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Why is an image of a face without features disturbing?

Why is an image of a face without features disturbing?


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Below is a snapshot of an article linked from LinkedIn today.

What I find more disturbing than the topic at hand is the featured image used to head up the article.

Clearly it's important to provide suitable images to match content.

But why is a face with no features so disturbing?

Is facial recognition so deeply embedded into our subconscious that the inability to distinguish any features alerts us in some way?

Is it the deepest ravine of the uncanny valley?


Or is it just me? I mean it's not me obviously, in the image… is it just me that finds it disturbing?


It's from fear sprung out of the inability to clearly identify and interpret something and from that know how to react to it.

There's something skewed with what you see, something deviating from your mental model of what a face (in this example) looks like. That makes us perceive it as something unknown, and what's unknown is also perceived as unpredictable and induces an uneasiness and discomfort.

The reason why this is unpleasant:

But this isn't:

Is because the latter is clearly an illustration and can be subconsciously dismissed as something static/dead, and by that predictable and nonthreatening. In the first image we have a hard time identifying what it is we see, whether it's something that's alive or if it's dead. This makes us uncomfortable since we don't know how we should react to it, even if it's just an image.

Being confronted by it in real life would without a doubt be very disturbing since then there is no escape, it's very real, very unknown and therefore very unpredictable.


It's because of the difficulty of traversing the uncanny valley.


There is a similar face possible in reality. It is a victim of burning who later received face transplantation. Looking at it is shocking. Maybe it leads to imagining the suffering? I am not posting it here-it is not pretty-but see this link.

Edit: Actually, my example seems to be covered by uncanny valley: "Examples can be found in the fields of… and in medical fields such as burn reconstruction… and plastic surgery".


Why is an image of a face without features disturbing? - Psychology

What is it that makes a face look beautiful? What are the differences between very attractive and less appealing faces? For every historical period and every human culture, people have always had their own ideal of beauty. But this ideal has never been constant and is still subject to changes. In our research project we adopted an empirical approach and created prototypes for unattractive and attractive faces for each sex by using the morphing technique. For example, the prototype for an unattractive face ("unsexy face") was created by blending together four faces that had previously been rated as very unattractive. The "sexy face" was created by blending together four of the most attractive faces, respectively (see report).
In order to find out the characteristic differences between attractive and unattractive faces, we presented pairs of one "sexy" and one "unsexy" image for both sexes to test subjects. The task was to report which facial features were perceived to be different between the two faces. For the results see the list below.


Possible Explanations

While research is limited, the available findings offer some clues as to what might explain aphantasia.

  • In MX's case, functional MRI scans found that brain activation patterns when looking at pictures of famous faces had no significant differences from normal controls.   However, when the patient tried to visualize imagery, there was a significant reduction in activation patterns across posterior networks, while frontal region activity was significantly increased compared to controls.
  • The researchers suggest that this indicates the patient relied on a different cognitive strategy during the imagery task.
  • The authors further propose that such results indicate that performance on visual memory and visual imagery tasks are not dependent upon the actual experience of visual imagery.

The War Photo No One Would Publish

When Kenneth Jarecke photographed an Iraqi man burned alive, he thought it would change the way Americans saw the Gulf War. But the media wouldn’t run the picture.

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone. In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him. Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name. He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad.

Jarecke took the picture just before a cease-fire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August. The image, and its anonymous subject, might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.” The Vietnam War, in contrast, was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography. Some images, such as Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public, but other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.

Not every gruesome photo reveals an important truth about conflict and combat. Last month, The New York Times decided—for valid ethical reasons—to remove images of dead passengers from an online story about Flight MH17 in Ukraine and replace them with photos of mechanical wreckage. Sometimes though, omitting an image means shielding the public from the messy, imprecise consequences of a war—making the coverage incomplete, and even deceptive.

In the case of the charred Iraqi soldier, the hypnotizing and awful photograph ran against the popular myth of the Gulf War as a “video-game war”—a conflict made humane through precision bombing and night-vision equipment. By deciding not to publish it, Time magazine and the Associated Press denied the public the opportunity to confront this unknown enemy and consider his excruciating final moments.

The image was not entirely lost. The Observer in the United Kingdom and Libération in France both published it after the American media refused. Many months later, the photo also appeared in American Photo, where it stoked some controversy, but came too late to have a significant impact. All of this surprised the photographer, who had assumed the media would be only too happy to challenge the popular narrative of a clean, uncomplicated war. “When you have an image that disproves that myth,” he says today, “then you think it’s going to be widely published.”

“He was fighting to save his life to the very end, till he was completely burned up,” Jarecke says of the man he photographed. “He was trying to get out of that truck.”

“Let me say up front that I don’t like the press,” one Air Force officer declared, starting a January 1991 press briefing on a blunt note. The military’s bitterness toward the media was in no small part a legacy of the Vietnam coverage decades before. By the time the Gulf War started, the Pentagon had developed access policies that drew on press restrictions used in the U.S. wars in Grenada and Panama in the 1980s. Under this so-called pool system, the military grouped print, TV, and radio reporters together with cameramen and photojournalists and sent these small teams on orchestrated press junkets, supervised by public-affairs officers (PAOs) who kept a close watch on their charges.

By the time Operation Desert Storm began in mid-January 1991, Kenneth Jarecke had decided he no longer wanted to be a combat photographer—a profession, he says, that “dominates your life.” But after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Jarecke developed a low opinion of the photojournalism coming out of Desert Shield, the prewar operation to build up troops and equipment in the Gulf. “It was one picture after another of a sunset with camels and a tank,” he says. War was approaching, and Jarecke says he saw a clear need for a different kind of coverage. He felt he could fill that void.

After the UN’s January 15, 1991, deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait came and went, Jarecke, now certain he should go, persuaded Time magazine to send him to Saudi Arabia. He packed up his cameras and shipped out from Andrews Air Force Base on January 17—the first day of the aerial bombing campaign against Iraq.

Out in the field with the troops, Jarecke recalls, “anybody could challenge you,” however absurdly and without reason. He remembers straying 30 feet away from his PAO and having a soldier bark at him, “What are you doing?” Jarecke retorted, “What do you mean what am I doing?”

Recounting the scene two decades later, Jarecke still sounds exasperated. “Some first lieutenant telling me, you know, where I’m gonna stand. In the middle of the desert.”

As the war picked up in early February, PAOs accompanied Jarecke and several other journalists as they attached to the Army XVIII Airborne Corps and spent two weeks at the Saudi-Iraqi border doing next to nothing. That didn’t mean nothing was happening—just that they lacked access to the action.

During the same period, the military photojournalist Lee Corkran was embedding with the U.S. Air Force’s 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Doha, Qatar, and capturing their aerial bombing campaigns. He was there to take pictures for the Pentagon to use as it saw fit—not primarily for media use. In his images, pilots look over their shoulders to check on other planes. Bombs hang off the jets’ wings, their sharp-edged darkness contrasting with the soft colors of the clouds and desert below. In the distance, the curvature of the earth is visible. On missions, Corkran’s plane would often flip upside down at high speed as the pilots dodged missiles, leaving silvery streaks in the sky. Gravitational forces multiplied the weight of his cameras—so much so that if he had ever needed to eject from the plane, his equipment could have snapped his neck. This was the air war that composed most of the combat mission in the Gulf that winter.

The scenes Corkran witnessed weren’t just off-limits to Jarecke they were also invisible to viewers in the United States, despite the rise of 24-hour reporting during the conflict. Gulf War television coverage, as Ken Burns wrote at the time, felt cinematic and often sensational, with “distracting theatrics” and “pounding new theme music,” as if “the war itself might be a wholly owned subsidiary of television.”

Some of the most widely seen images of the air war were shot not by photographers, but rather by unmanned cameras attached to planes and laser-guided bombs. Grainy shots and video footage of the roofs of targeted buildings, moments before impact, became a visual signature of a war that was deeply associated with phrases such as “smart bombs” and “surgical strike.” The images were taken at an altitude that erased the human presence on the ground. They were black-and-white shots, some with bluish or greenish casts. One from February 1991, published in the photo book In The Eye of Desert Storm by the now-defunct Sygma photo agency, showed a bridge that was being used as an Iraqi supply route. In another, black plumes of smoke from French bombs blanketed an Iraqi Republican Guard base like ink blots. None of them looked especially violent.

The hardware-focused coverage of the war removed the empathy that Jarecke says is crucial in photography, particularly photography that’s meant to document death and violence. “A photographer without empathy,” he remarks, “is just taking up space that could be better used.”

The burned-out truck, surrounded by corpses, on the “Highway of Death”

In late February, during the war’s final hours, Jarecke and the rest of his press pool drove across the desert, each of them taking turns behind the wheel. They had been awake for several days straight. “We had no idea where we were. We were in a convoy,” Jarecke recalls. He dozed off.

When he woke up, they had parked and the sun was about to rise. It was almost 6 o’clock in the morning. The group received word that a cease-fire was a few hours away, and Jarecke remembers another member of his pool cajoling the press officer into abandoning the convoy and heading toward Kuwait City.

The group figured they were in southern Iraq, somewhere in the desert about 70 miles away from Kuwait City. They began driving toward Kuwait, hitting Highway 8 and stopping to take pictures and record video footage. They came upon a jarring scene: burned-out Iraqi military convoys and incinerated corpses. Jarecke sat in the truck, alone with Patrick Hermanson, a public-affairs officer. He moved to get out of the vehicle with his cameras.

Hermanson found the idea of photographing the scene distasteful. When I asked him about the conversation, he recalled asking Jarecke, “What do you need to take a picture of that for?” Implicit in his question was a judgment: There was something dishonorable about photographing the dead.

“I’m not interested in it either,” Jarecke recalls replying. He told the officer that he didn’t want his mother to see his name next to photographs of corpses. “But if I don’t take pictures like these, people like my mom will think war is what they see in movies.” As Hermanson remembers, Jarecke added, “It’s what I came here to do. It’s what I have to do.”

“He let me go,” Jarecke recounts. “He didn’t try to stop me. He could have stopped me because it was technically not allowed under the rules of the pool. But he didn’t stop me and I walked over there.”

More than two decades later, Hermanson notes that Jarecke’s resulting picture was “pretty special.” He doesn’t need to see the photograph to resurrect the scene in his mind. “It’s seared into my memory,” he says, “as if it happened yesterday.”

The incinerated man stared back at Jarecke through the camera’s viewfinder, his blackened arm reaching over the edge of the truck’s windshield. Jarecke recalls that he could “see clearly how precious life was to this guy, because he was fighting for it. He was fighting to save his life to the very end, till he was completely burned up. He was trying to get out of that truck.”

Jarecke wrote later that year in American Photo magazine that he “wasn’t thinking at all about what was there if I had thought about how horrific the guy looked, I wouldn’t have been able to make the picture.” Instead, he maintained his emotional remove by attending to the more prosaic and technical elements of photography. He kept himself steady he concentrated on the focus. The sun shone in through the rear of the destroyed truck and backlit his subject. Another burned body lay directly in front of the vehicle, blocking a close-up shot, so Jarecke used the full 200mm zoom lens on his Canon EOS-1.

In his other shots of the same scene, it is apparent that the soldier could never have survived, even if he had pulled himself up out of the driver’s seat and through the window. The desert sand around the truck is scorched. Bodies are piled behind the vehicle, indistinguishable from one another. A lone, burned man lies face down in front of the truck, everything incinerated except the soles of his bare feet. In another photograph, a man lies spread-eagle on the sand, his body burned to the point of disintegration, but his face mostly intact and oddly serene. A dress shoe lies next to his body.

The group continued on across the desert, passing through more stretches of highway littered with the same fire-ravaged bodies and vehicles. Jarecke and his pool were possibly the first members of the Western media to come across these scenes, which appeared along what eventually became known as the Highway of Death, sometimes referred to as the Road to Hell.

The retreating Iraqi soldiers had been trapped. They were frozen in a traffic jam, blocked off by the Americans, by Mutla Ridge, by a minefield. Some fled on foot the rest were strafed by American planes that swooped overhead, passing again and again to destroy all the vehicles. Milk vans, fire trucks, limousines, and one bulldozer appeared in the wreckage alongside armored cars and trucks, and T-55 and T-72 tanks. Most vehicles held fully loaded, but rusting, Kalashnikov variants. According to descriptions from reporters like The New York Times’ R. W. Apple and The Observer’s Colin Smith, amid the plastic mines, grenades, ammunition, and gas masks, a quadruple-barreled antiaircraft gun stood crewless and still pointing skyward. Personal items, like a photograph of a child’s birthday party and broken crayons, littered the ground beside weapons and body parts. The body count never seems to have been determined, although the BBC puts it in the “thousands.”

“In one truck,” wrote Colin Smith in a March 3 dispatch for The Observer, “the radio had been knocked out of the dashboard but was still wired up and faintly picking up some plaintive Arabic air which sounded so utterly forlorn I thought at first it must be a cry for help.”

Iraqi prisoners of war, captured by the U.S. military on their way to Baghdad

Following the February 28 cease-fire that ended Desert Storm, Jarecke’s film roll with the image of the incinerated soldier reached the Joint Information Bureau in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where the military coordinated and corralled the press, and where pool editors received and filed stories and photographs. At that point, with the operation over, the photograph would not have needed to pass through a security screening, says Maryanne Golon, who was the on-site photo editor for Time in Saudi Arabia and is now the director of photography for The Washington Post. Despite the obviously shocking content, she tells me she reacted like an editor in work mode. She selected it, without debate or controversy among the pool editors, to be scanned and transmitted. The image made its way back to the editors’ offices in New York City.

Jarecke also made his way from Saudi Arabia to New York. Passing through Heathrow Airport on a layover, he bought a copy of the March 3 edition of The Observer. He opened it to find his photograph on page 9, printed at the top across eight columns under the heading “The Real Face of War.”

That weekend in March, when The Observer’s editors made the final decision to print the image, every magazine in North America made the opposite choice. Jarecke’s photograph did not even appear on the desks of most U.S. newspaper editors (the exception being The New York Times, which had a photo wire service subscription but nonetheless declined to publish the image). The photograph was entirely absent from American media until far past the time when it was relevant to ground reporting from Iraq and Kuwait. Golon says she wasn’t surprised by this, even though she’d chosen to transmit it to the American press. “I didn’t think there was any chance they’d publish it,” she says.

Apart from The Observer, the only major news outlet to run the Iraqi soldier’s photograph at the time was the Parisian news daily Libération, which ran it on March 4. Both newspapers refrained from putting the image on the front page, though they ran it prominently inside. But Aidan Sullivan, the pictures editor for the British Sunday Times, told the British Journal of Photography on March 14 that he had opted instead for a wide shot of the carnage: a desert highway littered with rubble. He challenged The Observer: “We would have thought our readers could work out that a lot of people had died in those vehicles. Do you have to show it to them?”

“There were 1,400 [Iraqi soldiers] in that convoy, and every picture transmitted until that one came, two days after the event, was of debris, bits of equipment,” Tony McGrath, The Observer’s pictures editor, was quoted as saying in the same article. “No human involvement in it at all it could have been a scrap yard. That was some dreadful censorship.”

The media took it upon themselves to “do what the military censorship did not do,” says Robert Pledge, the head of the Contact Press Images photojournalism agency that has represented Jarecke since the 1980s. The night they received the image, Pledge tells me, editors at the Associated Press’s New York City offices pulled the photo entirely from the wire service, keeping it off the desks of virtually all of America’s newspaper editors. It is unknown precisely how, why, or by whom the AP’s decision was handed down.

Vincent Alabiso, who at the time was the executive photo editor for the AP, later distanced himself from the wire service’s decision. In 2003, he admitted to American Journalism Review that the photograph ought to have gone out on the wire and argued that such a photo would today.

Yet the AP’s reaction was repeated at Time and Life. Both magazines briefly considered the photo, unofficially referred to as “Crispy,” for publication. The photo departments even drew up layout plans. Time, which had sent Jarecke to the Gulf in the first place, planned for the image to accompany a story about the Highway of Death.

“We fought like crazy to get our editors to let us publish that picture,” the former photo director Michele Stephenson tells me. As she recalls, Henry Muller, the managing editor, told her, “Time is a family magazine.” And the image was, when it came down to it, just too disturbing for the outlet to publish. It was, to her recollection, the only instance during the Gulf War where the photo department fought but failed to get an image into print.

James Gaines, the managing editor of Life, took responsibility for the ultimate decision not to run Jarecke’s image in his own magazine’s pages, despite the photo director Peter Howe’s push to give it a double-page spread. “We thought that this was the stuff of nightmares,” Gaines told Ian Buchanan of the British Journal of Photography in March 1991. “We have a fairly substantial number of children who read Life magazine,” he added. Even so, the photograph was published later that month in one of Life’s special issues devoted to the Gulf War—not typical reading material for the elementary-school set.

Stella Kramer, who worked as a freelance photo editor for Life on four special-edition issues on the Gulf War, tells me that the decision to not publish Jarecke’s photo was less about protecting readers than preserving the dominant narrative of the good, clean war. Flipping through 23-year-old issues, Kramer expresses clear distaste at the editorial quality of what she helped to create. The magazines “were very sanitized,” she says. “So that’s why these issues are all basically just propaganda.” She points out the picture on the cover of the February 25 issue: a young blond boy dwarfed by the American flag he’s holding. “As far as Americans were concerned,” she remarks, “nobody ever died.”

“If pictures tell stories,” Lee Corkran tells me, “the story should have a point. So if the point is the utter annihilation of people who were in retreat and all the charred bodies … if that’s your point, then that’s true. And so be it. I mean, war is ugly. It’s hideous.” To Corkran, who was awarded the Bronze Star for his Gulf War combat photography, pictures like Jarecke’s tell important stories about the effects of American and allied airpower. Even Patrick Hermanson, the public-affairs officer who originally protested the idea of taking pictures of the scene, now says the media should not have censored the photo.

The U.S. military has now abandoned the pool system it used in 1990 and 1991, and the internet has changed the way photos reach the public. Even if the AP did refuse to send out a photo, online outlets would certainly run it, and no managing editor would be able to prevent it from being shared across various social platforms, or being the subject of extensive op-ed and blog commentary. If anything, today’s controversies often center on the vast abundance of disturbing photographs, and the difficulty of putting them in a meaningful context.

Some have argued that showing bloodshed and trauma repeatedly and sensationally can dull emotional understanding. But never showing these images in the first place guarantees that such an understanding will never develop. “Try to imagine, if only for a moment, what your intellectual, political, and ethical world would be like if you had never seen a photograph,” the author Susie Linfield asks in The Cruel Radiance, her book on photography and political violence. Photos like Jarecke’s not only show that bombs drop on real people they also make the public feel accountable. As David Carr wrote in The New York Times in 2003, war photography has “an ability not just to offend the viewer, but to implicate him or her as well.”

As an angry 28-year-old Jarecke wrote in American Photo in 1991: “If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it.”


Why Do We Struggle With Beauty and Body Image?

The beauty industry spends billions of dollars a year convincing women that they need to look thinner, younger and sexier. Biola Magazine asked Tamara Anderson — a professor in Biola’s Rosemead School of Psychology — about the high toll the media takes on women’s body image.

How many women struggle with an unhealthy body image?

The majority of women will say they are dissatisfied with their bodies, but, on the flip side, many of them can also tell you what they like, such as their eyes or hair. This is healthy because it shows they can assess themselves. So having a healthy body image is not about thinking, “I feel good about myself in all these areas,” because having areas for improvement is just the state of being human. But if a woman feels so bad about how she looks that she doesn’t leave her house or hang out with friends, or doesn’t put herself in a community where she might develop a romantic attachment, then it’s affecting her life. And, according to the current literature, one in four women in Western culture will have an eating disorder — anorexia or bulimia — in their lifetimes.

Do more women in Western culture have an unhealthy body image than in other cultures?

Eating disorders are seen around the world in every industrialized country. But in Western culture, media has a huge influence on women’s body image, and we definitely see higher rates of eating disorders in the West. The California subculture — home to the entertainment industry and so many beaches — is particularly a problem. In California culture, men are much more concerned about how their bodies look than in other places, with what’s pushed out here as being the ideal body. But it still does not equal what women deal with.

How does the media contribute to an unhealthy body image?

The whole beauty industry is built on, “You’re not OK the way you are. We’ll make you better.” It would seem bizarre to us today, but 50 years ago, when television was brand new, there were commercials that would say, “Gain 10 pounds in a week, guaranteed.” Women bought these products until wafer thin was considered the best body to have. Then, for a while, Cindy Crawford brought in a new kind of image of models who looked healthier. Also, in advertisements a woman is often treated as a body or a collection of body parts and not a whole. For example, often you’ll see a part of a woman’s body — maybe her head isn’t showing and her knees and below aren’t showing, but the rest of her body is. That’s a clear objectification of a woman.

Do celebrities struggle with body image issues?

Yes, they’re also victims of the media. I’ve worked with models whose names you’d know based on how popular they are, and they’ve had to lie in bed for 20 minutes in the morning repeating to themselves, “I am worthy to get up” because they think they’re ugly and they’re depressed and suicidal. Other people look at them and say, “Wow, they must have a good life,” but they have no idea what these women deal with everyday.

Does the rise in plastic surgeries influence body image?

Yes, this has been very disturbing to me. I just heard a radio ad for breast implants for $299.95. You could get your full body redone for something like $6,000. It sounded like a paint job for a car. The mentality is, “If you’re unhappy with something about your body, then get it fixed.” I just heard of a case from a colleague who is working with a client whose parents gave her breast implants for her 16th birthday. That’s outrageous. The problem with plastic surgeries is that — even if one area of the body gets “fixed” — there’s always something else to be upset about. If somebody has true body image issues, then 20 plastic surgeries won’t fix what’s broken on the inside. Of course, some people do have very simple concerns. For example, they feel they have an unusually large nose as defined by their culture. If they basically feel good about themselves otherwise, then getting a nose job can make them feel good because that’s all they were concerned about. But the availability of plastic surgery to the general public is clouding the issue of body image.

Besides the media, are there other factors that contribute to an unhealthy body image?

Family messages are very powerful. I’ve worked with girls who are 9 years old who exhibit eating disorder symptoms, partly because they’ve been told by their families, “You’re fat. You don’t want to be fat.” So, they start to see themselves as unworthy based on body size. If body image is elevated above other things in girls’ minds, that can create a problem.

What does current research into body image reveal?

The more refined research is showing the impact of women’s perceived body image — their ideas of what other people think of them — rather than what other people really think of them. There’s a subtle difference there, like, for instance, with a husband and wife. The husband will say, “I think you’re fine,” but if the woman’s perception is that he really doesn’t mean that, then that takes a toll on her. He can be saying until he’s blue in the face, “I don’t have any trouble with how you’re shaped and what you look like,” but her perception is what is the most powerful.

What steps should be taken if someone suffers from an unhealthy body image?

With clinical eating disorders, interventions will vary woman to woman. I’ve worked with clients who I’ve told not to read fashion magazines. That may seem like a small thing, but it’s not small for somebody who is already distressed about her body because fashion magazines depress every woman. Many of my patients have spent a lot of money on them, and they also often surround themselves with people who reinforce the message that they’re overweight. These are the girls with boyfriends who tell them, “You need to lose some weight.” So, women can choose to be in relationships with men who don’t talk that way to them. And Christian women can learn to see themselves as God sees them. That can be a wonderful healing thing, knowing “I’m one of God’s creatures. He created me. I’m beautiful to Him.”

How can families help young girls develop a healthy body image?

I have a 6-year-old daughter who loves to put on outfits and match them. I’ll say, “Oh, you look beautiful. What a smart girl you are to be able to be so creative with your clothes.” So, I’m always throwing in what a smart girl she is with how beautiful she looks. However, you don’t want to go too far the other direction and deny telling girls they’re beautiful. Families must also realize that moms set the tone a lot of the times. If mom is continually obsessing about her weight and continually dieting — always saying, “Oh my goodness, how many calories are in that?” — that sends a very strong message to young girls as to what they should be concerned about and what’s most important in the world.


1. Set It Right

Before you begin adding images, you will have to configure Word to play nice with pictures. There are two settings to make it easier for you to add images that don’t act and look like text because it's not. Ideally, you should be able to drag it to wherever you want inside Word.

The Word comes with anchor points that by default are not visible. To make anchor points visible, open Word and click on File button. Then click on Options at the bottom of the screen in the sidebar.

Under Display, you will see Object anchors option that should be toggled on. You will now see the anchor symbol whenever you insert an image.

One more thing you need to do is change how Word places the image after adding it. Inside Word Options above, there is another tab called Advanced. Under Cut, copy, and paste, you will find Insert pictures as an option. Change it to Square.

Don’t forget to click OK every time you change a setting. That will tell Word to stop treating pictures as text but instead as images.

Also on Guiding Tech

How to Edit Images Using Microsoft Word 2016

The Disturbing Effect Our Beauty Standards Have on Women Across the World

"We're losing bodies as fast as we're losing languages," says prominent British psychotherapist Susie Orbach in the upcoming documentary The Illusionists. "Just as English has become the lingua franca of the world, so the white, blondified, small-nosed, pert-breasted, long-legged body is coming to stand in for the great variety of human bodies that there are."

The documentary is the latest from 35-year-old Italian filmmaker Elena Rossini, who traveled to eight countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia over the course of seven years to explore the ways Western ideals of beauty — including, but not limited to, thinness — are commodified and scattered throughout the globe.

"Western beauty ideals — actually, man-made Western beauty ideals — have spread to the rest of the world through globalization and are now being upheld as models even in places like India and Japan," Rossini told Mic. "And they have very dangerous consequences."

It may be National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but we often forget that eating disorders — as well as the forces that may trigger them — are a problem well beyond confines of the U.S. In fact, rigid Western ideals are increasingly permeating cultures all over the globe, introducing damaging standards of thinness in particular where they may never before have existed.

Rossini was moved to make The Illusionists by what she saw as a cross-generation epidemic of body dissatisfaction, which has manifested in similarly distressing ways across diverse cultures.

Japan, for example, has historically maintained beauty standards distinct from Western ideals, according to the documentary, with curvy figures long-associated with positive values like wealth and fertility. Yet today, about 30% of Japanese women in their 20s are categorized as underweight — a proportion that has rapidly increased since the 1980s, as Dr. Tetsuya Ando of the National Institute of Mental Health states in the film.

The problem remains largely unrecognized: According to an article by writer Georgia Hanias in Marie Claire, only one professor specialized in eating disorders across all 80 Japanese medical schools in 2012.

"Japanese women are under incredible pressure to have an ideal body," states one woman interviewed on the streets of Tokyo in the film.

Jason Karlin, author of Idols & Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture, notes in the documentary that this increasing importance placed on thinness can be attributed in part to a Western media influence. Japanese women, he notes, try to "cultivate that body image that they see in women's magazines, which are women's bodies that are very thin, with very long legs and with many of the characteristics we associate with this kind of global culture of beauty that is circulating throughout the world."

Rossini echoes Karlin's conclusion: "What many sociologists have observed is that globalization — and the way American media has been exported to the rest of the world — has had a profound effect in the way people all over the world perceive beauty ideals," she told Mic.

Lebanon is another country explored in the film that appears to have been negatively affected by Western ideals. It's the country with the most plastic surgery procedures per capita, and about 1 in 3 Lebanese women has had a plastic surgery procedure, according to the film. One Lebanese student interviewed in the documentary sums up what this reality looks like: "If you walk around the streets of Lebanon, I think you'd realize that most people look the same, specifically people from a certain social class that have the money to have this many surgeries," she says.

Lebanese culture was not always this way. "In the past 15 years, the beauty ideal changed in Lebanon," makeup artist Hala Ajam says in The Illusionists. She roots this change in globalized economic forces, noting that the infiltration of Western celebrity culture has created an association between this idealized aesthetic and wealth itself. "All over the world, stars make money like crazy," she observes. "[People think] if they look like them it's a shortcut to being rich."

There's evidence that this rigid standard of beauty has been thoroughly embedded in Lebanon's economy on multiple levels. Classified ads for jobs for women, for example, state that women "must be beautiful," Nadine Moawad of the Nasawiya Feminist Collective says in the film.

In order to meet such standards, special bank loans have been established solely for this purpose. Lebanon's First National Bank even lends individuals up to $5,000 for these procedures, according to CNN.

Ultimately, meeting a rigid, Western standard of beauty is equated not only with wealth, but also with happiness. Lebanese people have come to normalize this standard as "important for their improvement, for their career, in their life to build up friends, to become more successful," Maher Mezher of Lebanon's First National Bank explains in the film.

Whereas eating disorders were "negligent" in Indian culture as recently as the 1990s, Indian psychiatrists have noted that in the past decade, the number of Indian women suffering from anorexia nervosa has increased between five and 10 times and it is impacting women at younger ages, according to The Times of India. Indian psychiatrist Rajesh Sagar points to the rise of Westernized media as a major contributing factor.

Ruchi Anand, American Graduate School professor of International Relations, agrees. He says in The Illustionists: "Now what we're seeing is a trend toward an imitation of the Westernized body image. These girls literally are fighting for the size zero, which was never known as beautiful in India."

Author, filmmaker and activist Jean Kilbourne observes in the film that countries that once valued voluptuous female figures, like India, see changing norms once Western media proliferates within their borders. "Wherever American popular culture goes, the public health problems that are associated with it follow," she states in the documentary.

How to fight back: While it's crucial to remember that negative body image is partially rooted in the global process of capitalism, individuals still have the power to fight back. "If tomorrow women all over the world looked in the mirror and if they liked what they saw reflected back at them, then we would have to reshape capitalism as we know it," says professor and activist Gail Dines in the film. "If you take away that self-loathing that women have, then you will see industries all over the globe go bankrupt." She adds that we could end the system that exploits, manipulates and seduces women into hating themselves "as a way to generate astronomical profits that keep a very few very wealthy."

Rossini notes that in order to combat these forces, individuals can both limit mainstream media consumption and take to more democratized platforms, like social media. "Over the last few years, I've noticed a positive sea change in the way these issues are tackled," she told Mic. "Nowadays, a 14-year-old blogger can have a voice as loud as that of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. A single tweet or blog post can go viral, provoking changes at the top in a matter of hours." But ultimately, she says, she would love to see "advertisers embracing empowerment as a selling tool instead of insecurity."

Hopefully that day will come soon. In the meantime, it's important to complicate the conversation we have about women and their bodies and work to remind the world that we are allowed to love our bodies the way they are.


New kinds of evidence

Only with new kinds of evidence can this complex question be more rigorously tested. And such new evidence has emerged, in the form of a paper in Psychological Science by Anthony J. Lee, Brendan Zietsch* and collaborators.

From an exhaustive suite of measures taken from photographs of teenaged identical and non-identical twins and their non-twin siblings, Lee dissected the extent to which variation in facial masculinity-femininity is due to genetic variation. Interestingly, around half the variation in both male and female facial masculinity could be attributed to additive genetic variation. This is the kind of variation on which the idea of “gene shopping” for genetically superior mates depends.

The extensive genetic variation in masculinity makes more plausible the idea that choosing to mate with a masculine man can result in more attractive offspring. But the genes that made a male face more masculine did not make it more attractive. Worse, these same genes made female faces more masculine and thus less attractive. Families that make manly-looking sons tend also to make masculine-looking daughters.

Overall, this paper deals a substantial blow to the idea that masculine men make good genetic sires. Of course, the genes that confer masculinity on both sons and daughters might have other positive effects, including but not limited to improved immunity. That remains to be assessed, hopefully with the same kind of quantitative genetic evidence.


It&rsquos Easier Than Ever To Make A New Face On Social Media. But Is It Killing Your Confidence?

Filters, Facetune, and other augmented-reality tools allow us to shape-shift our faces more than ever. So where does that leave our mental health? WH explores.

&ldquoShould I get lip injections?&rdquo is a question that runs through my mind almost every time I use Instagram (that is, up to 24 hours a week). The truth is, the natural pout I was born with is one of my favorite features. But if I spend long enough scrolling through filtered-to-perfection influencers, celebrities, and regular people I know who take a damn good picture, it&rsquos very tempting to start a mental wish list of things I could change: a more defined jawline, higher cheekbones, smoother skin, the list goes on. This all-too-familiar spiral has only been amplified in 2020 as my screen time&ndashlike everyone else&rsquos&ndashhas gone up dramatically.

In the era of social distancing, former simple pleasures, like travel, going to a bar, attending concerts, and more, halted. Forced to transform our homes into hubs for work and play, life has hit peak virtual: We go on FaceTime dates. We attend Zoom weddings. We celebrate Houseparty birthdays. We have telemedicine checkups with doctors. We livestream remote workout classes from our favorite fitness instructors.

In the first month of lockdown, Internet provider Comcast reported a 60 percent increase in its peak network traffic in some regions. Meanwhile, Instagram was the second-most-used social platform, with about 50 percent of U.S. adults (!) active as of March. (Facebook, its parent company, occupied the top spot.) This means we could be staring at&mdashand, inevitably, evaluating&mdashour faces more than ever. In a world where even Zoom (the video-conferencing app&rsquos number of users reportedly surged by the millions in April alone) has a &ldquotouch up my appearance&rdquo option, how much does this selfie-gazing damage our mental health? All signs point to&hellipa whole lot. &ldquoThere&rsquos a well-established link between social-media usage and psychological concerns,&rdquo says Peace Amadi, PsyD, an associate psychology professor at Hope International University in California. &ldquoInstagram has been tied to anxiety and depressive symptoms, but also to concerns such as anxiety related to physical appearance, increased body dissatisfaction, and lower self-esteem.&rdquo And now that we&rsquore spending more minutes on these platforms, &ldquowe can assume these concerns have not only remained but increased,&rdquo Amadi says.

Take Alec Bayot, a 21-year-old in the Los Angeles area who has downloaded- and deleted Facetune &ldquomultiple&rdquo times. The editing app turns your face and body into digital Play-Doh, to mold, pinch, and add volume wherever you want. &ldquoI&rsquom on social media basically 24/7. I make most of my hair, fashion, and beauty decisions based on what I see there, so it plays a big part in what I look like,&rdquo Bayot says.

Amanda Wilson, a 32-year-old in New York, also uses filters and Facetune often. She&rsquos been leaning on them to keep up appearances, especially in isolation, since her real-life lip filler started dissolving as doctors&rsquo offices remained closed. In the app, &ldquoI blur my skin, thin my face, and add a little plumpness in my lips,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIt has for sure affected how I look at myself.&rdquo

These women are not alone in their usage&mdashFacetune&rsquos parent company, Lightricks, reported that as social distancing began, use of its apps increased 20 percent. Plus, people spent more than 25 percent more time than usual editing their videos. That&rsquos on top of Facetune&rsquos already outsize influence. (To give an idea: In late 2018, the company also reported 100+ million downloads across its apps Facetune is the most popular one.)

Even if you&rsquore not going out of your way to pay $3.99 for Facetune, you might be one of the 1 billion people using built-in face perfectors across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal (these effects also exist on apps like Snapchat and TikTok). Filters such as &ldquoParis&rdquo subtly blur out pores. Other user-made filters alter your face more dramatically in just a swipe, enlarging your eyes, slimming your nose, or sharpening your jawline. There&rsquos even augmented-reality winged eyeliner, lashes, and lipstick.

&ldquoIt seems harmless at first, but a slight edit here and a slight edit there can spiral into obsessive-compulsive tendencies around body image,&rdquo Dr. Amadi says. &ldquoThese alterations divorce you from reality&ndashnobody glows, sparkles, and has perfect abs 24/7 in real life.&rdquo The always-documenting culture we exist in already sets hard-to-reach beauty standards. And as this digital lens becomes our permanent reality, the way we see ourselves is massively shifting. But you can pull back and live happily ever after (on Insta, at least). Let&rsquos filter the noise.

Social media&ndashdriven beauty trends have popularized a singular &ldquoInstagram Face&rdquo (the features seemingly appropriated from different ethnicities) and made it impossible to avoid. &ldquoIt&rsquos a scary phenomenon, as it has become a subconscious request that comes in daily through my practice,&rdquo says Shereene Idriss, MD, a dermatologist in NYC. &ldquoPatients nitpick their features apart and ask for a face that belongs to no one&ndashbut looks like 'everyone' on social media.&rdquo Here, the Instagram Face by the numbers&hellip

Number of views at time of writing for the #SideProfileCheck hashtag on TikTok, which encourages showing off your face&rsquos symmetry. &ldquoThe chin and jawline are having a moment on social media, where extreme definition has become the name of the game,&rdquo says Dr. Idriss. "That has to do with selfies and FaceTiming," adds Dara Liotta, MD, a plastic surgeon in New York City. "People are asking for much more nuanced things they were exposed to on social media&ndashlike added volume in the chin."

The age group that dermatologists and plastic surgeons agree most desires the &ldquocat-eye&rdquo effect of having eyes stretched up and back (as if pulled in a supertight ponytail), Dr. Idriss says. Both she and Dr. Liotta cited Bella Hadid as an of-the-moment example. Procedures done to do this include installing dissolvable PDO threads underneath the skin to pull it upwards (also called a "threadlift"), or Botox to lift the brow.

The typical price for an office visit to get a noninvasive nose job using a syringe of filler. &ldquoIt got to a point where I was doing 30 a month&mdashat least one a day,&rdquo says Dr. Liotta. The procedure&rsquos popularity was driven by dramatic before/afters and Hyperlapse videos shared widely on Instagram&ndashwhich Dr. Liotta calls "one hundred percent BS." She says it feeds into the false notion results are immediate when swelling and touch-ups are to be expected,"People are realizing that what they see on Instagram is not really what happens."

How much lip augmentation procedures have increased since 2000. Big, plump Bratz doll&ndashtype lips achieved with dissolving hyaluronic acid fillers are a popular request&mdashso much so that they were a large portion of the 2.7 million total filler procedures in 2019 alone.

$16.7 BILLION: How much Americans spent on cosmetic procedures in 2019. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

As more people embrace the no-makeup life, there&rsquos likely a big difference between the way we appear IRL and our polished digital alter egos (see: that #TBT of you in lipstick living on your grid). That may be dangerous: &ldquoA widening gap between one&rsquos digitally enhanced ideal self and one&rsquos actual self creates a dysphoria,&rdquo says Dr. Amadi. &ldquoThe chances of developing mental concerns and disorders like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD-related problems, including body dysmorphic disorder, also increase. It&rsquos a slippery slope.&rdquo

It doesn&rsquot help that the naked eye is gullible online. People recognize edited photos only 60 to 65 percent of the time while 12 percent of photos tagged #nofilter are, actually, filtered as one study found. &ldquoSome of the behaviors people engage in that inadvertently worsen their body image are &lsquochecking and avoidance&rsquo&mdashusing a filter is a perfect example of this,&rdquo says Terri Bacow, PhD, a psychologist in New York City. Editing your image reinforces a negative belief and &ldquoconfirms the thought that your natural body is not acceptable or good enough.&rdquo That&rsquos why Dr. Bacow suggests not using filters or any editing tools on photos, full stop. &ldquoThis is called exposure therapy,&rdquo she says. &ldquoThe idea is if you do something against something you believe&mdashthat you have to look perfect in all photos&mdashyour brain will be confused and try to resolve the conflict, which leads to a positive shift in perspective.&rdquo

Myla Bennett Powell, MD, a plastic surgeon in the Atlanta area, has a front-row seat on the magnification of body issues. Despite the interest in cosmetic procedures (in 2019, 18.1 million people in the U.S. had noninvasive treatments and surgery), she often turns people away. Below are three reality checks she gives prospective patients to help anyone think twice about desired changes:

Is the issue on your face, or deeper?

&ldquoEveryone&rsquos trying to be selfie-ready all the time&mdashthey&rsquore asking for cheek filler when their cheeks are sitting underneath their eyes already. Things have become so normalized that people treat it like they&rsquore buying jeans. I end up &lsquomothering&rsquo people who come into my office and sending them on their way. I don&rsquot enjoy seeing women pick themselves apart and break down their self-esteem comparing themselves to images they saw on Instagram&mdashwhich happens a lot. So if I see a hint of something that needs to be handled with a therapist first, I won&rsquot proceed, especially if they&rsquore young.&rdquo

Just because you can do a procedure doesn&rsquot mean you should.

&ldquoI try to neutralize feelings as best I can. Many women scroll past somebody they perceive as better than them. It&rsquos like they&rsquore looking through a cracked mirror.If you&rsquore modifying the physical based on a distorted image you&rsquore seeing, that&rsquos a major problem.&rdquo

You need to know who you are inside before you tackle the outside.

&ldquoPeople will come to me, especially women in their 40s, and say, &lsquoIt&rsquos time for me to take care of myself.&rsquo To me, the first thing you think of when you&rsquore taking care of yourself shouldn&rsquot be physical. This often happens after someone has gone through a bad breakup or a divorce and feels they need to get something done. We should be putting that energy into our inner self first. When you do it in that order, you don&rsquot end up in a position where you&rsquore putting yourself in danger to get a procedure (yes, it all comes with risk!). In other words, you&rsquore not going to put yourself in a desperate situation, because you already love yourself and fully believe you are worthy and amazing&mdashwhether or not you have big lips.&rdquo

Katharine Phillips, MD, a professor of psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine and leading expert on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), answers this question.

WH: Could using appearance-changing filters and apps contribute to developing BDD?

Dr. Phillips: Well, using the word contribute here is important because Instagram filters alone won&rsquot cause BDD. But for some people who are already at risk of developing it, they could tip them over the edge.

WH: How can you tell if you&rsquore at risk for developing the prob?

Dr. Phillips: We have some clues, but we don&rsquot fully know. Having been teased about your appearance or competence may be risk factors for developing it. BDD is actually partly genetic, so if you have a relative with BDD, that increases your risk too.

WH: What are the signs that your insecurities are turning into a disorder?

Dr. Phillips: BDD causes a preoccupation with perceived appearance defects that, to others, are non-existent or only slight. You may have BDD if you&rsquore spending one hour-plus a day worrying about how you look and these thoughts make you distressed&mdashsad, anxious, or self-conscious&mdashor cause problems in your daily life like skipping social events, having trouble focusing, or getting less done at work. Excessively checking your appearance in reflecting surfaces, comparing yourself, seeking reassurance, or spending too much time on grooming are other BDD compulsions.

WH: And what about treatment? What works?

Dr. Phillips: A licensed pro like a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication, or a psychologist, can help. In general, the best ways to tackle it are cognitive-behavioral therapy that is tailored to BDD symptoms, and prescriptions (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are usually well tolerated and not habit-forming).

NEARLY 10 MILLION people in the U.S. have BDD. (International OCD Foundation)

Trying to beat the comparison beast can feel like running on a treadmill&mdash
Heading nowhere. If you feel worse about yourself while scrolling, tap these expert-approved tactics to build more resilience and love what you see.

Check the Facts

&ldquoWe get so used to viewing our appearance through a lens of negative self-image and filters that we don&rsquot see what&rsquos really there. We distort it in our mind,&rdquo says Alyssa Lia Mancao, LCSW, a Los Angeles&ndashbased therapist. Try this: &ldquoLook at yourself in the mirror and describe your appearance without using any subjective language,&rdquo she says. That means quelling the critical voice in your head (&ldquomy lashes are too short&rdquo) and describing yourself objectively (&ldquoI have two eyes&rdquo) or focusing on function (&ldquomy eyes allow me to see&rdquo).

Limit Your Use

Curate your feed! &ldquoUnfollow people that trigger unhelpful thoughts or feelings,&rdquo says Mancao. &ldquoIt&rsquos okay to mute the accounts that don&rsquot make you feel good about yourself and start following accounts that make you feel better.&rdquo And when all else fails, log off.

Embrace Affirmations

The way you talk to yourself matters too. Use affirmations (i.e., first-person statements like &ldquoI don&rsquot need to look perfect to be accepted by others&rdquo) and say them out loud. Stuck at what to focus on? &ldquoSometimes it helps to give yourself &lsquopermission&rsquo to do something,&rdquo Dr. Amadi says. &ldquoA powerful statement is: &lsquoI grant myself permission to love my body today.&rsquo This helps you get out of your own way.&rdquo

Practice Mindfulness

This means increasing your awareness and acceptance and allowing negative thoughts and emotions to pass. View your thoughts as &ldquoclouds passing in the sky&rdquo&mdashyou notice their shapes and colors but just let them roll by, suggests Dr. Amadi. Likewise, when you see images that trigger anxiety, self-con-scious-ness, envy, sadness, or other negative emotions, take a breath and acknowledge them without judgment. &ldquoNote your thoughts, feelings, and reactions, and accept them as they are,&rdquo she says.

Give Gratitude

Or, practice self-appreciation. &ldquoYour body does more for you than anybody else ever could,&rdquo says Dr. Amadi. &ldquoThink about it. It should be honored and celebrated.&rdquo So the next time you catch yourself griping about your stomach or legs, redirect the conversation by offering a genuine thank you for how this part of your body has served you.

Connect With Your Values

Swap out vanity-based goals like &ldquoreduce wrinkles&rdquo to focus on values like &ldquobeing healthy and happy.&rdquo Ground yourself by asking questions like, What&rsquos important to me? What brings me joy? Who do I love? &ldquoRemember that appearance is just one aspect of who you are. Try to accept and value your assets,&rdquo Dr. Phillips says. &ldquoIs your best friend your best friend because she has a very symmetrical nose? Probably not. Relationships don&rsquot work long-term because someone has perfect teeth.&rdquo


What Type of Criminal Are You? 19th-Century Doctors Claimed to Know by Your Face

Can you tell who a criminal is just by looking at them? No you can’t, but that didn’t stop the idea from gaining traction in the late 19th century. Early criminologists in the U.S. and Europe seriously debated whether criminals have certain identifying facial features separating them from non-criminals. And even though there is no scientific data to support this false premise of a 𠇋orn criminal,” it played a role in shaping the field we now know as criminology.

This idea first struck Cesare Lombroso, the so-called �ther of criminology,” in the early 1870s. While examining the dead body of Giuseppe Villella, a man who𠆝 gone to prison for theft and arson, the Italian professor made what he considered a great discovery: Villella had an indentation on the back of his skull that Lombroso thought resembled those found on ape skulls.

𠇊t the sight of that skull, I seemed to see all of a sudden…the problem of the nature of the criminal𠅊n atavistic being who reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals,” he wrote in his 1876 book Criminal Man (which he expanded in four subsequent editions).

“Thus were explained anatomically the enormous jaws, high cheek bones” and other features 𠇏ound in criminals, savages and apes,” he continued. These features corresponded, he argued, to a “love of orgies and the irresistible craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood.”

Lombroso’s ideas led to a major shift in how western scholars and authorities viewed crime. Previously, many Enlightenment thinkers believed humans made choices about breaking the law of their own free will. But Lombroso theorized that a good portion of criminals have an innate criminality that is difficult for them to resist. Followers of this new school of thought placed an emphasis on removing 𠇋orn criminals” from society rather than seeking to reform them. Though the specific premise that physical features correspond to criminality has been debunked, its influence is still felt in modern debates about the role of nature vs. nurture, and even in the surprise after Ted Bundy’s arrest because the handsome law student 𠇍idn’t look like” a serial killer.

Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

What Lombroso was doing was combining phrenology and physiognomy, two types of pseudoscience that purported to explain a person’s personality and behavior based on his skull and facial features, respectively. White men before him had used these pseudosciences to advance racist theories, and now Lombroso was using them to develop the field of 𠇌riminal anthropology.”

Like his predecessors, Lombroso also relied on racist stereotypes. “Oblique eyelids, a Mongolian characteristic” and “the projection of the lower face and jaws (prognathism) found in negroes” were some of the features he singled out as indicative of criminality. Lombroso also laid out what types of facial features he thought corresponded to specific kinds of crime.

“In general, thieves are notable for their expressive faces and manual dexterity, small wandering eyes that are often oblique in form, thick and close eyebrows, distorted or squashed noses, thin beards and hair, and sloping foreheads,” he wrote in Criminal Man. “Like rapists, they often have jug ears. Rapists, however, nearly always have sparkling eyes, delicate features, and swollen lips and eyelids. Most of them are frail some are hunchbacked.”

Before publishing Criminal Man, Lombroso had taught psychiatry, nervous pathology and anthropology at the University of Pavia and directed the insane asylum of Pesaro from 1871 to 1873. After the book, he became a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Turin. To law enforcement figures at the time, he was considered an authority.

Examples of physiognomy of criminals illustrated from L&aposuomo Delinquente (Criminal Man), 1876, by Cesare Lombroso.

“He was tremendously influential,” says Diana Bretherick, a retired criminal lawyer with a PhD in criminology. “He was the first person to make crime and criminals a specific area of study, so that’s why he’s called the father of modern criminology." He was also the first person to write about female crime, she explains.

As an expert, Lombroso sometimes provided advice in criminal cases. In a case in which a man sexually assaulted and infected a three-year-old girl, Lombroso bragged that he singled out the perpetrator from among six suspects based on his appearance. “I picked out immediately one among them who had obscene tattooing upon his arm, a sinister physiognomy, irregularities of the field of vision, and also traces of a recent attack of syphilis,” he wrote in his 1899 book, Crime, Its Causes and Remedies. “Later this individual confessed to his crime.”

Translated versions of Lombroso’s books spread his ideas throughout Europe and the U.S. as Social Darwinism𠅊 warped version of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution—took hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the scholars who subscribed to his theories was leading American sociologist Charles A. Ellwood, who became president of the American Sociological Society in 1924.

“The publication of Lombroso&aposs works in English should mark an epoch in the development of criminological science in America,” Ellwood gushed in a 1912 issue of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, where he was an associate editor. Ellwood felt “Lombroso has demonstrated beyond a doubt that crime has biological roots,” and that his books “should be found in the library of every judge of a criminal court, every criminal lawyer and every student of criminology and penology.”

Equipment to measure skulls pictured in the Cesare Lombroso Museum in Turin, Italy. The museum of Criminal Anthropology was created by Lombroso in 1876 and opened to the public in 2009.

Alessandro Albert/Getty Images

Lombroso also inspired others to perform studies of criminals in order to determine the 𠇌riminal type.” Earnest A. Hooton, an anthropologist at Harvard University, measured more than 17,000 people in the 1930s and concluded that 𠇌riminals are inferior to civilians in nearly all of their bodily measurements.”ਏrancis Galton, the racist British anthropologist who coined the term 𠇎ugenics,” created composite images of “The Jewish Type” and influenced Nazi thinking, also tried and failed to come up with his own catalogue of criminal features.

Not everyone agreed with these ideas. After Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy met Lombroso, he ridiculed his theories in the 1899 novel Resurrection. And while Alphonse Bertillon—the French policeman who pioneered the mug shot and a system for measuring criminals—thought physical features could disadvantage a person, thus making her more likely to turn to crime, he disagreed that those features were directly linked to criminality.

Still, Lombroso’s ideas about the 𠇌riminal type” outlasted him. When casting M, a 1931 movie about a child-killer in Berlin, filmmaker Fritz Lang said “my idea was to cast the murderer aside from what Lombroso has said what a murderer is: big eyebrows, big shoulders, you know, the famous Lombroso picture of a murderer.”

Modern facial-recognition technology—which is more likely to mis-identify people of color—has again raised the spectre of Lombroso’s 𠇌riminal type.” In 2016, two researchers at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University published a paper arguing that they had used facial-recognition technology to pinpoint features that corresponded to criminality. One of the study’s flaws, critics pointed out, was its assumption that the population of people convicted of crimes accurately reflects the population of people who commit them.

Early criminologists couldn’t have predicted modern facial-recognition technology, but even scholars before them could foresee the moral problems it raises. In the 18th-century, the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg warned about the dangers of taking “physiognomy” seriously: “one will hang children before they have done the deeds that merit the gallows.” One might also overlook Ted Bundy, with his symmetrical features and clean-cut looks, as a potential suspect.


What Type of Criminal Are You? 19th-Century Doctors Claimed to Know by Your Face

Can you tell who a criminal is just by looking at them? No you can’t, but that didn’t stop the idea from gaining traction in the late 19th century. Early criminologists in the U.S. and Europe seriously debated whether criminals have certain identifying facial features separating them from non-criminals. And even though there is no scientific data to support this false premise of a 𠇋orn criminal,” it played a role in shaping the field we now know as criminology.

This idea first struck Cesare Lombroso, the so-called �ther of criminology,” in the early 1870s. While examining the dead body of Giuseppe Villella, a man who𠆝 gone to prison for theft and arson, the Italian professor made what he considered a great discovery: Villella had an indentation on the back of his skull that Lombroso thought resembled those found on ape skulls.

𠇊t the sight of that skull, I seemed to see all of a sudden…the problem of the nature of the criminal𠅊n atavistic being who reproduces in his person the ferocious instincts of primitive humanity and the inferior animals,” he wrote in his 1876 book Criminal Man (which he expanded in four subsequent editions).

“Thus were explained anatomically the enormous jaws, high cheek bones” and other features 𠇏ound in criminals, savages and apes,” he continued. These features corresponded, he argued, to a “love of orgies and the irresistible craving for evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to mutilate the corpse, tear its flesh, and drink its blood.”

Lombroso’s ideas led to a major shift in how western scholars and authorities viewed crime. Previously, many Enlightenment thinkers believed humans made choices about breaking the law of their own free will. But Lombroso theorized that a good portion of criminals have an innate criminality that is difficult for them to resist. Followers of this new school of thought placed an emphasis on removing 𠇋orn criminals” from society rather than seeking to reform them. Though the specific premise that physical features correspond to criminality has been debunked, its influence is still felt in modern debates about the role of nature vs. nurture, and even in the surprise after Ted Bundy’s arrest because the handsome law student 𠇍idn’t look like” a serial killer.

Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

What Lombroso was doing was combining phrenology and physiognomy, two types of pseudoscience that purported to explain a person’s personality and behavior based on his skull and facial features, respectively. White men before him had used these pseudosciences to advance racist theories, and now Lombroso was using them to develop the field of 𠇌riminal anthropology.”

Like his predecessors, Lombroso also relied on racist stereotypes. “Oblique eyelids, a Mongolian characteristic” and “the projection of the lower face and jaws (prognathism) found in negroes” were some of the features he singled out as indicative of criminality. Lombroso also laid out what types of facial features he thought corresponded to specific kinds of crime.

“In general, thieves are notable for their expressive faces and manual dexterity, small wandering eyes that are often oblique in form, thick and close eyebrows, distorted or squashed noses, thin beards and hair, and sloping foreheads,” he wrote in Criminal Man. “Like rapists, they often have jug ears. Rapists, however, nearly always have sparkling eyes, delicate features, and swollen lips and eyelids. Most of them are frail some are hunchbacked.”

Before publishing Criminal Man, Lombroso had taught psychiatry, nervous pathology and anthropology at the University of Pavia and directed the insane asylum of Pesaro from 1871 to 1873. After the book, he became a professor of forensic medicine at the University of Turin. To law enforcement figures at the time, he was considered an authority.

Examples of physiognomy of criminals illustrated from L&aposuomo Delinquente (Criminal Man), 1876, by Cesare Lombroso.

“He was tremendously influential,” says Diana Bretherick, a retired criminal lawyer with a PhD in criminology. “He was the first person to make crime and criminals a specific area of study, so that’s why he’s called the father of modern criminology." He was also the first person to write about female crime, she explains.

As an expert, Lombroso sometimes provided advice in criminal cases. In a case in which a man sexually assaulted and infected a three-year-old girl, Lombroso bragged that he singled out the perpetrator from among six suspects based on his appearance. “I picked out immediately one among them who had obscene tattooing upon his arm, a sinister physiognomy, irregularities of the field of vision, and also traces of a recent attack of syphilis,” he wrote in his 1899 book, Crime, Its Causes and Remedies. “Later this individual confessed to his crime.”

Translated versions of Lombroso’s books spread his ideas throughout Europe and the U.S. as Social Darwinism𠅊 warped version of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution—took hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the scholars who subscribed to his theories was leading American sociologist Charles A. Ellwood, who became president of the American Sociological Society in 1924.

“The publication of Lombroso&aposs works in English should mark an epoch in the development of criminological science in America,” Ellwood gushed in a 1912 issue of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, where he was an associate editor. Ellwood felt “Lombroso has demonstrated beyond a doubt that crime has biological roots,” and that his books “should be found in the library of every judge of a criminal court, every criminal lawyer and every student of criminology and penology.”

Equipment to measure skulls pictured in the Cesare Lombroso Museum in Turin, Italy. The museum of Criminal Anthropology was created by Lombroso in 1876 and opened to the public in 2009.

Alessandro Albert/Getty Images

Lombroso also inspired others to perform studies of criminals in order to determine the 𠇌riminal type.” Earnest A. Hooton, an anthropologist at Harvard University, measured more than 17,000 people in the 1930s and concluded that 𠇌riminals are inferior to civilians in nearly all of their bodily measurements.”ਏrancis Galton, the racist British anthropologist who coined the term 𠇎ugenics,” created composite images of “The Jewish Type” and influenced Nazi thinking, also tried and failed to come up with his own catalogue of criminal features.

Not everyone agreed with these ideas. After Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy met Lombroso, he ridiculed his theories in the 1899 novel Resurrection. And while Alphonse Bertillon—the French policeman who pioneered the mug shot and a system for measuring criminals—thought physical features could disadvantage a person, thus making her more likely to turn to crime, he disagreed that those features were directly linked to criminality.

Still, Lombroso’s ideas about the 𠇌riminal type” outlasted him. When casting M, a 1931 movie about a child-killer in Berlin, filmmaker Fritz Lang said “my idea was to cast the murderer aside from what Lombroso has said what a murderer is: big eyebrows, big shoulders, you know, the famous Lombroso picture of a murderer.”

Modern facial-recognition technology—which is more likely to mis-identify people of color—has again raised the spectre of Lombroso’s 𠇌riminal type.” In 2016, two researchers at China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University published a paper arguing that they had used facial-recognition technology to pinpoint features that corresponded to criminality. One of the study’s flaws, critics pointed out, was its assumption that the population of people convicted of crimes accurately reflects the population of people who commit them.

Early criminologists couldn’t have predicted modern facial-recognition technology, but even scholars before them could foresee the moral problems it raises. In the 18th-century, the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg warned about the dangers of taking “physiognomy” seriously: “one will hang children before they have done the deeds that merit the gallows.” One might also overlook Ted Bundy, with his symmetrical features and clean-cut looks, as a potential suspect.


Possible Explanations

While research is limited, the available findings offer some clues as to what might explain aphantasia.

  • In MX's case, functional MRI scans found that brain activation patterns when looking at pictures of famous faces had no significant differences from normal controls.   However, when the patient tried to visualize imagery, there was a significant reduction in activation patterns across posterior networks, while frontal region activity was significantly increased compared to controls.
  • The researchers suggest that this indicates the patient relied on a different cognitive strategy during the imagery task.
  • The authors further propose that such results indicate that performance on visual memory and visual imagery tasks are not dependent upon the actual experience of visual imagery.

Why Do We Struggle With Beauty and Body Image?

The beauty industry spends billions of dollars a year convincing women that they need to look thinner, younger and sexier. Biola Magazine asked Tamara Anderson — a professor in Biola’s Rosemead School of Psychology — about the high toll the media takes on women’s body image.

How many women struggle with an unhealthy body image?

The majority of women will say they are dissatisfied with their bodies, but, on the flip side, many of them can also tell you what they like, such as their eyes or hair. This is healthy because it shows they can assess themselves. So having a healthy body image is not about thinking, “I feel good about myself in all these areas,” because having areas for improvement is just the state of being human. But if a woman feels so bad about how she looks that she doesn’t leave her house or hang out with friends, or doesn’t put herself in a community where she might develop a romantic attachment, then it’s affecting her life. And, according to the current literature, one in four women in Western culture will have an eating disorder — anorexia or bulimia — in their lifetimes.

Do more women in Western culture have an unhealthy body image than in other cultures?

Eating disorders are seen around the world in every industrialized country. But in Western culture, media has a huge influence on women’s body image, and we definitely see higher rates of eating disorders in the West. The California subculture — home to the entertainment industry and so many beaches — is particularly a problem. In California culture, men are much more concerned about how their bodies look than in other places, with what’s pushed out here as being the ideal body. But it still does not equal what women deal with.

How does the media contribute to an unhealthy body image?

The whole beauty industry is built on, “You’re not OK the way you are. We’ll make you better.” It would seem bizarre to us today, but 50 years ago, when television was brand new, there were commercials that would say, “Gain 10 pounds in a week, guaranteed.” Women bought these products until wafer thin was considered the best body to have. Then, for a while, Cindy Crawford brought in a new kind of image of models who looked healthier. Also, in advertisements a woman is often treated as a body or a collection of body parts and not a whole. For example, often you’ll see a part of a woman’s body — maybe her head isn’t showing and her knees and below aren’t showing, but the rest of her body is. That’s a clear objectification of a woman.

Do celebrities struggle with body image issues?

Yes, they’re also victims of the media. I’ve worked with models whose names you’d know based on how popular they are, and they’ve had to lie in bed for 20 minutes in the morning repeating to themselves, “I am worthy to get up” because they think they’re ugly and they’re depressed and suicidal. Other people look at them and say, “Wow, they must have a good life,” but they have no idea what these women deal with everyday.

Does the rise in plastic surgeries influence body image?

Yes, this has been very disturbing to me. I just heard a radio ad for breast implants for $299.95. You could get your full body redone for something like $6,000. It sounded like a paint job for a car. The mentality is, “If you’re unhappy with something about your body, then get it fixed.” I just heard of a case from a colleague who is working with a client whose parents gave her breast implants for her 16th birthday. That’s outrageous. The problem with plastic surgeries is that — even if one area of the body gets “fixed” — there’s always something else to be upset about. If somebody has true body image issues, then 20 plastic surgeries won’t fix what’s broken on the inside. Of course, some people do have very simple concerns. For example, they feel they have an unusually large nose as defined by their culture. If they basically feel good about themselves otherwise, then getting a nose job can make them feel good because that’s all they were concerned about. But the availability of plastic surgery to the general public is clouding the issue of body image.

Besides the media, are there other factors that contribute to an unhealthy body image?

Family messages are very powerful. I’ve worked with girls who are 9 years old who exhibit eating disorder symptoms, partly because they’ve been told by their families, “You’re fat. You don’t want to be fat.” So, they start to see themselves as unworthy based on body size. If body image is elevated above other things in girls’ minds, that can create a problem.

What does current research into body image reveal?

The more refined research is showing the impact of women’s perceived body image — their ideas of what other people think of them — rather than what other people really think of them. There’s a subtle difference there, like, for instance, with a husband and wife. The husband will say, “I think you’re fine,” but if the woman’s perception is that he really doesn’t mean that, then that takes a toll on her. He can be saying until he’s blue in the face, “I don’t have any trouble with how you’re shaped and what you look like,” but her perception is what is the most powerful.

What steps should be taken if someone suffers from an unhealthy body image?

With clinical eating disorders, interventions will vary woman to woman. I’ve worked with clients who I’ve told not to read fashion magazines. That may seem like a small thing, but it’s not small for somebody who is already distressed about her body because fashion magazines depress every woman. Many of my patients have spent a lot of money on them, and they also often surround themselves with people who reinforce the message that they’re overweight. These are the girls with boyfriends who tell them, “You need to lose some weight.” So, women can choose to be in relationships with men who don’t talk that way to them. And Christian women can learn to see themselves as God sees them. That can be a wonderful healing thing, knowing “I’m one of God’s creatures. He created me. I’m beautiful to Him.”

How can families help young girls develop a healthy body image?

I have a 6-year-old daughter who loves to put on outfits and match them. I’ll say, “Oh, you look beautiful. What a smart girl you are to be able to be so creative with your clothes.” So, I’m always throwing in what a smart girl she is with how beautiful she looks. However, you don’t want to go too far the other direction and deny telling girls they’re beautiful. Families must also realize that moms set the tone a lot of the times. If mom is continually obsessing about her weight and continually dieting — always saying, “Oh my goodness, how many calories are in that?” — that sends a very strong message to young girls as to what they should be concerned about and what’s most important in the world.


1. Set It Right

Before you begin adding images, you will have to configure Word to play nice with pictures. There are two settings to make it easier for you to add images that don’t act and look like text because it's not. Ideally, you should be able to drag it to wherever you want inside Word.

The Word comes with anchor points that by default are not visible. To make anchor points visible, open Word and click on File button. Then click on Options at the bottom of the screen in the sidebar.

Under Display, you will see Object anchors option that should be toggled on. You will now see the anchor symbol whenever you insert an image.

One more thing you need to do is change how Word places the image after adding it. Inside Word Options above, there is another tab called Advanced. Under Cut, copy, and paste, you will find Insert pictures as an option. Change it to Square.

Don’t forget to click OK every time you change a setting. That will tell Word to stop treating pictures as text but instead as images.

Also on Guiding Tech

How to Edit Images Using Microsoft Word 2016

The War Photo No One Would Publish

When Kenneth Jarecke photographed an Iraqi man burned alive, he thought it would change the way Americans saw the Gulf War. But the media wouldn’t run the picture.

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone. In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him. Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name. He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad.

Jarecke took the picture just before a cease-fire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August. The image, and its anonymous subject, might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.” The Vietnam War, in contrast, was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography. Some images, such as Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public, but other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.

Not every gruesome photo reveals an important truth about conflict and combat. Last month, The New York Times decided—for valid ethical reasons—to remove images of dead passengers from an online story about Flight MH17 in Ukraine and replace them with photos of mechanical wreckage. Sometimes though, omitting an image means shielding the public from the messy, imprecise consequences of a war—making the coverage incomplete, and even deceptive.

In the case of the charred Iraqi soldier, the hypnotizing and awful photograph ran against the popular myth of the Gulf War as a “video-game war”—a conflict made humane through precision bombing and night-vision equipment. By deciding not to publish it, Time magazine and the Associated Press denied the public the opportunity to confront this unknown enemy and consider his excruciating final moments.

The image was not entirely lost. The Observer in the United Kingdom and Libération in France both published it after the American media refused. Many months later, the photo also appeared in American Photo, where it stoked some controversy, but came too late to have a significant impact. All of this surprised the photographer, who had assumed the media would be only too happy to challenge the popular narrative of a clean, uncomplicated war. “When you have an image that disproves that myth,” he says today, “then you think it’s going to be widely published.”

“He was fighting to save his life to the very end, till he was completely burned up,” Jarecke says of the man he photographed. “He was trying to get out of that truck.”

“Let me say up front that I don’t like the press,” one Air Force officer declared, starting a January 1991 press briefing on a blunt note. The military’s bitterness toward the media was in no small part a legacy of the Vietnam coverage decades before. By the time the Gulf War started, the Pentagon had developed access policies that drew on press restrictions used in the U.S. wars in Grenada and Panama in the 1980s. Under this so-called pool system, the military grouped print, TV, and radio reporters together with cameramen and photojournalists and sent these small teams on orchestrated press junkets, supervised by public-affairs officers (PAOs) who kept a close watch on their charges.

By the time Operation Desert Storm began in mid-January 1991, Kenneth Jarecke had decided he no longer wanted to be a combat photographer—a profession, he says, that “dominates your life.” But after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, Jarecke developed a low opinion of the photojournalism coming out of Desert Shield, the prewar operation to build up troops and equipment in the Gulf. “It was one picture after another of a sunset with camels and a tank,” he says. War was approaching, and Jarecke says he saw a clear need for a different kind of coverage. He felt he could fill that void.

After the UN’s January 15, 1991, deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait came and went, Jarecke, now certain he should go, persuaded Time magazine to send him to Saudi Arabia. He packed up his cameras and shipped out from Andrews Air Force Base on January 17—the first day of the aerial bombing campaign against Iraq.

Out in the field with the troops, Jarecke recalls, “anybody could challenge you,” however absurdly and without reason. He remembers straying 30 feet away from his PAO and having a soldier bark at him, “What are you doing?” Jarecke retorted, “What do you mean what am I doing?”

Recounting the scene two decades later, Jarecke still sounds exasperated. “Some first lieutenant telling me, you know, where I’m gonna stand. In the middle of the desert.”

As the war picked up in early February, PAOs accompanied Jarecke and several other journalists as they attached to the Army XVIII Airborne Corps and spent two weeks at the Saudi-Iraqi border doing next to nothing. That didn’t mean nothing was happening—just that they lacked access to the action.

During the same period, the military photojournalist Lee Corkran was embedding with the U.S. Air Force’s 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron in Doha, Qatar, and capturing their aerial bombing campaigns. He was there to take pictures for the Pentagon to use as it saw fit—not primarily for media use. In his images, pilots look over their shoulders to check on other planes. Bombs hang off the jets’ wings, their sharp-edged darkness contrasting with the soft colors of the clouds and desert below. In the distance, the curvature of the earth is visible. On missions, Corkran’s plane would often flip upside down at high speed as the pilots dodged missiles, leaving silvery streaks in the sky. Gravitational forces multiplied the weight of his cameras—so much so that if he had ever needed to eject from the plane, his equipment could have snapped his neck. This was the air war that composed most of the combat mission in the Gulf that winter.

The scenes Corkran witnessed weren’t just off-limits to Jarecke they were also invisible to viewers in the United States, despite the rise of 24-hour reporting during the conflict. Gulf War television coverage, as Ken Burns wrote at the time, felt cinematic and often sensational, with “distracting theatrics” and “pounding new theme music,” as if “the war itself might be a wholly owned subsidiary of television.”

Some of the most widely seen images of the air war were shot not by photographers, but rather by unmanned cameras attached to planes and laser-guided bombs. Grainy shots and video footage of the roofs of targeted buildings, moments before impact, became a visual signature of a war that was deeply associated with phrases such as “smart bombs” and “surgical strike.” The images were taken at an altitude that erased the human presence on the ground. They were black-and-white shots, some with bluish or greenish casts. One from February 1991, published in the photo book In The Eye of Desert Storm by the now-defunct Sygma photo agency, showed a bridge that was being used as an Iraqi supply route. In another, black plumes of smoke from French bombs blanketed an Iraqi Republican Guard base like ink blots. None of them looked especially violent.

The hardware-focused coverage of the war removed the empathy that Jarecke says is crucial in photography, particularly photography that’s meant to document death and violence. “A photographer without empathy,” he remarks, “is just taking up space that could be better used.”

The burned-out truck, surrounded by corpses, on the “Highway of Death”

In late February, during the war’s final hours, Jarecke and the rest of his press pool drove across the desert, each of them taking turns behind the wheel. They had been awake for several days straight. “We had no idea where we were. We were in a convoy,” Jarecke recalls. He dozed off.

When he woke up, they had parked and the sun was about to rise. It was almost 6 o’clock in the morning. The group received word that a cease-fire was a few hours away, and Jarecke remembers another member of his pool cajoling the press officer into abandoning the convoy and heading toward Kuwait City.

The group figured they were in southern Iraq, somewhere in the desert about 70 miles away from Kuwait City. They began driving toward Kuwait, hitting Highway 8 and stopping to take pictures and record video footage. They came upon a jarring scene: burned-out Iraqi military convoys and incinerated corpses. Jarecke sat in the truck, alone with Patrick Hermanson, a public-affairs officer. He moved to get out of the vehicle with his cameras.

Hermanson found the idea of photographing the scene distasteful. When I asked him about the conversation, he recalled asking Jarecke, “What do you need to take a picture of that for?” Implicit in his question was a judgment: There was something dishonorable about photographing the dead.

“I’m not interested in it either,” Jarecke recalls replying. He told the officer that he didn’t want his mother to see his name next to photographs of corpses. “But if I don’t take pictures like these, people like my mom will think war is what they see in movies.” As Hermanson remembers, Jarecke added, “It’s what I came here to do. It’s what I have to do.”

“He let me go,” Jarecke recounts. “He didn’t try to stop me. He could have stopped me because it was technically not allowed under the rules of the pool. But he didn’t stop me and I walked over there.”

More than two decades later, Hermanson notes that Jarecke’s resulting picture was “pretty special.” He doesn’t need to see the photograph to resurrect the scene in his mind. “It’s seared into my memory,” he says, “as if it happened yesterday.”

The incinerated man stared back at Jarecke through the camera’s viewfinder, his blackened arm reaching over the edge of the truck’s windshield. Jarecke recalls that he could “see clearly how precious life was to this guy, because he was fighting for it. He was fighting to save his life to the very end, till he was completely burned up. He was trying to get out of that truck.”

Jarecke wrote later that year in American Photo magazine that he “wasn’t thinking at all about what was there if I had thought about how horrific the guy looked, I wouldn’t have been able to make the picture.” Instead, he maintained his emotional remove by attending to the more prosaic and technical elements of photography. He kept himself steady he concentrated on the focus. The sun shone in through the rear of the destroyed truck and backlit his subject. Another burned body lay directly in front of the vehicle, blocking a close-up shot, so Jarecke used the full 200mm zoom lens on his Canon EOS-1.

In his other shots of the same scene, it is apparent that the soldier could never have survived, even if he had pulled himself up out of the driver’s seat and through the window. The desert sand around the truck is scorched. Bodies are piled behind the vehicle, indistinguishable from one another. A lone, burned man lies face down in front of the truck, everything incinerated except the soles of his bare feet. In another photograph, a man lies spread-eagle on the sand, his body burned to the point of disintegration, but his face mostly intact and oddly serene. A dress shoe lies next to his body.

The group continued on across the desert, passing through more stretches of highway littered with the same fire-ravaged bodies and vehicles. Jarecke and his pool were possibly the first members of the Western media to come across these scenes, which appeared along what eventually became known as the Highway of Death, sometimes referred to as the Road to Hell.

The retreating Iraqi soldiers had been trapped. They were frozen in a traffic jam, blocked off by the Americans, by Mutla Ridge, by a minefield. Some fled on foot the rest were strafed by American planes that swooped overhead, passing again and again to destroy all the vehicles. Milk vans, fire trucks, limousines, and one bulldozer appeared in the wreckage alongside armored cars and trucks, and T-55 and T-72 tanks. Most vehicles held fully loaded, but rusting, Kalashnikov variants. According to descriptions from reporters like The New York Times’ R. W. Apple and The Observer’s Colin Smith, amid the plastic mines, grenades, ammunition, and gas masks, a quadruple-barreled antiaircraft gun stood crewless and still pointing skyward. Personal items, like a photograph of a child’s birthday party and broken crayons, littered the ground beside weapons and body parts. The body count never seems to have been determined, although the BBC puts it in the “thousands.”

“In one truck,” wrote Colin Smith in a March 3 dispatch for The Observer, “the radio had been knocked out of the dashboard but was still wired up and faintly picking up some plaintive Arabic air which sounded so utterly forlorn I thought at first it must be a cry for help.”

Iraqi prisoners of war, captured by the U.S. military on their way to Baghdad

Following the February 28 cease-fire that ended Desert Storm, Jarecke’s film roll with the image of the incinerated soldier reached the Joint Information Bureau in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where the military coordinated and corralled the press, and where pool editors received and filed stories and photographs. At that point, with the operation over, the photograph would not have needed to pass through a security screening, says Maryanne Golon, who was the on-site photo editor for Time in Saudi Arabia and is now the director of photography for The Washington Post. Despite the obviously shocking content, she tells me she reacted like an editor in work mode. She selected it, without debate or controversy among the pool editors, to be scanned and transmitted. The image made its way back to the editors’ offices in New York City.

Jarecke also made his way from Saudi Arabia to New York. Passing through Heathrow Airport on a layover, he bought a copy of the March 3 edition of The Observer. He opened it to find his photograph on page 9, printed at the top across eight columns under the heading “The Real Face of War.”

That weekend in March, when The Observer’s editors made the final decision to print the image, every magazine in North America made the opposite choice. Jarecke’s photograph did not even appear on the desks of most U.S. newspaper editors (the exception being The New York Times, which had a photo wire service subscription but nonetheless declined to publish the image). The photograph was entirely absent from American media until far past the time when it was relevant to ground reporting from Iraq and Kuwait. Golon says she wasn’t surprised by this, even though she’d chosen to transmit it to the American press. “I didn’t think there was any chance they’d publish it,” she says.

Apart from The Observer, the only major news outlet to run the Iraqi soldier’s photograph at the time was the Parisian news daily Libération, which ran it on March 4. Both newspapers refrained from putting the image on the front page, though they ran it prominently inside. But Aidan Sullivan, the pictures editor for the British Sunday Times, told the British Journal of Photography on March 14 that he had opted instead for a wide shot of the carnage: a desert highway littered with rubble. He challenged The Observer: “We would have thought our readers could work out that a lot of people had died in those vehicles. Do you have to show it to them?”

“There were 1,400 [Iraqi soldiers] in that convoy, and every picture transmitted until that one came, two days after the event, was of debris, bits of equipment,” Tony McGrath, The Observer’s pictures editor, was quoted as saying in the same article. “No human involvement in it at all it could have been a scrap yard. That was some dreadful censorship.”

The media took it upon themselves to “do what the military censorship did not do,” says Robert Pledge, the head of the Contact Press Images photojournalism agency that has represented Jarecke since the 1980s. The night they received the image, Pledge tells me, editors at the Associated Press’s New York City offices pulled the photo entirely from the wire service, keeping it off the desks of virtually all of America’s newspaper editors. It is unknown precisely how, why, or by whom the AP’s decision was handed down.

Vincent Alabiso, who at the time was the executive photo editor for the AP, later distanced himself from the wire service’s decision. In 2003, he admitted to American Journalism Review that the photograph ought to have gone out on the wire and argued that such a photo would today.

Yet the AP’s reaction was repeated at Time and Life. Both magazines briefly considered the photo, unofficially referred to as “Crispy,” for publication. The photo departments even drew up layout plans. Time, which had sent Jarecke to the Gulf in the first place, planned for the image to accompany a story about the Highway of Death.

“We fought like crazy to get our editors to let us publish that picture,” the former photo director Michele Stephenson tells me. As she recalls, Henry Muller, the managing editor, told her, “Time is a family magazine.” And the image was, when it came down to it, just too disturbing for the outlet to publish. It was, to her recollection, the only instance during the Gulf War where the photo department fought but failed to get an image into print.

James Gaines, the managing editor of Life, took responsibility for the ultimate decision not to run Jarecke’s image in his own magazine’s pages, despite the photo director Peter Howe’s push to give it a double-page spread. “We thought that this was the stuff of nightmares,” Gaines told Ian Buchanan of the British Journal of Photography in March 1991. “We have a fairly substantial number of children who read Life magazine,” he added. Even so, the photograph was published later that month in one of Life’s special issues devoted to the Gulf War—not typical reading material for the elementary-school set.

Stella Kramer, who worked as a freelance photo editor for Life on four special-edition issues on the Gulf War, tells me that the decision to not publish Jarecke’s photo was less about protecting readers than preserving the dominant narrative of the good, clean war. Flipping through 23-year-old issues, Kramer expresses clear distaste at the editorial quality of what she helped to create. The magazines “were very sanitized,” she says. “So that’s why these issues are all basically just propaganda.” She points out the picture on the cover of the February 25 issue: a young blond boy dwarfed by the American flag he’s holding. “As far as Americans were concerned,” she remarks, “nobody ever died.”

“If pictures tell stories,” Lee Corkran tells me, “the story should have a point. So if the point is the utter annihilation of people who were in retreat and all the charred bodies … if that’s your point, then that’s true. And so be it. I mean, war is ugly. It’s hideous.” To Corkran, who was awarded the Bronze Star for his Gulf War combat photography, pictures like Jarecke’s tell important stories about the effects of American and allied airpower. Even Patrick Hermanson, the public-affairs officer who originally protested the idea of taking pictures of the scene, now says the media should not have censored the photo.

The U.S. military has now abandoned the pool system it used in 1990 and 1991, and the internet has changed the way photos reach the public. Even if the AP did refuse to send out a photo, online outlets would certainly run it, and no managing editor would be able to prevent it from being shared across various social platforms, or being the subject of extensive op-ed and blog commentary. If anything, today’s controversies often center on the vast abundance of disturbing photographs, and the difficulty of putting them in a meaningful context.

Some have argued that showing bloodshed and trauma repeatedly and sensationally can dull emotional understanding. But never showing these images in the first place guarantees that such an understanding will never develop. “Try to imagine, if only for a moment, what your intellectual, political, and ethical world would be like if you had never seen a photograph,” the author Susie Linfield asks in The Cruel Radiance, her book on photography and political violence. Photos like Jarecke’s not only show that bombs drop on real people they also make the public feel accountable. As David Carr wrote in The New York Times in 2003, war photography has “an ability not just to offend the viewer, but to implicate him or her as well.”

As an angry 28-year-old Jarecke wrote in American Photo in 1991: “If we’re big enough to fight a war, we should be big enough to look at it.”


Why is an image of a face without features disturbing? - Psychology

What is it that makes a face look beautiful? What are the differences between very attractive and less appealing faces? For every historical period and every human culture, people have always had their own ideal of beauty. But this ideal has never been constant and is still subject to changes. In our research project we adopted an empirical approach and created prototypes for unattractive and attractive faces for each sex by using the morphing technique. For example, the prototype for an unattractive face ("unsexy face") was created by blending together four faces that had previously been rated as very unattractive. The "sexy face" was created by blending together four of the most attractive faces, respectively (see report).
In order to find out the characteristic differences between attractive and unattractive faces, we presented pairs of one "sexy" and one "unsexy" image for both sexes to test subjects. The task was to report which facial features were perceived to be different between the two faces. For the results see the list below.


New kinds of evidence

Only with new kinds of evidence can this complex question be more rigorously tested. And such new evidence has emerged, in the form of a paper in Psychological Science by Anthony J. Lee, Brendan Zietsch* and collaborators.

From an exhaustive suite of measures taken from photographs of teenaged identical and non-identical twins and their non-twin siblings, Lee dissected the extent to which variation in facial masculinity-femininity is due to genetic variation. Interestingly, around half the variation in both male and female facial masculinity could be attributed to additive genetic variation. This is the kind of variation on which the idea of “gene shopping” for genetically superior mates depends.

The extensive genetic variation in masculinity makes more plausible the idea that choosing to mate with a masculine man can result in more attractive offspring. But the genes that made a male face more masculine did not make it more attractive. Worse, these same genes made female faces more masculine and thus less attractive. Families that make manly-looking sons tend also to make masculine-looking daughters.

Overall, this paper deals a substantial blow to the idea that masculine men make good genetic sires. Of course, the genes that confer masculinity on both sons and daughters might have other positive effects, including but not limited to improved immunity. That remains to be assessed, hopefully with the same kind of quantitative genetic evidence.


The Disturbing Effect Our Beauty Standards Have on Women Across the World

"We're losing bodies as fast as we're losing languages," says prominent British psychotherapist Susie Orbach in the upcoming documentary The Illusionists. "Just as English has become the lingua franca of the world, so the white, blondified, small-nosed, pert-breasted, long-legged body is coming to stand in for the great variety of human bodies that there are."

The documentary is the latest from 35-year-old Italian filmmaker Elena Rossini, who traveled to eight countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia over the course of seven years to explore the ways Western ideals of beauty — including, but not limited to, thinness — are commodified and scattered throughout the globe.

"Western beauty ideals — actually, man-made Western beauty ideals — have spread to the rest of the world through globalization and are now being upheld as models even in places like India and Japan," Rossini told Mic. "And they have very dangerous consequences."

It may be National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but we often forget that eating disorders — as well as the forces that may trigger them — are a problem well beyond confines of the U.S. In fact, rigid Western ideals are increasingly permeating cultures all over the globe, introducing damaging standards of thinness in particular where they may never before have existed.

Rossini was moved to make The Illusionists by what she saw as a cross-generation epidemic of body dissatisfaction, which has manifested in similarly distressing ways across diverse cultures.

Japan, for example, has historically maintained beauty standards distinct from Western ideals, according to the documentary, with curvy figures long-associated with positive values like wealth and fertility. Yet today, about 30% of Japanese women in their 20s are categorized as underweight — a proportion that has rapidly increased since the 1980s, as Dr. Tetsuya Ando of the National Institute of Mental Health states in the film.

The problem remains largely unrecognized: According to an article by writer Georgia Hanias in Marie Claire, only one professor specialized in eating disorders across all 80 Japanese medical schools in 2012.

"Japanese women are under incredible pressure to have an ideal body," states one woman interviewed on the streets of Tokyo in the film.

Jason Karlin, author of Idols & Celebrity in Japanese Media Culture, notes in the documentary that this increasing importance placed on thinness can be attributed in part to a Western media influence. Japanese women, he notes, try to "cultivate that body image that they see in women's magazines, which are women's bodies that are very thin, with very long legs and with many of the characteristics we associate with this kind of global culture of beauty that is circulating throughout the world."

Rossini echoes Karlin's conclusion: "What many sociologists have observed is that globalization — and the way American media has been exported to the rest of the world — has had a profound effect in the way people all over the world perceive beauty ideals," she told Mic.

Lebanon is another country explored in the film that appears to have been negatively affected by Western ideals. It's the country with the most plastic surgery procedures per capita, and about 1 in 3 Lebanese women has had a plastic surgery procedure, according to the film. One Lebanese student interviewed in the documentary sums up what this reality looks like: "If you walk around the streets of Lebanon, I think you'd realize that most people look the same, specifically people from a certain social class that have the money to have this many surgeries," she says.

Lebanese culture was not always this way. "In the past 15 years, the beauty ideal changed in Lebanon," makeup artist Hala Ajam says in The Illusionists. She roots this change in globalized economic forces, noting that the infiltration of Western celebrity culture has created an association between this idealized aesthetic and wealth itself. "All over the world, stars make money like crazy," she observes. "[People think] if they look like them it's a shortcut to being rich."

There's evidence that this rigid standard of beauty has been thoroughly embedded in Lebanon's economy on multiple levels. Classified ads for jobs for women, for example, state that women "must be beautiful," Nadine Moawad of the Nasawiya Feminist Collective says in the film.

In order to meet such standards, special bank loans have been established solely for this purpose. Lebanon's First National Bank even lends individuals up to $5,000 for these procedures, according to CNN.

Ultimately, meeting a rigid, Western standard of beauty is equated not only with wealth, but also with happiness. Lebanese people have come to normalize this standard as "important for their improvement, for their career, in their life to build up friends, to become more successful," Maher Mezher of Lebanon's First National Bank explains in the film.

Whereas eating disorders were "negligent" in Indian culture as recently as the 1990s, Indian psychiatrists have noted that in the past decade, the number of Indian women suffering from anorexia nervosa has increased between five and 10 times and it is impacting women at younger ages, according to The Times of India. Indian psychiatrist Rajesh Sagar points to the rise of Westernized media as a major contributing factor.

Ruchi Anand, American Graduate School professor of International Relations, agrees. He says in The Illustionists: "Now what we're seeing is a trend toward an imitation of the Westernized body image. These girls literally are fighting for the size zero, which was never known as beautiful in India."

Author, filmmaker and activist Jean Kilbourne observes in the film that countries that once valued voluptuous female figures, like India, see changing norms once Western media proliferates within their borders. "Wherever American popular culture goes, the public health problems that are associated with it follow," she states in the documentary.

How to fight back: While it's crucial to remember that negative body image is partially rooted in the global process of capitalism, individuals still have the power to fight back. "If tomorrow women all over the world looked in the mirror and if they liked what they saw reflected back at them, then we would have to reshape capitalism as we know it," says professor and activist Gail Dines in the film. "If you take away that self-loathing that women have, then you will see industries all over the globe go bankrupt." She adds that we could end the system that exploits, manipulates and seduces women into hating themselves "as a way to generate astronomical profits that keep a very few very wealthy."

Rossini notes that in order to combat these forces, individuals can both limit mainstream media consumption and take to more democratized platforms, like social media. "Over the last few years, I've noticed a positive sea change in the way these issues are tackled," she told Mic. "Nowadays, a 14-year-old blogger can have a voice as loud as that of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. A single tweet or blog post can go viral, provoking changes at the top in a matter of hours." But ultimately, she says, she would love to see "advertisers embracing empowerment as a selling tool instead of insecurity."

Hopefully that day will come soon. In the meantime, it's important to complicate the conversation we have about women and their bodies and work to remind the world that we are allowed to love our bodies the way they are.


It&rsquos Easier Than Ever To Make A New Face On Social Media. But Is It Killing Your Confidence?

Filters, Facetune, and other augmented-reality tools allow us to shape-shift our faces more than ever. So where does that leave our mental health? WH explores.

&ldquoShould I get lip injections?&rdquo is a question that runs through my mind almost every time I use Instagram (that is, up to 24 hours a week). The truth is, the natural pout I was born with is one of my favorite features. But if I spend long enough scrolling through filtered-to-perfection influencers, celebrities, and regular people I know who take a damn good picture, it&rsquos very tempting to start a mental wish list of things I could change: a more defined jawline, higher cheekbones, smoother skin, the list goes on. This all-too-familiar spiral has only been amplified in 2020 as my screen time&ndashlike everyone else&rsquos&ndashhas gone up dramatically.

In the era of social distancing, former simple pleasures, like travel, going to a bar, attending concerts, and more, halted. Forced to transform our homes into hubs for work and play, life has hit peak virtual: We go on FaceTime dates. We attend Zoom weddings. We celebrate Houseparty birthdays. We have telemedicine checkups with doctors. We livestream remote workout classes from our favorite fitness instructors.

In the first month of lockdown, Internet provider Comcast reported a 60 percent increase in its peak network traffic in some regions. Meanwhile, Instagram was the second-most-used social platform, with about 50 percent of U.S. adults (!) active as of March. (Facebook, its parent company, occupied the top spot.) This means we could be staring at&mdashand, inevitably, evaluating&mdashour faces more than ever. In a world where even Zoom (the video-conferencing app&rsquos number of users reportedly surged by the millions in April alone) has a &ldquotouch up my appearance&rdquo option, how much does this selfie-gazing damage our mental health? All signs point to&hellipa whole lot. &ldquoThere&rsquos a well-established link between social-media usage and psychological concerns,&rdquo says Peace Amadi, PsyD, an associate psychology professor at Hope International University in California. &ldquoInstagram has been tied to anxiety and depressive symptoms, but also to concerns such as anxiety related to physical appearance, increased body dissatisfaction, and lower self-esteem.&rdquo And now that we&rsquore spending more minutes on these platforms, &ldquowe can assume these concerns have not only remained but increased,&rdquo Amadi says.

Take Alec Bayot, a 21-year-old in the Los Angeles area who has downloaded- and deleted Facetune &ldquomultiple&rdquo times. The editing app turns your face and body into digital Play-Doh, to mold, pinch, and add volume wherever you want. &ldquoI&rsquom on social media basically 24/7. I make most of my hair, fashion, and beauty decisions based on what I see there, so it plays a big part in what I look like,&rdquo Bayot says.

Amanda Wilson, a 32-year-old in New York, also uses filters and Facetune often. She&rsquos been leaning on them to keep up appearances, especially in isolation, since her real-life lip filler started dissolving as doctors&rsquo offices remained closed. In the app, &ldquoI blur my skin, thin my face, and add a little plumpness in my lips,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIt has for sure affected how I look at myself.&rdquo

These women are not alone in their usage&mdashFacetune&rsquos parent company, Lightricks, reported that as social distancing began, use of its apps increased 20 percent. Plus, people spent more than 25 percent more time than usual editing their videos. That&rsquos on top of Facetune&rsquos already outsize influence. (To give an idea: In late 2018, the company also reported 100+ million downloads across its apps Facetune is the most popular one.)

Even if you&rsquore not going out of your way to pay $3.99 for Facetune, you might be one of the 1 billion people using built-in face perfectors across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Portal (these effects also exist on apps like Snapchat and TikTok). Filters such as &ldquoParis&rdquo subtly blur out pores. Other user-made filters alter your face more dramatically in just a swipe, enlarging your eyes, slimming your nose, or sharpening your jawline. There&rsquos even augmented-reality winged eyeliner, lashes, and lipstick.

&ldquoIt seems harmless at first, but a slight edit here and a slight edit there can spiral into obsessive-compulsive tendencies around body image,&rdquo Dr. Amadi says. &ldquoThese alterations divorce you from reality&ndashnobody glows, sparkles, and has perfect abs 24/7 in real life.&rdquo The always-documenting culture we exist in already sets hard-to-reach beauty standards. And as this digital lens becomes our permanent reality, the way we see ourselves is massively shifting. But you can pull back and live happily ever after (on Insta, at least). Let&rsquos filter the noise.

Social media&ndashdriven beauty trends have popularized a singular &ldquoInstagram Face&rdquo (the features seemingly appropriated from different ethnicities) and made it impossible to avoid. &ldquoIt&rsquos a scary phenomenon, as it has become a subconscious request that comes in daily through my practice,&rdquo says Shereene Idriss, MD, a dermatologist in NYC. &ldquoPatients nitpick their features apart and ask for a face that belongs to no one&ndashbut looks like 'everyone' on social media.&rdquo Here, the Instagram Face by the numbers&hellip

Number of views at time of writing for the #SideProfileCheck hashtag on TikTok, which encourages showing off your face&rsquos symmetry. &ldquoThe chin and jawline are having a moment on social media, where extreme definition has become the name of the game,&rdquo says Dr. Idriss. "That has to do with selfies and FaceTiming," adds Dara Liotta, MD, a plastic surgeon in New York City. "People are asking for much more nuanced things they were exposed to on social media&ndashlike added volume in the chin."

The age group that dermatologists and plastic surgeons agree most desires the &ldquocat-eye&rdquo effect of having eyes stretched up and back (as if pulled in a supertight ponytail), Dr. Idriss says. Both she and Dr. Liotta cited Bella Hadid as an of-the-moment example. Procedures done to do this include installing dissolvable PDO threads underneath the skin to pull it upwards (also called a "threadlift"), or Botox to lift the brow.

The typical price for an office visit to get a noninvasive nose job using a syringe of filler. &ldquoIt got to a point where I was doing 30 a month&mdashat least one a day,&rdquo says Dr. Liotta. The procedure&rsquos popularity was driven by dramatic before/afters and Hyperlapse videos shared widely on Instagram&ndashwhich Dr. Liotta calls "one hundred percent BS." She says it feeds into the false notion results are immediate when swelling and touch-ups are to be expected,"People are realizing that what they see on Instagram is not really what happens."

How much lip augmentation procedures have increased since 2000. Big, plump Bratz doll&ndashtype lips achieved with dissolving hyaluronic acid fillers are a popular request&mdashso much so that they were a large portion of the 2.7 million total filler procedures in 2019 alone.

$16.7 BILLION: How much Americans spent on cosmetic procedures in 2019. (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

As more people embrace the no-makeup life, there&rsquos likely a big difference between the way we appear IRL and our polished digital alter egos (see: that #TBT of you in lipstick living on your grid). That may be dangerous: &ldquoA widening gap between one&rsquos digitally enhanced ideal self and one&rsquos actual self creates a dysphoria,&rdquo says Dr. Amadi. &ldquoThe chances of developing mental concerns and disorders like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and OCD-related problems, including body dysmorphic disorder, also increase. It&rsquos a slippery slope.&rdquo

It doesn&rsquot help that the naked eye is gullible online. People recognize edited photos only 60 to 65 percent of the time while 12 percent of photos tagged #nofilter are, actually, filtered as one study found. &ldquoSome of the behaviors people engage in that inadvertently worsen their body image are &lsquochecking and avoidance&rsquo&mdashusing a filter is a perfect example of this,&rdquo says Terri Bacow, PhD, a psychologist in New York City. Editing your image reinforces a negative belief and &ldquoconfirms the thought that your natural body is not acceptable or good enough.&rdquo That&rsquos why Dr. Bacow suggests not using filters or any editing tools on photos, full stop. &ldquoThis is called exposure therapy,&rdquo she says. &ldquoThe idea is if you do something against something you believe&mdashthat you have to look perfect in all photos&mdashyour brain will be confused and try to resolve the conflict, which leads to a positive shift in perspective.&rdquo

Myla Bennett Powell, MD, a plastic surgeon in the Atlanta area, has a front-row seat on the magnification of body issues. Despite the interest in cosmetic procedures (in 2019, 18.1 million people in the U.S. had noninvasive treatments and surgery), she often turns people away. Below are three reality checks she gives prospective patients to help anyone think twice about desired changes:

Is the issue on your face, or deeper?

&ldquoEveryone&rsquos trying to be selfie-ready all the time&mdashthey&rsquore asking for cheek filler when their cheeks are sitting underneath their eyes already. Things have become so normalized that people treat it like they&rsquore buying jeans. I end up &lsquomothering&rsquo people who come into my office and sending them on their way. I don&rsquot enjoy seeing women pick themselves apart and break down their self-esteem comparing themselves to images they saw on Instagram&mdashwhich happens a lot. So if I see a hint of something that needs to be handled with a therapist first, I won&rsquot proceed, especially if they&rsquore young.&rdquo

Just because you can do a procedure doesn&rsquot mean you should.

&ldquoI try to neutralize feelings as best I can. Many women scroll past somebody they perceive as better than them. It&rsquos like they&rsquore looking through a cracked mirror.If you&rsquore modifying the physical based on a distorted image you&rsquore seeing, that&rsquos a major problem.&rdquo

You need to know who you are inside before you tackle the outside.

&ldquoPeople will come to me, especially women in their 40s, and say, &lsquoIt&rsquos time for me to take care of myself.&rsquo To me, the first thing you think of when you&rsquore taking care of yourself shouldn&rsquot be physical. This often happens after someone has gone through a bad breakup or a divorce and feels they need to get something done. We should be putting that energy into our inner self first. When you do it in that order, you don&rsquot end up in a position where you&rsquore putting yourself in danger to get a procedure (yes, it all comes with risk!). In other words, you&rsquore not going to put yourself in a desperate situation, because you already love yourself and fully believe you are worthy and amazing&mdashwhether or not you have big lips.&rdquo

Katharine Phillips, MD, a professor of psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine and leading expert on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), answers this question.

WH: Could using appearance-changing filters and apps contribute to developing BDD?

Dr. Phillips: Well, using the word contribute here is important because Instagram filters alone won&rsquot cause BDD. But for some people who are already at risk of developing it, they could tip them over the edge.

WH: How can you tell if you&rsquore at risk for developing the prob?

Dr. Phillips: We have some clues, but we don&rsquot fully know. Having been teased about your appearance or competence may be risk factors for developing it. BDD is actually partly genetic, so if you have a relative with BDD, that increases your risk too.

WH: What are the signs that your insecurities are turning into a disorder?

Dr. Phillips: BDD causes a preoccupation with perceived appearance defects that, to others, are non-existent or only slight. You may have BDD if you&rsquore spending one hour-plus a day worrying about how you look and these thoughts make you distressed&mdashsad, anxious, or self-conscious&mdashor cause problems in your daily life like skipping social events, having trouble focusing, or getting less done at work. Excessively checking your appearance in reflecting surfaces, comparing yourself, seeking reassurance, or spending too much time on grooming are other BDD compulsions.

WH: And what about treatment? What works?

Dr. Phillips: A licensed pro like a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication, or a psychologist, can help. In general, the best ways to tackle it are cognitive-behavioral therapy that is tailored to BDD symptoms, and prescriptions (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are usually well tolerated and not habit-forming).

NEARLY 10 MILLION people in the U.S. have BDD. (International OCD Foundation)

Trying to beat the comparison beast can feel like running on a treadmill&mdash
Heading nowhere. If you feel worse about yourself while scrolling, tap these expert-approved tactics to build more resilience and love what you see.

Check the Facts

&ldquoWe get so used to viewing our appearance through a lens of negative self-image and filters that we don&rsquot see what&rsquos really there. We distort it in our mind,&rdquo says Alyssa Lia Mancao, LCSW, a Los Angeles&ndashbased therapist. Try this: &ldquoLook at yourself in the mirror and describe your appearance without using any subjective language,&rdquo she says. That means quelling the critical voice in your head (&ldquomy lashes are too short&rdquo) and describing yourself objectively (&ldquoI have two eyes&rdquo) or focusing on function (&ldquomy eyes allow me to see&rdquo).

Limit Your Use

Curate your feed! &ldquoUnfollow people that trigger unhelpful thoughts or feelings,&rdquo says Mancao. &ldquoIt&rsquos okay to mute the accounts that don&rsquot make you feel good about yourself and start following accounts that make you feel better.&rdquo And when all else fails, log off.

Embrace Affirmations

The way you talk to yourself matters too. Use affirmations (i.e., first-person statements like &ldquoI don&rsquot need to look perfect to be accepted by others&rdquo) and say them out loud. Stuck at what to focus on? &ldquoSometimes it helps to give yourself &lsquopermission&rsquo to do something,&rdquo Dr. Amadi says. &ldquoA powerful statement is: &lsquoI grant myself permission to love my body today.&rsquo This helps you get out of your own way.&rdquo

Practice Mindfulness

This means increasing your awareness and acceptance and allowing negative thoughts and emotions to pass. View your thoughts as &ldquoclouds passing in the sky&rdquo&mdashyou notice their shapes and colors but just let them roll by, suggests Dr. Amadi. Likewise, when you see images that trigger anxiety, self-con-scious-ness, envy, sadness, or other negative emotions, take a breath and acknowledge them without judgment. &ldquoNote your thoughts, feelings, and reactions, and accept them as they are,&rdquo she says.

Give Gratitude

Or, practice self-appreciation. &ldquoYour body does more for you than anybody else ever could,&rdquo says Dr. Amadi. &ldquoThink about it. It should be honored and celebrated.&rdquo So the next time you catch yourself griping about your stomach or legs, redirect the conversation by offering a genuine thank you for how this part of your body has served you.

Connect With Your Values

Swap out vanity-based goals like &ldquoreduce wrinkles&rdquo to focus on values like &ldquobeing healthy and happy.&rdquo Ground yourself by asking questions like, What&rsquos important to me? What brings me joy? Who do I love? &ldquoRemember that appearance is just one aspect of who you are. Try to accept and value your assets,&rdquo Dr. Phillips says. &ldquoIs your best friend your best friend because she has a very symmetrical nose? Probably not. Relationships don&rsquot work long-term because someone has perfect teeth.&rdquo


Watch the video: Обзор OnePlus Nord N100. Самый дешевый OnePlus - что он может? (July 2022).


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