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Unit12_Image and Self-Image

UNIT 12 Image and Self-Image
a Warning: Models May Not Be As Thin As They Appear
1 Working with photos: retouched or not?
retouch [ri.1tctS] improve or alter
(a photo) by making small
Look at these photos of fashion models and celebrities. Which ones do you think have been
retouched? Give reasons for your decision.
Alamy/Zuma Wire Service
picturedesk.com/Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma
picturedesk.com/Balawa Pics/Action Press
Alamy/Craig Fleming
picturedesk.com/Rex Features
Language Help
aaperfect/pale/glowing skin
aaspots and marks
aaa natural shape
aaan exaggeratedly thin figure
aapiercing eyes
aavery regular features
2 Group discussion
a Does it matter if photos of fashion models and celebrities are retouched? What problems
might it cause for the self-image of people who look at the photos?
b With a little practice, it’s easy to retouch photos using software such as Photoshop™. Would you
retouch photos of yourself for (i) your Facebook page, (ii) your photo collection on your
computer or (iii) a job application? Why (not)?
3 Reading comprehension: sequencing ideas
9 Sequencing (p. 68)
Put these ideas into the same order in which they are mentioned in the text on the next page.
Two are not mentioned.
Incorrect ideas about body size affect men as well as women.
It would be better to use photos of people who have a normal, healthy body size.
Authorities in some countries want readers to be warned about retouched photos.
Retouching of photos should not be allowed.
Warnings would help young people to realize that they will never look like the photos.
The author once wanted to be thinner than she was.
People often don’t pay attention to warnings even if they read them.
Retouched photos can make people worried about their size. Sometimes photos of models are changed to make them look less thin.
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
The American Medical Association has denounced the
use of digital manipulation and retouching on models
and asked advertising agencies to consider imposing
stricter guidelines for manipulating photos. I, for one, say
it’s about time.
But should the U.S. go a step further? In England
and France, authorities have been trying to get ad
agencies and magazines to put warning labels on
retouched images to alert the public that these images
are fake. Such labels would help young people to realize
that these images set an unattainable beauty standard.
Though I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, I
struggled with my body image all throughout high
school and college (and probably even earlier than that). I
went to the gym twice a day and enrolled myself in
exercise courses at school, giving me three workouts a
day on average. I ate two very simple meals a day,
skipping lunch. I became a vegetarian to more easily
avoid fast food. It wasn’t until I came home from
undergrad one summer and my friends and family said,
“Wow, Ashley. You look sick,” that I realized what I was
doing to my body.
picturedesk.com/Christophe Simon/AFP
Luckily for me, that simple statement was enough to
shock me into rethinking my eating habits. But for many
people, statements like that aren’t enough. Eating
disorders are common in America, and are on the rise in
other countries. Photoshopped photos are blamed for
the rise in eating disorders and unhealthy attitudes about
body weight and size.
denounce criticize strongly
manipulation (clever or secret)
impose make people follow sth.
(a rule or law)
guideline rule, instruction or piece
of advice
ad(vertising) agency organization
that creates advertisements for its
alert sb. warn sb.
fake not real
unattainable impossible to reach
diagnose sb. with sth. identify that
sb. has sth. (a medical problem)
disorder medical problem
struggle with sth. have difficulty
with sth.
skip sth. miss sth.
undergrad (AE infml) university
photoshop (infml) change (a photo)
using Photoshop™
blame sb./sth. for sth. claim that
sb./sth. is the cause of sth. (bad)
proposal suggestion
reverse in the other direction
portfolio collection of work of a
model, artist, etc.
Would it help if we followed France’s and England’s
proposal and added a label such as this one to the
bottom of a picture?
Warning: Models in this image may not be as thin as they
After all, we’ve been putting warning labels on cigarettes since the 1960s. In America, warning labels
are everywhere; even McDonald’s coffee now comes with a warning label that the drink may be hot.
But do these labels work? Seeing a warning label is one thing; critically thinking about how the product
can harm you is another. People often see warning labels and dismiss them: “I know cigarettes can
harm me, but oh well.” What would stop them from saying, “I know this model doesn’t look like this in
real life, but oh well”?
Then there is the problem of reverse retouching. Many magazine editors have admitted to taking a very
thin model and making her look healthy. This can happen when magazines hire women who look great
in portfolios, but then show up looking like they haven’t eaten in months. They still use these models,
but use digital manipulation to make them look healthier. Would these images require labels, as well?
In an ideal world, magazines, ad agencies, etc. would not use digital manipulation to make models
appear thinner (removing the need for any kind of warning system), nor would they use models who
were too thin and use digital manipulation to make them look healthier. They would just use real
pictures of actually healthy people.
Adapted and abridged from: Ashley Lauren Samsa: Warning: Models in This Image May Not Be as Thin as They Appear.
In: http://msmagazine.com, July 5, 2011
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
4 Working with words: word families
a Complete the table.
10 struggle
b Complete the sentences with suitable words from part a.
1It isn’t good to worry too much about your
help how you look.
2Perhaps it should be a
fake images of models.
3The label clearly
4Ashley came to the
5I was surprised by the magazine’s
body shape of the models.
: you can’t
of magazines that they don’t print
that the photo has been
that she was too thin.
that they changed the
6Images of extremely thin models can do a lot of
believe that’s how they should look.
if girls
7Dealing with her eating disorder was a difficult
young model.
for the
8It’s possible to
more beautiful than they really are.
a photo to make a person look much
5 Creative Writing: blog comment
What do you think of the writer’s proposal that retouched images should carry a warning?
Write a comment for the writer’s blog, considering the arguments for and against. Write about
120 words.
48 Creative Writing: a Blog Post or
a Blog Comment (p. 65)
b Bigorexia
For some men, bodybuilding to develop big muscles isn’t just a sport, it is an obsession which can
put their health and happiness at risk. The media have given obsessive bodybuilding the nickname
‘bigorexia’ (from ‘big’ + ‘anorexia’).
1 Commenting on advertisements
Discuss these questions in small groups. Report back to the class with your conclusions.
a American Charles Atlas made bodybuilding a popular sport in the USA and around the world.
On the next page there is an advertisement for his workout programme from the 1940s. What
male insecurities does it exploit and what does it promise?
scarecrow model of a person, put in
a field to scare birds; (fig.) very thin
insecurity sth. that sb. lacks
confidence about
dpa/picture alliance/The Advertising Archives
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
Alamy/Moviestore collection Ltd
b Look at the image of Arnold Schwarzenegger
when he was still just a young bodybuilder
from Thal. Is this an ideal that many boys and
young men aspire to nowadays? Why (not)?
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
2 Preparing to listen
Match the definitions (A–K) to the words (1–11). The words are all in the recording.
1 bulk up (infml)
2 mania
3 coverage
4 disorder
5 obsessed
6 distorted
7 discrepancy
8 micromanage
9 work out
10 counselling
11 muscular
A advice from a psychological expert
B attention in the media
C control sth. very carefully
D develop big muscles
E difference
F disease, medical problem
G go to the gym
H having big muscles
I madness
J not in its true/normal shape
K unable to think about anything else
3 Listening comprehension: short answers
5 Short Answers (p. 69)
You are going to listen to a recording about ‘bigorexia’ or muscle dysmorphia. While listening,
answer the questions (1–6) using a maximum of four words. Write your answers in the spaces
provided. The first one (0) has been done for you.
What experience caused Charles Atlas to start bodybuilding?
What do sufferers of muscle dysmorphia want?
How do they see themselves?
Other than lots of time in the gym, how does bigorexia
interfere with men’s daily lives?
What risky behaviour do they take part in?
What can help them?
What does research show about women’s attitudes towards
male body shape?
bully on beach
4 Speaking: individual long turn
dysmorphia disorder in which a
person has a distorted view of his/
her body shape
9 Individual Long Turn (p. 71)
aa Compare and contrast the pictures showing two different ways of staying fit and healthy.
aa Discuss points for and against these methods regarding safety/effectiveness.
Fotolia.com/Warren Goldswain
aa Describe how you stay fit and healthy.
Fotolia.com/Carlos Santa Maria
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
c Bald and Bold
The story of Olympic cyclist Joanna Rowsell shows that bad experiences can make you stronger, and
there’s never any reason to be ashamed of the way you look.
1 Grammar in Use: you are superlative!
You are a special person. Long after you have left school, the people sitting around you now
will look back and think: ‘I remember (your name). He/She was the (superlative) kid in the class!’
a How would you like to be thought of? Choose a quality from the box and make it superlative.
You can only choose one, so choose well! Write your sentence on a small piece of paper. Don’t
write your name. Fold the paper once and give it to the teacher.
Trouble Spot
brave ≠ brav
sensible ≠ sensibel
Example: He was the coolest kid in the class.
brave a cool a creative a fit a funny a good-looking a hard-working a intelligent a kind
a popular a self-confident a sensible a sensitive a strong a successful a talented
b Keep count as your teacher reads out the notes. Which is the most popular quality in your
class? How many people have chosen physical attributes (fit, good-looking, etc.) and how
many have chosen emotional/intellectual abilities (brave, creative, etc.)?
2 Working with words: wordfields
Complete the table with words and phrases from the text on the next page.
lose one’s hair
3 Summarizing text themes in a diagram
Joanna sees her hair loss through alopecia as a central experience in her life, with good and
bad consequences. Find the other consequences which are mentioned in the text on the next
page and add them to the balance.
studied hard
loss of self-esteem
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
Losing all of her hair was difficult for a young girl who was just about to become a teenager. Yet
Joanna Rowsell overcame her lack of self-confidence through sport.
When Joanna’s right eyebrow disappeared 14 years ago, it was the beginning of complete hair
loss. It took away the nine-year-old’s self-esteem and caused her to hide under hats and wigs.
She cried as she asked her parents why this was happening to her, and whether they could help
fix the problem. It was later diagnosed as alopecea areata, an immune system disorder which
is incurable.
As her hair fell out – first her eyebrows, then chunks from her scalp, then her eyelashes – her
instinct was to stay at home and work. She studied single-mindedly for the ego boost that top
marks at school gave her.
“It was hard being a teenager and having alopecia. I didn’t bother with make-up or nice clothes
because I didn’t want to think about my appearance,” Joanna later explained.
“Cycling was another thing for me to focus on.
It suddenly didn’t matter what I looked like, it
was about performing on the bike and that’s
what I was judged on,” said Joanna after her
pursuit team won a gold medal in the 2012
London Olympics. “That was great and when I
started winning, that was the best feeling ever.”
On a Saturday night in London in 2012, Joanna
stood before the world as she was crowned an
Olympic champion. She could not have been
prouder of her sporting achievement. She was
also proud to pose for the world’s press
photographers exactly as she is: bald and bold,
without the brown wig that she has often worn
in the past.
picturedesk.com/Christophe Karaba/EPA
When Joanna was 15, sports talent scouts visited her high school in Sutton, Surrey. They
spotted her potential as a future cycling champion. Cycling gave her a new focus: it was good
for her and she was good at it.
self-esteem having a good opinion
of oneself
wig false hair
incurable not able to be treated
with medicine
scalp part of the head which usually
grows hair
eyelashes long hairs on the eyelids
single-mindedly without thinking
about anything else
ego boost (infml) sth. that makes
one feel better about oneself
talent scout sb. whose job is to find
people who have high potential
champion sb. who wins a
perform do sth.
judge sb. on sth. form an opinion
about sb. based on sth.
pursuit cycling race in which two
teams start on opposite sides of
the velodrome
crown sb. (fig.) give sb. the title of
achievement sth. difficult that one
has done
bald having no hair
bold confident and brave
poster girl/boy for sth. (fig.) sb
who is the public representative of
sufferer sb. who has a particular
disease or problem
embrace accept willingly
“Now, I cannot imagine my life if I had not had
alopecia. I don’t know what route I would have
taken. It scares me to think I would not have
found cycling.”
picturedesk.com/Doug Peters/PA
She said: “Sometimes I’ve worn one on the
podium because I think all girls like to look
nice and feel pretty, especially when you’re
going to get your photo taken and the cameras
are on you. But I don’t always get time to put it
on because often we have the ceremony five
minutes after the race.
In the past, Joanna was uncomfortable with the
idea of being a poster girl for alopecia sufferers:
Joanna: “I cannot imagine my life if I had not had
“I didn’t want to be known as the girl with
alopecia. I don't know what route I would have taken.
alopecia. I didn’t want that to be what defines
It scares me to think I would not have found cycling.”
me.” Nowadays she sees it as a privilege: “I’ve
realised now that I’ve got maybe a responsibility. And it’s always going to be a part of me, so I
may as well embrace it and hopefully inspire other girls.”
Adapted and abridged from: http://www.smh.com.au, August 5, 2012; http://www.telegraph.co.uk, February 21, 2012
Unit 12 – Image and Self-Image
15 Conditional Sentences: Type III
(p. 13)
4 Grammar in Use: Conditional sentences type III
Complete these sentences in the conditional type III.
1If Joanna hadn’t had alopecia, she
(be) a happier
2She would have been more interested in make-up if she
(feel) better about her appearance.
3If she had been happier, she
(not work) as hard at school.
4If the talent scouts
(visit) another school instead, Joanna
wouldn’t have started cycling.
5Her pursuit team
(lose) if she
(not be) so competitive.
6If she
(not accept) her appearance, she
(wear) a wig for the photos.
40 Writing an Article (p. 60)
You could consider changing ideals
of male and female beauty over
time, the modern fashion industry,
retouched pictures.
You could mention eating
disorders, ‘bigorexia’, plastic surgery,
Shouldn’t we judge people on who
they are, not how they look?
5 Writing: article
A youth magazine has invited young people to write an article on the subject of ‘beauty’.
The best article will be published in the magazine.
You decide to enter the competition. Write about 200 words.
Think of an interesting title for your article.
Summarize the main points of your article.
What does beauty really mean?
Consequences of our obsession with beauty.
The importance of other personal qualities.
End your article with an inspiring quotation or a thought-provoking
question for the reader.
Part / Ex
I can understand the most important elements of radio programmes
and sound recordings when they deal with current events or my
interests. (B1/5)
B / Ex 3
I can get the essential information from simple newspaper and
magazine articles that are clearly structured. (B1/1)
A / Ex 3,
C / Ex 2
I can say what I like and dislike and ask other people what they like.
Intro / Ex 3
I can give my opinion on a certain topic in simple sentences. (A2/4)
B / Ex 1
I can express and justify my opinion in conversations, debates and
discussions about familiar subjects . I can also agree or disagree politely
and make alternative suggestions. (B1/6)
A / Ex 2
I can describe pictures or cartoons with the help of key words or
phrases. (B1/5)
A / Ex 1,
B / Ex 4
I can write a short, simple report or article with the help of key words
and phrases. (B1/1)
A / Ex 5,
C / Ex 5