Is It Live, or is it Memorex?


If you don’t remember this, it’s simply because you weren’t born yet.  The rest of us will never forget this brilliant line from a famous television commercial back in the early 1970’s.  The incredibly talented Ella Fitzgerald sang a high note while being recorded on a Memorex audio cassette and it actually caused a pane of glass to shatter.  When the tape was played back, the glass shattered again followed by a voice that said “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”

So was it real?  My answer would be yes because back in the 70’s, most things were real.  If you read something in the newspaper, it was a fact.  Models on the covers of magazines actually looked like themselves—not furiously airbrushed and retouched women. 

Fast forward to today.  For over 20 years, I was a huge fan of Self Magazine.  I always thought they wanted women to feel comfortable in their own skin…until I saw the cover with Kelly Clarkson.  I won’t re-hash the story (because you couldn’t help but hear it) but it seems like if we can’t trust Self Magazine to accept their cover models’ bodies then who can we trust?  Redbook? 

Well, I guess Redbook is no different than all the others.  Take a look at these retouched photos of Faith Hill on the cover of Redbook. 


I think she’s gorgeous just the way she is–but if you look closely at both photos you will see that they turned her normal-looking arm into a skinny stick, they removed the bags under her eyes, shaved the top of her back off, changed her hair color and added a bunch of make-up. 

Magazine editors defend retouching by saying that they do it to everyone and it helps sell magazines.  Well, I’m sure that’s true but at the same time these ads are wreaking havoc on the confidence of many young girls and women.  According to “The New Normal:  What Girls Say About Healthy Living” (Girl Scout Institute, 2006), 49% of girls 8-10 years old and 59% of girls 11-12 are concerned about being fat or overweight.  Is this how we want our daughters to grow up?

I recently became a registered facilitator for the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.  They have put together an amazing learning experience for girls ages 8-12 years old.  These fabulous workshops teach girls at an early age to recognize and appreciated their own beauty.  The girls also learn that what they see in magazines and advertisements does NOT represent real beauty–because it’s simply not real.

Please take a moment to watch these fabulous videos put together by the visioinaries at Dove.  If you have about 10 minutes, please watch them all.  If you only have 1 spare minute, watch the film called “Evolution”.

After you watch them, please post a comment and let me know what you think.

Smile and be confident….and HAPPY ST. PATTY’S DAY!!!



  • stacycopeland
    March 17, 2010

    And look how they cut off her “back fat”! oh my. She is SUCH a beautiful woman to begin with, it’s so sad they feel that is necessary!

  • March 17, 2010

    Loved the Blog – amazing that they can take an already thin but Healthy looking woman and try to make her look emaciated – Grrrrr. I will defiately be showing this to my 10 year old daughter. Who, by the way, loves her “healthy curves”. Thank you for giving me another tool to help keep my daughter from falling into the Media Trap!

  • Lynn
    March 17, 2010

    love your article molly, you may want to think about writing for a magazine!

  • Cyndi
    March 18, 2010

    I enjoyed this article, but i feel like it is the parents who need to teach self esteem and not a magazine. We all know that they touch up these girls and guys. If I were on the cover I would want some touch up as well. Look at what happended to Sarah Palin with the facial hairs! Anyway can you do some research on the Cindy Crawford products? I’m really curious about the extract they use. Thanks I value your unbiased opinion.

  • March 18, 2010

    Thanks for all your comments. Cyndi, I will try the Cindy Crawford products and let you know if they really work. I am quite skeptical but I will give it a try. I’ll need to use the products for a few months so keep checking in. Stay tuned!@Cyndi

  • Vicki
    March 21, 2010

    What a great article! I was just eyeing a new magazine cover with Gwen Stefani on it.. who btw has an amazing STRONG and lean figure, but once again, they have obviously shaved any musculature off of her arm! Now I’m on the search! I want to see more REAL pictures! Who besides Dove is going to step up and show the reality? And who in the public’s eye is courageous enough to show their UNretouched REAL self?!

  • Rebecca Reape
    March 21, 2010

    My dearest Molly – I just brought Robin, my 5’10”, 123 lb. gorgeous 14 year old daughter who thinks she has ‘big knees’ and ‘flabby thighs’ down to watch the Dove videos. We laughed and it really put her view of herself into perspective when she saw the Faith Hill before and after. I will use this in my role as a school nurse and lacrosse coach. I love the work you are doing Molly!! Thanks so much!

  • March 22, 2010

    Thanks Rebecca. I will conduct the Dove Workshop for Robin and her friends when I come back. Let’s look at some dates. Thanks SO much for your comments. Molly

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