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Test your English – The Perfect Body!

Text: Joanne Edwards

Fotos: MasterSergeant - stock.adobe.com, Porträt: www.kaindl-hoenig.com

As life slowly starts to get back to normal and people are being asked to prove if they have been vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19 or are freshly tested, we can start to look forward to the best summer months – July and August – and go to restaurants, bars, concerts and nightclubs. If you are like me and prefer to stay in Austria this summer, instead of sitting on a plane and risking coming back with more than an all-over tan, you may be thinking of going swimming in one of the beautiful lakes in the Salzkammergut.
The problem is that we have all been so worried about staying healthy and Covid free, that many of us have put on a few extra kilos during lockdown – so are we ready to show off our swimsuit bodies? I am certainly not and needed a new swimsuit. So, I started to flick through some magazines that sell bikinis and couldn‘t get over how perfect the models were. They were smiling at me from the pages and looked close to perfection. I was never going to look like that. It was pretty obvious that the photographs of the models had been photoshopped. I know that, but there are many young, vulnerable girls – who do not.
Seriously, there are so many young people who spend hours surfing the internet, especially during lockdown, admiring the perfect models or celebrities. They start to compare themselves with these beautiful people, who seem to be living perfect lives on yachts in the Caribbean, looking slim and unbelievably attractive. By the age of 13, 80% of girls are dissatisfied with the way they look. Many become very depressed, wishing that they were as tall, slim, tanned etc – as the models, and this is when eating disorders can develop. Advertising companies should be forced to write that a photograph has been photoshopped and they should also use normal-looking women in their advertisements.
Take the cosmetic company, Dove, for example. For years now, they have only used normal-sized models in their advertising. Some are overweight, skinny or very small with short legs. Some are old with wrinkles, but what they all have in common is that they look beautiful, just as they are, and maybe like you or me … not perfect. Dove has also developed a self-esteem project and put a short video on YouTube, called ‚Reverse Selfie‘, that all teenagers should watch. As the name suggests the story is told in reverse, showing the digital effects used to create the image of a perfect girl and then taking them away to make her look very normal.
Finally, some actors have banned magazines and film companies from using any photographs of them that have been photoshopped. Kate Winslet, the British actress who starred in Titanic and The Holiday, won‘t let any of her photographs be photoshopped and is often seen without any makeup. She wants to show the younger generation that nobody looks that perfect – not even Hollywood stars.

to prove – beweisen
vaccinated – geimpft
recovered – genesen
to look forward to – sich auf etw. freuen
to prefer – es vorziehen
instead – stattdessen, anstatt
an all-over tan – Ganzkörperbräune
worried – besorgt
to stay healthy – gesund bleiben
to put on weight – zunehmen
to show off – herzeigen
swimsuit bodies – Bikinifiguren
certainly – sicherlich
to flick through – durchblättern
I couldn‘t get over – ich konnte es nicht fassen
pretty obvious – ziemlich offensichtlich
photoshopped – mit Photoshop retuschiert
vulnerable girls – verletzbare Mädchen
seriously – im Ernst
to admire – bewundern
to compare – vergleichen
yachts – Yachten
to look slim – schlank aussehen
dissatisfied – unzufrieden
depressed – deprimiert
eating disorders – Essstörungen
to develop – entwickeln
advertisements – Werbung, Anzeigen
for example – zum Beispiel
overweight – übergewichtig
skinny – mager
wrinkles – Falten
to have in common – gemeinsam haben
a self-esteem project – ein Selbstwert-Projekt
to suggest – andeuten
in reverse – umgekehrt
the image – das Bild
banned – verboten
to star in – die Hauptrolle spielen