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Actress: I got compliments for looking emaciated
July 26th, 2011
11:26 AM ET

Actress: I got compliments for looking emaciated

Actress Rosario Dawson has some pointed words about expectations on women and their bodies.

"It's a form of violence in the way that we look at women and the way we expect them to look and be for what sake? Not for health, survival, not for enjoyment of life, but just so you could look pretty," Dawson told Shape Magazine. 

Dawson who appears on the August cover discussed industry-wide pressures to maintain an ideal body type.  After losing weight to play a drug addict dying of HIV/AIDS in the 2005 film "Rent," she was stunned to hear compliments about her  figure. “I remember everyone asking what did you do to get so thin? You looked great,” Dawson recalled. “I looked emaciated.”

Her video with Shape is here.

The controversies surrounding the pressure to be too thin and constant airbrushing of photos are nothing new.

“I’m constantly telling girls all the time everything is airbrushed, everything is retouched to the point it’s not even asked,” she told the magazine.  “None of us look like that."

In the competitive world of magazine covers, skin is nipped, blemishes erased and waist trimmed.  Photoshopping models and celebrities for ultra svelte bodies became a huge topic in France in 2009 when a politician proposed a law that require altered advertisement photographs to carry a label.

This year, the American Medical Association adopted a policy during its annual meeting warning that photo alteration of models’ bodies “can contribute to unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image – especially among impressionable children and adolescents.

“A large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems,” according to the AMA.

The group called on advertising associations to discourage altering photos that could promote unrealistic expectations of body image.

Glossy fashion magazines to even health and fitness publications routinely retouch photographs.  Is it contradictory that fitness magazines that preach healthy lifestyle retouch their models or celebrities’ photos to look skinnier?

Follow @CNNHealth on Twitter


soundoff (525 Responses)
  1. Bubbles

    I think that a disclaimer on retouched photographs is a really good idea. There are so many young women that starve themselves to try to look like what they see in these magazines, thinking that what they are looking at is a realistic goal, when in reality, that model doesn't even look exactly like that. If they want to photoshop an image, fine, but at least be honest about it.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Yes, but there are also 20% of girls that are unhealthy and overweight. We should not hate on skinny people.

      July 26, 2011 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Paul Ronco

      It's an excellent idea. We have a right to know when a corporation or government fundamentally alters reality so as to make it appear real, especially when it is for no higher purpose than to secure private gain.

      July 26, 2011 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      Bubbles, I agree! Chris, you are stupid. Read the article before you comment.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Brandy

      Chris, no one's hating on skinny people. What a silly remark. Your statement had about as much relevence to this article as the price of eggs in China. Did you even read the article?

      I agree with you 100% percent, Bubbles. It should absolutely be noted when a person's photograph has been altered. I think people in the public eye, like Rosario Dawson, should be commended for speaking out about this issue. I remember years ago seeing an interview with Cindy Crawford and some of her fellow models. She asked the other women if they felt guilty when a young girl tells her, "You're so beautiful. I wish I looked like you.", knowing that you've sat in a chair for 4 hours having your hair and makeup perfected. Cindy said she felt guilty. Linda Evangelista said she didn't. I think of that everytime I see that particular model.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
    • ol cranky

      the obesity rate has increased as the acceptable size for women (and overdone photoshopping) has increased. i have a feeling that's more than correlation

      it's quite possible that many overweight women and girls become even more overweight because they can not even begin to come close to reaching the unrealistic ideal of our current culture. that leads to yo-yo dieting (because you can very quickly gain a heck of a lot after you stop your diet out of frustration) which leads to obesity

      July 27, 2011 at 06:20 | Report abuse |
    • Bubbles

      I am in no way hating on skinny people. I am thin, not skin and bones thins, but very healthy thin. If I was a model and they took my picture for a magazine, then shaved off 10 inches from my waist, a few from my thighs, and altered other things, I would want people to know that isn't what I look like in reality. Some of the photoshops are really obvious, but others are done so well that it can be hard to decipher reality from art, if you will.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:48 | Report abuse |
  2. iamthefredman

    I second that. No one under 120 lbs. should ever be allowed to be professionally photographed for an advertisement for anything.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michelle

      What if the 115 pound woman is five-foot-nothing?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      That is such an ignorant comment. I am under 120 (currently 113), 5'6.5", work a desk job and can eat twelve donuts in a single day if you leave them at my desk. I would like to exercise more, but for fitness not weight. There are lots of healthy women under 120lb, so why shouldn't pictures of them be published?

      July 26, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • NicoleS

      Under 120 pounds? I'm 112 and healthy with no eating disorder as are many people that are under your suggested weight limit...

      July 26, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Are you nuts? Plenty of women weigh under 120lbs and are perfectly healthy.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      @Elizabeth If you're over 5'6 and weigh under 113 you are severely underweight and your doctor should be telling you so. You should get your thyroid checked. You are doing damage to your body every day.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:19 | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      Most models who are professionally photographed are 5'8" and above. 120 is a fairly light weight for 5'8".

      July 26, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      Fredman, Please tell everyone you were being sarcastic with your comment about "nobody under 120 lbs should ever be allowed to be photographed"! If you weren't kidding or being sarcastic, get a life. People come in all shapes and sizes. I thought by the 21st century, people would realize this. To the women who are bragging that they are 5'6" and weigh less than 115 lbs, I am not impressed. I am only 5'2" and weigh a little more than this but did weigh less than 100 lbs after boot camp. However, since I do not eat crappy food, get yelled at, run and do other exercise in 100 degree heat, I am not a 99 lb dynamo anymore. This does not mean I shouldn't be allowed in front of a camera.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Drome

      oh my god you're so dumb. cant you see from the outrage of small women that you're so dumb? i'm freaking out. i put a donut on my face and ran into the wall because of you. its so crazy in my mind right now because i'm 119 lbs and i should go in the hole outside by the garbage can and live there until i'm fatter. i'm feeling like helium when i should be more like polonium.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
    • D

      I think it's a matter of opinion maybe. Perhaps all body types should be displayed to show that we all come in different shapes and sizes. For example I am 5'7" and I weigh 140-145lbs. If I told you that at face value you make think that I am fat. Well, truth is I am a size 4 and I run every day practically. But it can be disheartening when a magazine has an article on someone you admire and they tell you they are like 5'7" and 115 or 120 lbs – please don't get me wrong everyone's different but I hope this wouldn't be the only standard to "measure" up to, you know?

      July 26, 2011 at 19:35 | Report abuse |
    • Tessa

      @Krista: My set point is like 117. I'm six foot nothing and I deviate maybe one or two pounds from my set point at any given time. I don't even own a scale. I can't put on weight despite eating three large meals a day plus snacks, and it's been this way since I was 15. I'm not concerned about it; I've even had my thyroid checked several times and I'm completely normal. I think it's a little rude to make sweeping generalizations when there are plenty of healthy (though technically underweight) ladies out there. Which is not to say that only skinny people ought to be models... any girl who is a stick figure like me covets a little curviness! I just think there's a natural weight for all of us given healthy eating habits and average exercise, and that should be our bigger concern.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • idnar

      @krista – get real. You think she is doing serious damage to her body because she is MAYBE 3-5# underweight, and may not be underweight at all if she has a small frame? I doubt it. Better go check those BMI tables again... don't hate on skinny people.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • busy mom

      im 5'5. 110 punds. i dont work out regularly but i do when i have the chance. i eat a lot. constantly. because i have a very high metabolism (my doctor even checked it). what you said is very ignorant and you should read up on information before you say things like that. just because someone weighs a certain amount doesnt mean they cant be photoshopped. hell why dont we stop photoshopping all together?

      July 26, 2011 at 23:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      @Krista, I'm "underweight" by today's medical standards also. I've carried and given birth to an average size baby and completed a triathlon. I eat very well and quite a lot. The women on my mom's side of the family have similar body types. Clearly, that is normal weight for my body. My doctor is not concerned about me being a few pounds under the average because he says 80% of his patients have obesity related diseases and he would rather me be a few pounds underweight than overweight. It's amazing how if someone is a few pounds under the average they must be unhealthy but if someone is a few pounds overweight that's just their body type or genetics.

      July 27, 2011 at 07:00 | Report abuse |
    • daryx

      Well that was pretty stupid.

      July 27, 2011 at 08:06 | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      I think its better to go with a different question. Regardless of your combined height and weight, let's ask the following questions? Do you look like a skeleton? At normal stance, can I see your ribs (Is counting them a possibility)? Can I see your hipbone? Sunken cheeks? If the answer to these questions are yes...you are at an unhealthy weight, period. If not, enjoy your biscuit.

      July 27, 2011 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
    • Bubbles

      Thank you biohzrd. I was wondering when someone was going to bring up that numbers have very little to do with actual health. I was an anorexic teenager. I was 5'8" and my goal was to be 104 lb. I remember the number. I think about that now, and it was crazy. I was very sick. People need to stop focusing on the number and focus on what actually looks and feels healthy. A 15" waist does not look healthy to me.

      July 27, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Donny

      ahhhhhh the advertising nazis have made themselves known. There are those of us with smaller body types who are sick and tired of being accused of being drug addicts, aids patients and anorexics. Seems to me people of size are more bigoted than anyone else out there and they are the ones causing the stink...and I am not talking about the stench from the folds of their fat.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
  3. CR

    @Fredman: Really? Even children? What about people who are advertising foot lotion or teeth whiteners? It shouldn't matter what their scale reads.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OfReason

      Seriously, nobody wants to look at sausage fingers or hammer toes either

      July 26, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
  4. Martinique

    As I walk around downtown I see all these young women who have not had a decent meal in years. They are so very thin. When I was growing up we would tease these women about being too skinny. This cannot be good for them.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Susan

      Oddly, it actually probably is good for them, if they are restricting to a very low calorie diet. They are doing longevity studies around that stuff. Not a terribly comfortable way to live, though.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • Trazey

      I know what you mean, those terribly thin girls with a certain look where you just KNOW they haven't eaten a hot meal in years. Thin as relates to longevity means thinness due to deliberate calorie restriction but still paying close attention to nutrition. The girls I'm talking about live on Skittles & coffee

      July 26, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Nothing is healthy about being too thin. Not only does it not LOOK good, there is nothing healthy about it. Longevity studies mean nothing if your calcium is leached from your bones and your organs have to compete for what little nutrients the woman decides to take in. And if you don't have enough fat to keep you warm, your body will trigger extra hair growth to do that job and that hair does not just grow on your scalp. Being chronically underweight changes your hormone levels too, which will affect your entire body, including your heart, thyroid, brain, pancreas, and your reproductive organs. I repeat – there is NOTHING healthy about being too thin.

      July 26, 2011 at 14:26 | Report abuse |
    • skinnygirl

      Don't judge a book by the cover. Not every skinny girl has an eating disorder and no one likes to be picked on for their weight. I've been told many times to eat more and growing up I ate more than most of my friends. for some, skinny is natural and it can also be a non mental disease like an adrenal issue. Don't make assumptions about how a thin persons stays that way. I would purposely not go to the restroom after a meal in a restaurant because I felt like everyone thought I was going to purge.

      July 26, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • PrincessBride

      @skinnygirl – I can totally relate. Through high school, college, and for a few years beyond, I was 5'6" and about 110 lbs. I constantly had people asking me if I was anorexic (and how many true anorexics answer YES to that question?). I ate as much as I wanted and never gained weight. When I was stressed I would lose weight. It was just the way my metabolism worked. Fast forward a couple of kids and a few years, and now I'm no longer scary skinny thankfully. But I got so tired of people constantly trying to feed me. I didn't like being extremely skinny – I was always self-conscious about my hipbones and collar bones sticking out – but during that point in my life my body just wasn't going to gain weight.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Susan, those longevity studies are done in adult mice and rats not adolescent humans. Low calorie diets may help mice but there is no study to date that attributes low calorie diets to health or longevity in humans.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • seattlemary

      Susan,

      Your absolutely wrong, a new study has shown that underweight individuals tend to have a shorter life expectancy then those who are slightly overweight (I'm premed so I'm actually dorky enough to read studies). Now on purely anecdotal evidence that I've gathered it appears to me that those that are underweight seem to have lower energy levels, their emotional health is lower then average weighted/slightly overweight people, and their immune systems are weakened. Of course my statements are based on correlation studies, so while I'm sure that there are plenty of people that will protest these findings, I think there is a truth to them.

      July 26, 2011 at 21:00 | Report abuse |
    • daryx

      Neither is teasing them.

      July 27, 2011 at 08:07 | Report abuse |
  5. Michelle

    It is completely contradictory for these "fitness" magazine to alter people's bodies or images for press. It is also damaging for young women to see people on the covers of "fitness" magazines that are less than stellar role models – ones with known poor eating/lifestyle habits that keep them "fit".

    July 26, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • linda

      absolutely agree!

      July 26, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • Deadliftmcgee

      Most folks in "fitness" mags aren't fit, they are skinny, but by no means fit. Fit people have muscles, can run/bike/swim easily for miles, have good conditioning. Skinny people, specifically those who achieve their weigh loss through starving themselves, have no conditioning, no muscle mass, are "skinny-fat", and are as far from fit as most obese people. There needs to be a shift from being merely skinny to truly being fit.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • HealthyNotSkinny

      Shape magazine is one of the few fitness magazines that do not airbrush their models on the front. I thank them for that.

      July 26, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • Tracy

      I couldn't agree more.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:19 | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      You make a good point, since I never even considered fitness magazines in this. I don't really see anything in GNC that I would consider making part of a diet.

      July 27, 2011 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
  6. ficklemookie

    A better law would be to outlaw the "touching up" of any photo that was alter the look of the subject. It's one thing to touch up because maybe the lighting wasn't quite right or there was something in the background that wasn't supposed to be there.. or a flyaway strand of hair or something.. But touching up should be absolutley minimal.. Any touching up that would actually alter the overall appearance (teeth whiter, eyes larger, waist line slimmer, boobs bigger etc.) should just be illegal!

    July 26, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MoodyMoody

      I could see a labeling requirement for commercial pictures, but you aren't going to be able to outlaw photoshopping altogether in the USA: free speech and all that.

      July 26, 2011 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  7. rose

    Agreed, absolutism is the foundation of intolerance. Base it on BMI instead.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • turbofire amie

      BMI is a very imperfect measure of health and fitness because it does not take lean muscle mass vs. fat into account....

      July 26, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
  8. Guino

    I have the answer!!! Prescribe medical marijuana to all young ladies! 🙂 LOL! The munchies will cure that anorexic look.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TRACK

      You're so smart, love that idea!...TRACK

      July 26, 2011 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
  9. bachmanntwit

    Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann, has a falsetto voice and yet he bashes gays.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tekstep1

      HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • LARRYHOOVER

      OUTTA LEFTFIELD

      July 26, 2011 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  10. RoseM

    Utlimately, I wouldn't want my young nieces to view unrealistic images, ones that have been altered. But, it trying to nail down some kind of policy, I feel like it's a slippery slope when it comes to altering images. Where do you draw the line? Who is going to police this? What are the punishments to prevent it from happening? We clearly can't rely on magazines to police themselves. If a "fitness" magazine retouches an image to alter the shape of the model, it should be noted with a disclaimer in much the same way that some make-up ads are carrying disclaimers (I'm thining of the ones for making longer lashes where it's noted that the model had lashes added). If they're removing a pimple, reducing the shine on a cheekbone, or erasing a flyaway hair, I don't have a problem with it. But, this is where the line drawing gets complicated...if you're altering the model's cheekbone by removing shine, does that technically change her color? You know lawyers are going to have a field day finding loopholes. I stopped buying fitness magazines because they make me feel bad about myself. That to me is the ultimate test, and the ultimate punishment. Lower sales are probably the only way to get their attention.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. CNN is a contributor

    How funny for an article on CNN to rail against image alteration when those "shocking muscles" advertisements on here use OBVIOUSLY photoshopped pictures. It isn't just women who are bombarded with phony images of the human body.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. James Sullivan

    Here's an idea: how about if young women read books instead of stupid fashion magazines? The fact of the matter is that the ignorance of young women is a far greater threat to their well-being than the airbrushing of photos.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • OfReason

      So true

      July 26, 2011 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • julielulee

      And never leave the house where they might see billboards or go online where the ads are endless or get the mail that probably contains some junk mail...

      July 26, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • Sharon O

      I stopped buying fashion magazines years ago. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
    • Lane

      Seriously, there are hardly any words in those magazines. They are essentially picture books for young adult women.

      July 26, 2011 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
  13. Logic

    It is NOT a form of violence. If you ever were a victim of violence you would not be making that comparison.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. George B

    Man that woman is smart... At least for me, "smart" and "heart" are the two most attractive qualities in a person.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Sy2502

    I agree with Rosario Dawson that unhealthy expectations of female beauty are a form of violence against women. The worst part of it is that most often than not, we do it to ourselves. It's a form of violence that is born out of self loathing, because as women we are taught to never accept us as we are. We always need makeup and diet, hair color and fake tans. Every ad for women's products are aimed to tell women "You are ugly the way you are. You need to change yourself or you are nothing".

    July 26, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trazey

      It is a form of violence, and worse, such a colossal waste of time. Sitting around the lunch room with 6 women, it's ALWAYS the same conversation "oh I shouldn't" and calorie discussions. You can be sure 6 MEN sitting around are talking about how to take over the world, not if their legs look fat

      July 26, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • TT

      It's a little more complicated than that. There is an obesity problem in this country. With so many overweight and unhealthy people, discussions about health and calories and smart eating NEED to be adressed. I don't find these conversations to be unhealthy. We all need to encourage each other to take better care of ourselves. That being said, I actually think the obesity problem is connected, in some ways, to the unrealistic images we see every day. It's hard to try and improve yourself when you know you will never look like that.

      This being said, weight should always be about health, not vanity. People are beautiful in all shapes and sizes.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  16. Rebecka

    It IS a form of violence. Violence is not just physical for your information.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Rebecka

    It IS a form of violence. Violence isn't just physical for your information.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AIZEN

    as long as you are not fat or too skinny, you are ok in my book...i dont like fat people or skinny people...just wrong...unhealthy people make you question if they value their lives. and i hate those people who says im fat and proud etc...that is just wrong in every sense of the word...extrem skinny people dont say it cus they kow it is wrong...be healthy and watch your weight...be balanced..not at the end of the extrems.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trazey

      Why waste your time and energy hating people at either end of the spectrum? Live and let live, who cares what they do? I couldn't be bothered to let the life choices of other people affect me one way or the other

      July 26, 2011 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      Disliking someone because of their body size is rude and just plain wrong. You have no idea Why that person is over or under weight. One little hormone gets off balance and it can make someone obese, or too thin, and some of the imbalances like PCOS are extremely hard to treat. Educate yourself, unless you just enjoy looking down on other people.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  19. Elizabeth

    I picked up a Self issue once where they had an actress (forget who now) spouting her "weight-loss secret" of the week. Self had copy in the article that read, "At 5'5 and a healthy weight of 110..." How is that healthy weight according to the standard height-weight chart?? It's not just the images, but the copy itself! This is a magazine that's supposed to profess health! Last time I ever even glanced at that magazine.

    July 26, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      I am 5'5" so I know this. It IS at the low end of the healthy RANGE. Hell, I was 98 pounds the first three years of high school at that height and, yeah, a little underweight but STILL healthy. I have a small frame though.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • idnar

      So do you think being a couple pounds overweight (as so many people are) is considered extremely unhealthy? NO? Right... so being a little underweight isn't exactly a problem either. 110 and 5'5" is reasonable for a small-framed woman, particularly if she is athletic. Don't let jealousy cloud your perspective.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  20. goobernut

    Poor clones wth low self esteem, be happy with who you are and how you look and don't let anyone define you. If they don't like how you look then they're comments are not worth the thought process or evaluation. It's the clone theory, we all have to look a certain way, talk a certain way, think a certain way. From the Disney star and singer clone factories, to the lastest foot wear. What's hot and what's not. Start'em off young and impressionable and get inside that pretty little heads while mommy and daddy are off making a buck. Trot out the clones on the red carpets of movie premiers and the Oscar awards and tell'em, "This is the model of perfection!" Now clone yourself!

    July 26, 2011 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. frederic

    While I completely agree that our culture has gotten way out of hand with the "ideal" image of women and is completely unrealistic, stating that it's a form of violence is absurd. It is an over statement. Who the @#@!* cares what everyone says your body is supposed to look like. It is up to the individual woman to be smarter than the media. I find my 4'10" wife to be the most attractive woman I have ever laid eyes on and the media's view of what a woman should look like plays no role in how I view my wife. So for God's sake wake up, look at yourself, and say I am fine the way I am. I am a man who is skinny and scrawny and Hollywood says I should be muscular and flawless, but I don't care. I am who I am. So women accept who you are and suck it up.

    July 26, 2011 at 14:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Actually, in Hollywood, men are allowed to be overweight, especially actors in comedies.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  22. Steve

    Whoever told Rosario that she looked good emaciated lied. They lied because they actually thought she looked good. If women would shutup for a moment and listen to what men like they would realize that we don't want the skinny...we want the healthy and if that comes with larger curves so be it. How big is too big? From a male standpoint the tummy should be flat and there should only be one chin. Achieve this and you are golden. Just remember ladies, your girlfriends will always lie to you.

    July 26, 2011 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Honestly, I don't give a crap about what you think.

      Ladies, take care of yourselves and stop caring about what other people think! There is only a certain amount of it under our control anyway. And I say this as someone with a flat stomach!!!

      July 26, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
    • Krista

      The tummy should be flat? Very few women have 'flat' tummies. If that's your criteria then you are also pushing women towards mostly unrealistic goals. Flat... geez... women carry babies down there. We have hips. A curve is not unusual even in thin women.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse |
  23. dragonwife

    I do agree that Photoshopping has gotten way out of hand. So many celebrities (male and female) have their looks altered so much that you probably wouldn't know who they were if they passed you on the street. And why should girls grow up being bombarded with messages that "unless you're thin, have flawless skin, pearly white teeth, perfect hair and makeup, you're ugly"? I agree it's not just girls – of course boys are supposed to be muscular, have 6-pack abs, be "macho", etc. – but the fashion industry and society in general are much harder on women than men when it comes to physical appearance. With few exceptions, women can't have grey hair (it makes men look "distinguished" but women look "old"). And when was the last time you saw a bumper sticker or online post saying "no pot bellies" (the "no fat chicks" one comes up a lot)? Certainly, no one of either gender should be grossly overweight, but there's a big difference between someone who's fat because he/she eats poorly and doesn't exercise, and someone who tries to eat moderately and well, exercises regularly and is health-conscious, but is still overweight because of a medical condition or genetics. But the whole idea of altering photos to try to create an unreal ideal is wrong, especially when that altered photo is used to try to make people feel unworthy or flawed in order to sell a product or service (tooth-whitening kit, makeup, hair implants, fitness equipment, etc.).

    July 26, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Beavis Comeavis

    I think requiring a disclaimer is an interesting idea. I would find it interesting to look and see which photos are real (none) and which are modified (all). However, you know that it would be shown in extremely fine print (as small as legally allowed), and no one ever reads fine print on that stuff... so I think the whole point of this campaign will actually end up missing it's intended target. So while I would find it interesting... perhaps amusing, I think it will end up being pointless.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      They can regulate the size of the print, too.

      July 26, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  25. bristol palin...the dancing porker

    I'd like another plate of bacon smothered in beef fat, please.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Meagan

    I believe that all magazines aimed toward teens and young children should NOT be allowed to alter their photos whatsoever. Like seventeen magazine claims to embrace body image of teen girls...yet they still alter all photos and have super tiny models and when they have a picture of an average sized person as "curvy" its no wonder so many people hate their bodies.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Fashnlvr

    While I don't agree with the unrealistic body images portrayed in the media, I also don't agree with laws restricting the press. Here in the US, we have a Bill of Rights and one of those rights is "Freedom of the Press." I am not up for supporting laws or amendments that tamper with our Bill of Rights. Our freedoms are hard-won and we should not be so blithely ready to set them aside.
    Parents have a responsibility to raise children with the proper values and ideals. Mothers, be the role models for your daughters and maintain your own healthy weight and body image. This will go a long way towards preventing the "self-hate" so many women/girls experience. I have a teenage daughter who looks at fashion magazines yet is aware that the images are not unaltered and she also is entirely comfortable with her own body at a healthy weight.
    Let's not overly regulate the media before we regulate ourselves.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. JudyFace

    I'm 5'6" and average about 127 lbs. Women, all women, need to have confidence in themselves and their bodies however, 'requiring' disclaimers is ridiculous! This is not a nanny state (or at least it shouldn't be), take responsiblilty for your own mental health and body image and that of your childrens!! Don't expect some overarching governing body to do it for you.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. SkinnyCat

    I dislike making this statement, but skinny is so much better. After years of being heavy (up to size 14) I am now, at 5'6" weighing in at around 117, which makes me pretty skinny (somewhere between a 0-2). I cannot begin to tell you that I get more positive attention being skinny, than I ever did being heavy. I gave up all fast food, processed foods and meat about 5 years ago – I don't regret it at all. What I do find interesting is that some people feel it necessary to point out your size whether you are overweight or underweight.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Krista

      You're skinny but you're not healthy. Skinny isn't 'better'. Healthy is. What you remarked on is the cultural bias that drives women to be too thing because they get positive reinforcement for actually hurting themselves. Sad.

      July 26, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • SkinnyCat2

      Hey Skinny Cat, I am with you. Last year I started exercising and watching what I eat. I dropped a bunch of weight (slowly). I am now a size 2, 5.5" and 49 years old. By the last time I measured, my body fat was 20.6% wich is excellent for my age. I have a lot of energy and mybody does not hurt anymore....I do not regret. Do not see anything wrong with size 2....

      July 26, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • idnar

      Krista – you are the one who is sad! How do you know she isn't healthy? She is the same height/weight as me when I am in marathon training. I run marathons and triathlons. My cholesterol is 138. BP is perfect. I eat good food, just like she does. I have TONS of energy. Check a BMI chart – it is in the healthy range. Stop hating on the skinny people!

      July 26, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse |
  30. R

    Look at Emma Stone on the cover of the current Vanity Fair. So photoshopped she looks like a video game rendition of a human being of the female gender.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ted

    If she weighed 140 pounds and somone told she looked fat she would resent that too.Like so many women that "think" they are beautiful she loves the compliments but can't take honesty.Real beauty comes from within a woman.A "REALLY" beautiful woman does not have to be told that she is every day by everyone she talks to.

    July 26, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Chris

    Hey, I was at 120 pounds for YEARS and was trying to gain weight, because I was also 6 ft. tall and looked like I just got out of a war camp. I weigh 160 now–yay! Skinny Cat, size 14 isn't fat, not if you're 5' 6", you need to get it into your head that skinny is UGLY. If all you're looking for is 'more postive attention' because you're skinny, that's really sad...

    July 26, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • idnar

      Sorry Chris, size 14 is fat for most 5'6" women. My Doc highly recommended I lose weight when I was a size 14 as I was starting to develop metabolic syndrome. I lost 50# and feel AWESOME!! I'm a size 2 now and love my new healthy and fit body. Suck on that!

      July 26, 2011 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Shrinking Violet

      Chris, I think you've crossed a line. A size 14 at 5'6 isn't bad, definitely not obese, but would not be in a "healthy" weight range regardless of frame. Yes, it is overweight, if only a little. But to tell her she's too skinny and "unhealthy" at 117 is absurd without all the facts. Does she have a small frame? Then 117 is probably her ideal weight. And if she's eating well and keeping fit, then she's definitely healthier than most women. I don't like the skinny, emaciated look, but there's a big difference between women with a small frame who are naturally thin and women who force themselves to be thinner than they should be because they think it's attractive. And yes, you can tell the difference by looking at them.

      July 26, 2011 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      I'm 5'11", and when I was a size 14, my BMI was in the overweight category, so Chris you are wrong.
      I'm a healthy size 10 now, and my BMI is normal.

      Some people are naturally skinny. Can't hate on them for that. But, just because you are skinny does not mean you are healthy, or that it's attractive. It just means you have a high metabolism. Now put down that cheeseburger before you go and clog your arteries and die at 55 as a skinny person. 😉

      July 27, 2011 at 04:05 | Report abuse |
  33. heather

    well i am all for it. some women really do look like that and it would be nice to see them get alot more work. and while we are at it, how about we stop telling women that look like joe montana that they are beautiful because as they get older it becauses really apparent that they are not and causes major emotional problems. making less then perfect people look and feel beautiful is a market ploy to up their vainty and their spending. anytime you basically lie to someone to up their self esteem, the point were the truth becomes known is damaging to them. airbrushing the photos makes average girls think they could be hot if they tried harder, spent more. it is not different then blowing up someone's ego to make them feel better because the end result is the same. they don't feel better, they just feel pressured to live up to an ideal that was not factual. it is not just the media. it is the emotional manipulation that childen are raised on these days. they need to rethink the whole idea of self esteem and not blame it on the advertising that is just taking advantage of what they are being taught at home.

    July 26, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. laurie209

    Thank you Rosario Dawson for being so up front about this. Too many girls are starving themselves to look like a model who has been nipped and tucked by touch up artists. You are right. Nobody looks like that in real life but youg girls and not so young girls have not received the message. I was sick one time and skinny as could be. I felt horrible. I couldn't believe it when a doctor told me that I looked great. He hadn't seen the bones protuding all over my body. If he had, I wonder if he would have thought twice about making this remark. I gained the wieght back and am now heavier than the charts say I should be, but oh, I feel so much better.

    July 26, 2011 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. imabitodd

    This is why I only watch no budget adult films. They don't have an air brushing budget.

    July 26, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mike

    I just don't like women with gunts.

    July 26, 2011 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. babybear

    Parents should encourage healthy eating habits and boost kid's self-esteem. It's not easy, but keep at it.

    July 26, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. woodie

    Most women I see are overweight. I do not see the effects of this skinny problem in the general population. I think it's a Hollywood problem. And a problem with specific women with marginal emotional issues. This actress can be as fat as she wants. Nobody is stopping her but herself.

    July 26, 2011 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brandy

      The operative word is 'woman'. It's young girls and children, who're celebrity obsessed anyone, that are being negatively impacted these false images. P.S. Rosario Dawson isn't even close to being fat. Your comment is part of the problem.

      July 26, 2011 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
    • drumer12b

      dude, the minute she gets fat, her career takes a nose dive.....so yeah, she's gonna do whatever it takes to stay looking like the Hollywood role model.....she also, is under pressure to look that way because of the younger girls that will come up behind her with their fresh, thin, perfect looks.......Hollywood will then move onto them and drop her like a hot potato in the event she puts on a few pounds..........

      July 27, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse |
  39. E

    Photographs have been retouched since the beginning of photography. I am all for adding labels, but I don't think it will change anything.

    July 26, 2011 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Satirev

    Going by the men Rosario Dawson has dated she exemplifies the blatant double standard women hold against men. In one breath she will exclaim that it's so unfair that women can't gain excessive weight and still be pretty, and that this so because men are "brainwashed" by the media. In the next breath she will give you a lengthy, detailed list of why any man less than average height is very unattractive, and the explanation for this is evolution. The evolution explanation makes it perfectly ok to judge men by a single genetic quality because it's just nature. But the media explanation turns women into victims so it's unfair to judge women for a physical quality that can be modified through behavior.

    July 26, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Kae

    The sad part about this article and these comments is how vain people in our society are. I have suffered from anorexia for over 12 years(I'm 25 now) and I can assure you the anorexia had nothing to do with the latest celebrity on the cover of some magazine. Whether someone is skinny or overweight does not define a person period-let's look beyond the superficial parts of life and move on. It's sad reading these comments about what too skinny and too fat is..and what really sickens me is when woman aon here are gloating about how fantastic skinny is because of the attention they get. Are you kidding me? Is this what we have come to? Get over yourselves and please gain some self esteem while your at it

    July 26, 2011 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Cory

    I agree a disclaimer needs to be added. Its not being skinny thats bad, its the "turning everything fake" thing thats bad. Because now we got young people who want to look like something that came from a photoshop program. And yes these people that work with the modelling industry, tend to hire rail thin...things...They look sickly 9 times out of 10. There is such thing as being "too skinny" as well as being overwieght. The health problems are very similar for both extremes.

    But in this case, its telling the difference between fake and real. And when you tend to go for something thats fake, you'll spend your whole life in disappointment and even physically/ emotionally hurting yourself trying to accomplish it.

    July 26, 2011 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Johnny

    Easy to say when you are pretty. = \

    I'd like to hear this from someone who isn't famous, gorgeous and skinny.

    July 26, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. peacebeme

    Totally contradictory for fitness magazines to airbrush!

    Also, always remember that a healthy weight is based on height. 120 might be underweight for one height and not for another.

    July 26, 2011 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Dan

    Good for Ms. Dawson...any real man knows that truly beautiful women have curves and shape; not ribs and shoulder blades.

    July 26, 2011 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. LE9023

    As a society we need to be much more aware of the way we treat people of all weights and sizes. I'm 5'7" and weigh 108lbs. Obviously just looking at BMI I would be considered underweight, but according to my doctor I'm healthy and fit because of my lifestyle. I've never been able to put on a pound, I eat extremely healthy (and a ton) all day long, have a job that keeps me moving throughout the day, and am training for a marathon, while participating in a ton more activities that I love and keep me active. I can tell you as someone who has always been thin, that ignorant and rude comments towards women who are naturally thin, hurt just as much as the mean comments aimed at overweight women. Why can't we all just treat one another with a little compassion and respect?

    July 27, 2011 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. sdmompq

    I absolutely agree that any advertisment, print or tv, should be noted as airbrushed/photoshopped. I have a 14 y/o daughter who took those magazines to heart and now can't stop seeing imperfections in her reflection even though she is beautiful. She has recently been diganosed with anorexia and bulemia and self harm all because she can't figure out how to look as "perfect" as those girls in magazines and on tv. It has been heart-wrenching for both her father and I to watch her struggle with acceptance of herself. These advertisers make me soo mad! I have stopped purchasing any magazine with photoshopped models which means I don't not buy magazines. I have stopped purchasing products that have models who are too skinny and are photoshopped. This has been a difficult one because most clothing has ads so we try to go to small boutiques with local products. We as consumers should get loud and DEMAND CHANGE. Think also of those models – most have eating disorders so that they can continue to be under-weight in order to continue working. Nobody is perfect and we need to get this out of our heads.

    July 27, 2011 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Dana

    @Elizabeth's BMI is 18.6. It needs to be at least 18.5 to be considered normal weight, so her weight is normal (barely).
    But, Elizabeth, do you really eat a box of donuts? That isn't healthy at all.
    Load up on fruits and veggies instead.

    July 27, 2011 at 03:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. drumer12b

    I agree that a disclaimer should be put on all photos. No question about that. I'm sure there are too many women in society today, that feel the pressure of HAVING to look perfect becaue the way this country advertises the "American woman". My wife being one of them. However, one question to all of you women that are writing in about their thin size. Do any of you have, or ever had, kids?? Ya know, it is an advantage of staying thin at any age when you also haven't had any kids. I know women's metabolism slows a lot as they get older, but this is still an advantage over women who have had kids and is a bit easier to accomplish..........

    July 27, 2011 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. JackTaraz

    Rosario WHO?

    This is yet another Actress looking for some attention.

    There are millions of obese woman. Much more that ultra skinny woman.

    July 27, 2011 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.