It's been said that unless an issue affects you directly, you often don't pay attention. When it comes to weight topics, I'm usually the first in line to hear what's being said and quick to offer my perspective.

This past week, I was in California for a health and fitness conference. As I was getting myself ready to lecture to a group of fitness professionals, I was watching morning television. The hot topic being discussed on the show was the recent "airbrushing" of Kelly Clarkson for the cover of Shape magazine.

The host of the show interviewed the editor of Shape magazine who was working to defend it's airbrushing practices. Also involved in the interview was large size model phenom, Emme.

The conversation focused on the negative message that airbrushing Kelly Clarkson to look 30 pounds thinner would send to young girls. Since when is this a new practice? Is airbrushing average women to create bodies of perfection new? Hello? This airbrushing stuff is exactly what's contributed to women's insecurity about their body, eating disorders, as well guys thinking that all girls should be hot and skinny.

I've always had issues with airbrushing and the false ideal of perfection that is conveyed. Why, all of a sudden are people taking exception to this when in fact it's been going on forever? Is it because Kelly Clarkson is famous and her size has been questioned all over tabloids? Is it of interest because Clarkson voices her thoughts on weight loud and clear, "I like my body, I don't care what other people say, I'm happy." The comments about the magazine cover from the Clarkson camp however, don't seem to mesh with her feelings. "We are very happy with Kelly's cover." Who's gonna bite the hand that feeds you? No pun intended.

You may recall a few years back when Jamie Lee Curtis wanted to show women the before and after of a photo shoot for a magazine. She did this in MORE magazine and women all over the world celebrated Curtis' openness and honesty. Curtis posed for less that flattering photos BEFORE she was made up for the magazine photo shoot. That magazine article said to women all over the world, "Nope, I'm far from perfect. It's the airbrushing and make-up artists that make me look beautiful." Although she looked pretty great au natural.

I've always reminded my daughter that the photos she sees in her magazines are not real, they are tweaked, enlarged in some areas, slimmed down in others, all to create an illusion of perfection. I'm also quick to remind her that perfection does not exist.

I guess the question remains, magazines that are airbrushed continue to sell, so do we like what we see? I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Author's Bio: 

Nicki Anderson has owned and operated the award winning Reality Fitness, Inc. Personal Training studio since 1991. As a successful business owner and sought after speaker, Nicki’s enthusiasm and business prowess on subjects including customer service, marketing and deconditioned populations, makes Nicki a sought after international speaker. Nicki is the 2008/2009 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Finalist in 2006 and 2007 and 2006 IHRSA Top 25 Fresh Faces. She is the author of numerous books, her most recent, Nicki Anderson's Single Step Weight Loss and 101 Ways to Motivate Your Clients and Increase Retention (Healthy Learning, 2009). Nicki is the health and fitness columnist for Chicago Suburban Newspapers, IDEA Editoral Board and contributor to numerous magazines and websites including,, and
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