“Making a Girl.”

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 16, 2011
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What We Want.

Photoshop gives us what we think we want. It can’t give us what we truly want, which is to be loved, in reality.

Recently, a simple sexy image of a busty skating chick swept Reddit, a sharing site on the internet. I saw the image, and thought: “Boy I wish I could think of an angle to use that—something about tomboys, maybe, or skating and women…she’s so sexy it’d be sure to get a ton of hits.” I couldn’t think of a real angle that passed the BS test, so I let it go, despite the traffic it would have generated. Guar-an-teed.

Then, a followup post rose to the top of Reddit:

“Female, skating.” picture is a photoshop! (boobs, butt, waist enhanced and mirrored image) Found the unaltered image. (i.imgur.com)

And I had my angle. It’s sad. Take a moment to look at the differences: the cartoonish breasts and nipple, the puny waist.

It’s funny. We think we want sex, and conventionally pornographic Playboy style lusty bodies on our women.

And women, surely, lust after boys. Iterations of this scene have a million views on youtube:

But what we truly want? This: We want someone to grow old with.

Someone who can put up with us, but not let us get away with bullshit. We want, ironically, something that sounnnnds sooooo booooring: friendship.

Unless, of course, you’re an adolescent Redditor with a talent for photoshop.



An inspiring “tomboy”:



Some thoughtful reader dialogue (that we run into, understandably, just about every time this gets shared):

Michelle: Elephant Journal, this headline disappoints me. Even if she did look “hotter” in the photoshopped version, you’re still sexualizing the female body… Whether the Photoshop successfully makes her look more attractive does not matter. Please stop perpetuating the very mentality this article talks against

Jennifer: Men can’t seem to help it with the unsolicited comments on a woman’s looks/body/physical being…. I HAD hoped that the enlightened ones could, though!

Michelle: Jennifer it’s simply ingrained in how we process information (I.e., it’s internalized). It’s sad, but photoshop NOT making you look better is still viewed as an accomplishment. Beauty is still viewed as an accomplishment.

Michelle: Jennifer maybe we can eventually change that, and it starts with media and news outlets like Elephant Journal!

Elephant Journal Michelle this blog is literally a commentary on how culture sexualizes women—through photoshop, etc. Did you read it? We’re on the same page.

Elephant Journal Jennifer as said with Michelle this blog is literally a commentary on how culture sexualizes women—through photoshop, etc. Did you read it? We’re on the same page.

Jennifer: Elephant Journal I did read it and I thought that the caption did not match the content, in all honestly. <3

Tracy: “Recently, a simple sexy image of a busty skating chick swept Reddit, a sharing site on the internet. I saw the image, and thought: “Boy I wish I could think of an angle to use that—something about tomboys, maybe, or skating and women…she’s so sexy it’d be sure to get a ton of hits.” I couldn’t think of a real angle that passed the BS test, so I let it go, despite the traffic it would have generated. Guar-an-teed.”

Oh, yeah. It’s all about how -culture- sexualizes women through photoshop. It’s not at all about how you wanted to use this woman to get traffic to your blog, actively tried to think of a way to write a post -around- that, and eventually found your angle.

Michelle: Elephant Journal you may seem (and clearly adamantly think) like you’re on the same page but that headline implies differently- I’m solely referring to the headline

Jennifer: Elephant Journal If you had said “badass” or “awesome” or “amazing” instead of HOT, I would agree that we are on the same page.

Michelle: Jennifer ^^^^^ precisely

Elephant Journal: Jennifer the point of being transparent is if you can “use” an image of a kitty or a sexualized woman–you know, half the internet–to awaken and teach, instead of for more superficial BS, then we can do our job. The whole point is to use the language—”hot”—of those outside the choir. We’re not here to preach to you—you already get it.


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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


23 Responses to ““Making a Girl.””

  1. Sara Young says:

    Yeah. I come across this all the time. Guys just want a friend.

  2. MojaveMama says:

    Dead on! Two big thumbs up.

  3. Andrea says:

    As a feminist I find the first image just wrong and unnatural. The second image however, is the image that the guys I grew up with have drooled over. A girl that could skate 20 years ago was hot. No need for photo shop. I don't get the whole top gun thing. I am not a fan of Tom Cruise, nor are any of my female friends (I have guy friends that think top gun is the shit). So, a million hits on YouTube not based demographic studies is just fallacious.

    Okay and to finish off. There are 5 F's to make a successful relationship Friendship, Fun, Fucking, Food and a desire to give each other the Future. Future is atleast 5+ dates out, American culture people want the future within the first 3. Not gonna happen.

    I feel I am very lucky. I like my husband and love him! I have had love in my youth, and I have had sex. My life partner is the first that I have had both with.

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    I personally don't get it. The original picture – hot. The photoshopped picture looks… photoshopped, plastic, weird.

    • Tod Brilliant says:

      Really? I think the top one is way hotter. Bigger breasts, smaller waist. Don't bullshit, Ben.. to try to get laid. This in online, aint happening, no matter how Alan Alda-esque you get.

      Just fucking with you, Ben. But… man up about it – You know the top image is hotter on a pure lust level.

  5. DaxBakken says:

    Let's not overlook the fact that this blog post has the trailer for one of the best movies of all time (imho of course). "Do you realize it's snowing in my room?"

  6. Rich K says:

    Natural is ALWAYS more attractive. Whether the situation is fake breasts, fake lips, too much make up, or photoshop, the real thing is far more beautiful than what any of those things are trying to "fix".

  7. tomgrasso says:

    Seriously, when we have a need to fake beauty haven't we lost the ability to find it? Great article by the way. It brought tears to my eyes!

  8. Zippo says:

    Men are looking for friendship? Hahahahah! Conversation recently with a 58 year old male friend. Me: Are you and (old girlfriend) back together? I saw you together the other day. Friend: We're just friends. I'm still looking for a romantic situation. Me: Why?! Friend: I like sex.

    • elephantjournal says:

      I'm not saying we're looking for friendship. Many of us, including myself, may not be that smart or at home with ourselves. Many of us seek distraction and lust is a great way to get away from reality or suffering…seemingly.

      I'm saying that, fundamentally, love is about connection and connection happens when you're eye to eye, relaxed, comfortable, awake, open. And that has very little to do with Double D's. ~ Waylon

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Lily Marie Huffman Waylon….you do so much good in this world. I always smile so big when I come across an educated, sensitive and spiritual man. 🙂 THANK YOU for helping people see truth. 🙂

    Jennifer Hillman A friend you want to grow old with. love that line. so true..for women too. 🙂

    Leah Hopkins Excellent, Dude!!

  10. Waltman says:

    The really sick part is there is nothing wrong with the girl as she appears in the untouched-up photo. BTW, lusting after the sopped image is like lusting after comic book super girls. Nice, and all, but impossible. As a photographer and father of a little girl, I think it's completely unethical to "shop" such a photo, especially if the original image girl is this cute.

    I suppose I have a different perspective. My wife is great and we want our little girl to be okay with herself. Propagation of this sort of crap, while uncontrollable, is horrid.

  11. Plow Operator says:

    Wow I would so plow that photoshopped chick! Dayam.

  12. […] in various places and amounts. There’s no one right amount. It’s all good. Same goes for moles. Even models don’t look like they do in the pictures. Smooth and hairless is a Fifth Avenue invention designed to create discontent (and sell grooming […]

  13. Operator Operator says:

    ^Yeah, Plow, but we all know she wouldn't fuck you. You probably aren't a looker, shopped or not.

  14. […] is something like “everyone over age 12 should be referred to as a woman.” I tend to say girl most of the time if I’m talking about myself or close friends. I was 12 a long time ago in a […]

  15. Jeff says:

    I don't know about this. Demonizing sexual beauty is silly, even if it's photoshopped. I think it's possible to have both a bombshell and a best friend, all in one. I've proven it can be found at least once. And, if you prefer the natural version, that's just fine. No need to tell people with different preferences than you that they're sick.

    • Melanie says:

      So agree Jeff! It's just a different kind of wrong when we shame big boobs or fake boobs or tiny waists. I want to teach my daughter, be whoever the hell you are and be damn proud of it because its you. It's beautiful when we can really love being our own original selves, whether that's using enhancements to enjoy or beauty or enjoying our beauty without them. The world isn't made up of just one type nor is it suppose to be.

  16. Brett says:

    I was happy to see a woman skating. That’s what is attractive to me. That’s real.

  17. Ross says:

    It's all Barbie's fault. She gave us that figure; 44DD breasts and a 22" waist. No wonder so many women have problems thinking their bodies aren't OK……personally, I like real women….and it's all about what's on the inside……

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