Body contouring: How is drawing on bones an acceptable beauty trend?


A staple of viral beauty pages across social media, body contouring videos have been pretty popular since Kim Kardashian kicked off the contouring craze.

Hailed as the no-gym-no-diet method to a sculpted physique, I simply have to point out an issue I have with them. 

There can be talk about making legs look 'more toned' until the cows come home – but it seems to me that at the end of the day, all of these body contouring makeup tutorials have one end goal: to make the person look thin. 

With chest contouring, it's all about making your collarbones more prominent, making them look as if they jut out from your décolletage the way a very slim person's might. 

Necks are slimmed, cheekbones drawn on and arms hollowed in a manner fitting realist Florentine fine art painters as they grappled with the technique of perspective in the 1400s. 

I'm absolutely not saying that there is anything wrong with a person's shape or weight if they look this way, but the entire body contouring craze is using the makeup innovation as a smokescreen to create more angles on the body – it's perpetuating the socially held notion that thin women are more valuable than fat women. 

All the tutorials show (mainly) women adding dark makeup to their inner thighs to carve out a thigh gap – a trend which is embraced by those with weight decreasing oriented eating disorders.

The tutorials also showcase adding highlight to the shin bones and darker makeup to the outer calf – once again making the bones the focus and blending away the flesh that surrounds them. 

People have gone so far as to contour their feet and hands, to rid themselves of the appearance of less than model-slim appendages. 


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Women are attempting to photoshop themselves slimmer in real life using a multi-shade foundation palette, and I wonder how that impacts people with self esteem issues once they step out of the shower, all their sculpting washed down the drain. 

The fact that people are literally attempting to draw on skinniness horrifies me, and maybe that's because I'm lucky enough to have embraced my shape after some long years of hating it. 

Thin is not better than fat, fat is not better than thin, and the sooner we embrace body diversity as a society the better – no toe contouring involved.