kate Moss in her latest swimsuit ad that poses a problem. Nicolas Potts has weighed in on some of his points of view about retouching.

Interview with Nicolas Potts

By Kristopher Fraser

How did you first get into retouching, and how long have you been doing it for?

My father got me into photography at an early age, I remember spending time with him at the developers studio and they would retouch by hand with paint brushes on the negs and prints. I loved the process. When I finished school I was accepted into a three year Digital Media Degree at the college of fine arts. I loved the technical aspects of digital arts melded with seemingly endless creative possibilities. Once I finished my degree in 2003 I moved to London managed to score a Jr. retouching position at Mario Testino’s studio. Following that I was offered a position in New York as Greg Kadel’s full time Retoucher for around 4 years and then went on to set up my company Can’t Touch This inc.

Who are your usual / past major clients?

Ive retouched for photographers such as Richard Burbridge, Greg Kadel, Mario Testino, Davis Sims, Annie Leibovitz, Pamela Hanson, Benny Horne, Dan Martensen, Greg Harris, Bjorn Iooss and others. Some of my recent Advertising clients include Hugo Boss, Guess, Reebok, Target, Lexus, Alexander Wang, Esprit, Shiseido, Givenchy, Bloomingdales, H&M and more. Magazine’s including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, V Magazine, New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire, Numero, GQ, W, Vanity Fair and more

Have you ever retouched someone you know very well and how do you feel when you see the final work?

Actually quite often we’re given images to retouch that have a friend or model that I know personally . I guess you could say all my friends are models.. Haha not really but it’s all the same to me working on people I know or not. It’s about making the image look as good as possible overall and its always fun to see the images placed in magazines or billboards.

What negative impacts do you think retouching  has on society, especially young women?

There’s no doubt the fashion and advertising industry can have a negative impact on girls body image but I believe this is coming from the industry as a whole and not the retouchers. Its coming from the designers, photographers and agents and the retouchers are sometimes pushed by these people to over shape and over retouch the images. My personal retouching style is to leave as many natural so called imperfections as I think seeing these things makes people connect with the image better.

Where do you generally draw the line with retouching?

I believe retouchers main job is to develop the image as a whole much like was done in the dark room, I believe color and contrast and lighting are much more important than retouching skin or shaping bums. There is a misconception that retouching is purely about making bodies and skin look better. To me that is only a small part of it and I don’t enjoy that part of retouching nearly as much as the creative aspect of working with a photographer to make a beautiful image. As far as ‘drawing the line’ Ive had to say no to a few jobs that I can see the client wants to go in a direction that doesn’t suit my style such as heavily retouched, fantasy type work often seen in asia.

Is this different to other retouchers, and who gets the final say on most of your jobs, the art directors, photographers, or you?

Thankfully most of my clients trust my opinion on the level of retouching being done in regards to skin and shaping. Although at the end of the day I am hired and payed by a client that has the final say on how they would like me to make the images look.

Have you ever had a falling out or argument with a client over the extent to which you have been asked to alter a photo?

No, I will generally always give the client what they are asking for, if I don’t like the direction they are taking me I will try to guide them away from it but they are in charge. If they want to do more work on the image than was originally estimated for then we simply re-quote for the additional work and everyone is happy.

Who do you think is the biggest force to blame for controversies in retouching?

I think controversies in retouching are sometimes overplayed. At the end of the day It’s the designers, photographers and agents telling the girls they need to starve them selves to a visibly unhealthy weight or they won’t have a career. This is where is starts and the retouching that is often done to celebrities and models is simply to emulate the aesthetic that is being set by the fashion and advertis ing industry and not the retouchers themselves.

People want the fantasy of fashion though, why is retouching perceived as so bad? Is it because people don’t understand it, or that it is so readily available to misuse?

I do think there is a misconception about retouching always being bad. Most of the time retouching is more about improving the look of the product that is being sold and if that involves removing any distracting human elements like pimples or arm hairs its often just a by-product of the process of making the product stand out. There are many things in society that can be misused, retouching is not a threat it’s just a tool that is available for us to expand our creative abilities.

Shouldn’t people realize that no real person looks like billboard ad though?

Yes, I think its fair to say that most people should realize billboards illustrate models that are not only genetically aesthetically gifted but further to that are enhanced through retouching also. I think most people do realize that most media from movies to fashion to advertising has gone through a post production process that alters and modifies reality.

Instagram is perceived as a relatively true to form self expression, what are your thoughts on people retouching personal Instagram images?

Instagram generally is a great format for people to take photos and post with nothing more than a color grade. Although there are some smartphone apps that people are using to ‘retouch’ themselves I personally find it extremely obvious when people use these apps and honestly I’m embarrassed for them.

What do you think of the efforts of designers like Rick Owens who are attempting to showcase women of different body types in their fashion shows?

I think its fantastic. Most men are not attracted to the wafer thin models that walk the runways . I find it ridiculous and irresponsible. Its like advertising smoking to kids, its unhealthy for the girls they encourage to be underweight and its unhealthy for the young girls that aspire to be underweight. I believe it will change eventually just like smoking is slowly becoming un-cool the emancipated fashion look will hopefully die away soon too.

How much room do you honestly think there is for “real” women in fashion?

I’m retouching a plus size lingerie campaign right now. There is a growing market of “real” sized fashion brands and as bodies are ever expanding in markets such as America there will be more and more of these brands accommodating them.

How successful do you think an unretouched cover of a magazine or advertisement would be, assuming it gained no attention for breaking away from retouching or putting the typical beautiful star on the cover?

Well I think this gets back to the misconception about retouching being purely cosmetic. If you used a completely raw image out of a digital camera its going to look pretty average. If you shot that same image on a film camera its going to have a degree of color and contrast which will look much better. Retouching has taken the place of the developer / printer and they play a huge role in the final ‘look’ of the image. The cosmetic retouching part is a much smaller part of the overall look of the image. If you go through magazines that were pre-retouching they still look great. So yes I think an un-retouched digital image would look pretty bad but as far as cosmetic imperfections I think people are happy to see them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people like me, enjoy seeing peoples unique make ups without deleting every mole and wrinkle.

Where do you think a movement to really change retouching standards will start? With the fashion magazines, with ads, or with more diverse body types being shown on runways?

I think the process for change is the same in every industry. Everything comes down to money in this world. When consumers stop voting by paying companies that promote poor body image like many of the major fashion houses and start supporting the brands that align with values they agree with, then the brands will change to chase the money.

Where do you think the fashion industry could be headed in the next ten years with the push for more diverse body types on the runway and less retouched photos?

I think retouching and body types will always remain diverse based on the fact that there is now so many media outlets and so many brands with varying aesthetics. Although I do hope fashion houses eventually go back to a more Marilyn Monroe type body shape.


Tumblr: Canttouchthis

Website: Can’t Touch This inc.