Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Because Hewlett-Packard knows that every woman wants to look like Katie Couric.
September 18, 2006 4:33 AM   Subscribe

The Slimming Camera.
posted by longdaysjourney (101 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
And all of myspace rejoiced for it was good.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:42 AM on September 18, 2006


Now every angle is a good angle!
Except in real life.

Let's hope for Richard Simmon's sake they don't apply this technology to mirrors.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 4:51 AM on September 18, 2006


The Mexican Magic Realism Camera.
posted by Iridic at 4:55 AM on September 18, 2006


Ok, I was going to say 'No more Fat Girl Angles on myspace', but I am too late.
posted by pieoverdone at 4:57 AM on September 18, 2006


That's gonna sell like hotcakes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:59 AM on September 18, 2006


You're so vain / You probably think this post is about you...
posted by BeerFilter at 5:01 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh lord what a depressing thought...

Still, if you believe the flash movie, it seems to work by squashing the image in the middle and stretching it at the edges, which is all fine and dandy until you go for that group shot (at the ones on the ends get instant weight gain) or you take a portrait and everyone suddenly gets very large foreheads. :)
posted by twine42 at 5:01 AM on September 18, 2006


Good call on the achewood.
posted by The White Hat at 5:05 AM on September 18, 2006


This is a joke, right? Please, somebody tell me this is a joke.
posted by MrMustard at 5:05 AM on September 18, 2006


That's not subtle.
posted by sveskemus at 5:06 AM on September 18, 2006


Good, maybe next HP can release a "bulking" camera and send people off to Afghanistan to document the abundance of food.
posted by Tuwa at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2006


Good job they used such porkers on the "before" shots.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 5:07 AM on September 18, 2006


So when are they going to add the acne-eliminating feature?
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:08 AM on September 18, 2006


At last, a seriously useful application of computer vision. No more need for those diet books!
posted by handee at 5:15 AM on September 18, 2006


><
posted by dmd at 5:20 AM on September 18, 2006


As an added bonus, you can rotate the camera ninety degrees and make your subject appear shorter.
posted by horsewithnoname at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah the bulking feature will be very popular with dudes who post dick-pix on craigslist. Maybe.
posted by chillmost at 5:35 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh good god, no.

They look squished and stretched anyway.
posted by liquorice at 5:38 AM on September 18, 2006


Jesus, I'll never trust Lavalife profile photos again! :)
posted by antifuse at 5:49 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh, for the love of God. Please don't let my fiancee see this.
posted by fusinski at 5:59 AM on September 18, 2006


How outrageous that they use attractive women who are already slim in the first place. It reinforces the idea that regular women need to be skinny, and skinny women need to be skinnier. Heavier women? Well, they can just forget about it.
posted by flarbuse at 6:02 AM on September 18, 2006


Negationism - not just for evil dictators.
posted by stbalbach at 6:23 AM on September 18, 2006


Photoshop For Dummies.
posted by Optamystic at 6:25 AM on September 18, 2006


Next: the anorexic camera!

It reinforces the idea that regular women need to be skinny, and skinny women need to be skinnier.

Only a dog wants a bone.

Heavier women? Well, they can just forget about it.

Please. The women society considers 'heavy,' these days are the ones with the womanliest bodies, IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 AM on September 18, 2006


If you want to look slimmer in photos, how about you start taking diet pills, binge and purge, and do all sorts of insanity diets like the rest of us!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:39 AM on September 18, 2006


I was angry enough when camera technology tried to deny the existence of those of us with naturally bright red pupils, but this - this is just too much.
posted by bunglin jones at 6:45 AM on September 18, 2006 [2 favorites]


Everything is relative. Use this all day and your photos will be spectacular.
posted by itchylick at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2006


you know, itchylick, some of us were born with heads like that, you insensitive fuck.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 AM on September 18, 2006


That is depressing. The camera always lies.
posted by twistedonion at 6:53 AM on September 18, 2006


I think, in the long run, this will back fire. After a while, people will be able to spot this, so when an alter photo is received, the main message it will send to the recipient is "I'm insecure about my appearance". Also, I'm guessing that it will only work well on single, centered subjects (not that that will stop people from using it).
I agree with flapjax, though, they will sell like hotcakes, for a while.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:54 AM on September 18, 2006


Also, if you used this on a really skinny person like myself, would they disappear entirely?
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2006


Good angle/bad angle (nsfw)
posted by bob sarabia at 7:06 AM on September 18, 2006


This is just so wrong. It makes me sad.
posted by ddf at 7:18 AM on September 18, 2006


One picture is worth a thousand lies.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:21 AM on September 18, 2006




Cue the reverse prejudice: only heavy women have the "womanliest bodies", while thin, attractive women are always "sick" or "anorexic".
posted by wfc123 at 7:23 AM on September 18, 2006


thin, attractive women are always "sick" or "anorexic".

Nah, they're just not my taste, generally. Preference does not equal prejudice. By 'womanly,' I meant that heavier women's bodies are more unlike mens' bodies than slim women's. The womanly attributes (breasts, hips, buttocks) are accentuated. That's not a prejudice, just an observation.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 AM on September 18, 2006


I keep why in this nation, a media that reinforces "skinny is hot" could possibly be a bad thing. Aren't Americans the fatty fat fats?
posted by sourbrew at 7:26 AM on September 18, 2006


No, we're Fatty McFatsters.
posted by sciurus at 7:30 AM on September 18, 2006


God all this does is squish the image, people have been doing that in photoshop for years...
posted by delmoi at 7:31 AM on September 18, 2006


As per the post's title:


posted by ericb at 7:40 AM on September 18, 2006


I keep why in this nation, a media that reinforces "skinny is hot" could possibly be a bad thing. Aren't Americans the fatty fat fats?

In related news -- Ban on skinny models shocks fashion world.
posted by ericb at 7:41 AM on September 18, 2006


Well, that was in Europe. I can see why they would feel a need to squash such a negative body image. Then again they walk lots of places, and have a general level of health that we can't claim.
posted by sourbrew at 7:44 AM on September 18, 2006


Does it come with a lorentz-contract feature?
posted by nervestaple at 7:44 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thank God, now I can get laid again.
posted by digaman at 7:46 AM on September 18, 2006


Ban on skinny models

Right on, Spain!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:47 AM on September 18, 2006


"The Mexican Magic Realism Camera."

Such a promising idea, such meagre results.
posted by klangklangston at 7:50 AM on September 18, 2006


The camera doesn't add ten pounds, incidentally. It's just that we're accustomed to angling ourselves at a flattering angle in front of mirrors. Cameras are more "objective" in that they don't assume that flattering angle automatically.

One way to look at this feature is it's a shortcut for people who don't know how to take a photograph with those flattering angles in the first place.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2006


I keep why in this nation, a media that reinforces "skinny is hot" could possibly be a bad thing. Aren't Americans the fatty fat fats?

While for adults, the prevailing message seems to be "slow down tubby, you're not on the moon yet!" there are serious problems with teenaged girls (and guys, I suppose, but perhaps not to as great an extent) having insane eating disorders in order to end rib-showing skinny. It doesn't help that prominent "role models" like Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, that Olsen Twin, and Hillary Duff are walking around looking like PSAs for bulimia.
posted by antifuse at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2006


CTRL+A.
CTRL+T.
Drag little squares to taste.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:51 AM on September 18, 2006



Body dysmorphic disorder

I don't know what any of you look like, but to me you are all beautiful.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:59 AM on September 18, 2006


I keep why in this nation, a media that reinforces "skinny is hot" could possibly be a bad thing. Aren't Americans the fatty fat fats?

But the message that the media generally pushes is "your worth as a person depends on how far your ribs jut through your skin," not "a steady and practical regimen of nutritious eating and exercise will make you happier and healthier." The standards that have been set up only encourage insecurity, neurosis, eating disorders, and dangerous fad diets. That's because the extremely thin fashion model look is simply not attainable through any kind of healthy effort. Those models who were kicked out of Spain's Fashion Week they couldn't make a BMI of 18, for God's sake. That's what, 120 pounds for a 5'9' woman?
posted by Iridic at 8:00 AM on September 18, 2006


Pastabgel, yeah, that's kind of what I'm saying-- most people have a mild, non-clinical version if BDD. People who don't would probably tend to be depressed. :)
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:04 AM on September 18, 2006


"Research suggests that about one percent (1%) of female adolescents have anorexia. That means that about one out of every one hundred young women between ten and twenty are starving themselves, sometimes to death. There do not seem to be reliable figures for younger children and older adults, but such cases, while they do occur, are not common.

Research suggests that about four percent (4%), or four out of one hundred, college-aged women have bulimia. About 50% of people who have been anorexic develop bulimia or bulimic patterns. Because people with bulimia are secretive, it is difficult to know how many older people are affected. Bulimia is rare in children.

Studies suggest that about sixty percent of adult Americans, both male and female, are overweight. About one third (34%) are obese, meaning that they are 20% or more above normal, healthy weight. Many of these people have binge eating disorder."

link

That's not to say that eating disorders are not a horrible thing, I just think we could be doing worse things than presenting a smaller waste size as a positive ideal.
posted by sourbrew at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by prostyle at 8:06 AM on September 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


Is it just me, or do the chicks in the "after" photos still look fat?

Just asking...

/ :rolleyes:
posted by C.Batt at 8:08 AM on September 18, 2006


I keep why in this nation, a media that reinforces "skinny is hot" could possibly be a bad thing. Aren't Americans the fatty fat fats?

I imagine the extremes on the thin end (in media, images) could still be bad for people on the fat end. People on the fatter side get turned off/alienated by the super skinny images, don't see a realistic image to reach so give up.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:11 AM on September 18, 2006


Arthur "Two Sheds" - The camera does add ten pounds because it renders 2D what we see in 3D. The cheekbone in front of the ear now appears next to and in the same plane as the ear. Everything is squashed flat and appears wider. This is why many television personalities have prominent chins, noses, eyebrows - less squashing.


sourbrew - anorexia is one specific subset of BDD. 1-2% of the *population* has BDD, but most of those people are adolescents.

For those of you who love you tube, video diaries of anorexics.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:14 AM on September 18, 2006


pastabagel,

If you look at my stats those apply to only anorexic and bulimic women in the adolescent to college age, which makes it about 5% of that age group. Which is no doubt smaller than one percentage of all Americans. Where as approximately 60% are over weight.
posted by sourbrew at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2006


When I want a good portrait of me I copy the Unknown Comic's costume. All the plastic surgery I'd need to look half-decent would kill me. And my face doesn't even look fat.
posted by davy at 8:23 AM on September 18, 2006


Those models who were kicked out of Spain's Fashion Week they couldn't make a BMI of 18, for God's sake. That's what, 120 pounds for a 5'9' woman?

The report I caught noted a bar of 121.5 pounds on a 5'7". 121 pounds at 5'7" is hardly automatically unhealthy-looking, which is what they say they were trying to eliminate. I take it that plus-size models are next. Not healthy looking, are they? In any case, one would think you could exercise a little case-by-case judgment instead of letting the numbers decide what "looks" healthy and unhealthy.

Where as approximately 60% are over weight.

Cue the "what people call 'overweight'" excuses. (How about your-heart-swimming-in-gravy overweight?)
posted by dreamsign at 8:23 AM on September 18, 2006


Anecdotes are meaningless, but from my own experience, I feel a lot healthier never eating carbohydrates or sugar (it's a form of self-loathing) but instead loading up on bacon, meat, etc. My weight doesn't really change, but I never get food coma, I feel like I have more energy, and this is weird, I feel like I am a lot thinner.

Of course, everything in moderation, and I think I'm genetically predisposed to low cholesterol, so YMMV.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2006


I just think we could be doing worse things than presenting a smaller waste size as a positive ideal.

That might seem like a good idea in your universe where you have fat people on the cover of every magazine and starring in every TV show, but we've tried it in our universe and it doesn't work. Turns out most people just give up and get fatter.
posted by straight at 8:25 AM on September 18, 2006


I feel a lot healthier never eating carbohydrates or sugar...posted by Pastabagel

*chuckle*
posted by jonmc at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2006


Another item for the novelty pile. Will disappear quickly and be sold on Ebay for bazillions.
posted by Skygazer at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2006


Is there a mode that makes your board of directors look less empty?
posted by GuyZero at 8:27 AM on September 18, 2006


The extreme end of the slider, where you completely disappear, should be handy for girls who have returned from going wild.
posted by srboisvert at 8:31 AM on September 18, 2006


Pastabagel, that's called Atkins, and I don't care what anybody says, that 'fad diet' is made out of magic. I lost mad weight super quick, yo.
posted by Bageena at 8:33 AM on September 18, 2006


But Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modeling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.

huh.

*Scratches head*
posted by Skygazer at 8:50 AM on September 18, 2006


squalor: I like the first girl better.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on September 18, 2006


Good angle/bad angle (nsfw)

I honestly didn't know that the fat girl angle worked that well.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:03 AM on September 18, 2006


Great post! I haven't laughed that hard in weeks! The fact that it's serious makes it even funnier: not even the Onion could have come up with something this absurd.
posted by Ndwright at 9:09 AM on September 18, 2006


The report I caught noted a bar of 121.5 pounds on a 5'7". 121 pounds at 5'7" is hardly automatically unhealthy-looking

According to this calculator, a BMI of 18 (purportedly the Spanish cut-off) for a 5'7" woman will get you 115 pounds. To put that in perspective: a BMI of 18 on a 5'11" man works out to 125 pounds.

Pretty much the only way to get to these levels is (a) malnutrition, (b) heroic amounts of cocaine and cigarettes, and (c) a badly skewed metabolism. I think the only reason we don't see models as unhealthy looking is that we'd have to fight against a lot of cultural conditioning to do so.
posted by Iridic at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2006


Excuse me--it should say a 5'10' man.
posted by Iridic at 9:37 AM on September 18, 2006


Sorry, Iridic, you're wrong. For most of my 20s I was about 120 lbs, at 5'10", and none of those things. Some people are just skinny. That said, the idea that the ideal is for everyone to be that thin is just dumb, whether they are models or not. I think the Spanish thing is a cool idea. At least they're doing something about the issue instead of just pretending they care, like most fashionistas.
posted by miss tea at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh gawd. As if the cheesey late night informercials for losing weight weren't bad enough. Now we've got HP getting into the "weight loss" biz!
posted by djwebdog at 9:43 AM on September 18, 2006


Oh yeah, and this photo thing? Laughable.
posted by miss tea at 9:46 AM on September 18, 2006


Pretty much the only way to get to these levels is (a) malnutrition, (b) heroic amounts of cocaine and cigarettes, and (c) a badly skewed metabolism. I think the only reason we don't see models as unhealthy looking is that we'd have to fight against a lot of cultural conditioning to do so.

This is news to me. I'm around 5'7" and hover between 115 to 118 lbs. and I eat well and don't do drugs.. I go to regular doctor's appointments and am in good health. Some people just have a stick like build...
posted by puffin at 9:48 AM on September 18, 2006


I concede, Miss Tea, and admit my ignorance of the proper body weight for women. (I'm also very, very, very sorry to have inadvertently implied that you might have a massive cocaine habit). I suppose I was too struck by the measurements at BMI 18 for men (you have to admit that 125 pounds makes for a somewhat gaunt man at average height) to think through my argument properly.

I also agree with you that the events in Spain are nothing but a good thing.
posted by Iridic at 9:57 AM on September 18, 2006


I am going to pig out baby! I'm going to be a fat shit now baby! I'll just photoshop my lard ass into my racing singlet and then photoshop myself into first place baby! Fuck all that training! I got a camera now baby!

But seriously:

A summary of this thread so far

-HP makes "funhouse mirror" camera.

-People are outraged! This is an outrage! Perpetuating stereotypes of idealized beauty.

-Other people are outraged at the outrage: What?? Everyone is teh fatties! At least their photographic images could be slimmer! Just for the sake of decency! Let's encourage slimness!

-Still other people cry "think of the children!"

-Mister_A makes dickish, over-simplificationizational "contribution".
posted by Mister_A at 10:04 AM on September 18, 2006


you forgot 'big chicks are teh hawt.'
posted by jonmc at 10:06 AM on September 18, 2006


Actually, this is going quite well for a weight/body image thread.

/famouslastwords
posted by brain_drain at 10:11 AM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, but does HP make a sunken cheeked, protruding rib filter if you want to look like a concentration camp victim?
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2006


(I'm also very, very, very sorry to have inadvertently implied that you might have a massive cocaine habit).

No worries, Iridic! No offense taken.
posted by miss tea at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2006


Another blow against the "reality-based" world.
posted by underdog at 11:54 AM on September 18, 2006


HP can bite my fat ass.
posted by loquacious at 12:41 PM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]



Good job they used such porkers on the "before" shots.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 8:07 AM EST on September 18 [+] [!]


How outrageous that they use attractive women who are already slim in the first place. It reinforces the idea that regular women need to be skinny, and skinny women need to be skinnier.
posted by flarbuse at 9:02 AM EST on September 18 [+] [!]

Which of these would Scott Fitzgerald be most likely to think? Whatever happened to "You can never be too rich or too thin"?


P.S. that slider seems to imply that you can also dig up photos of your ex, from back when she was getting just a tad on the un-svelte side, and bulk her up into the hogzilla realm before mailing out 3000 copies.


Another blow against the "reality-based" world.
posted by underdog at 2:54 PM EST on September 18 [+] [!]

We have art lets we perish from the truth.

posted by jfuller at 1:07 PM on September 18, 2006


Fitzgerald would have watched the young lady pass with a charming smile and a dignified nod of the head, then diligently commited the swaying centre third of her shaped figure to memory as she continued on, in order to relieve himself later.


Allegedly.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 2:15 PM on September 18, 2006


Reminds me of Paula Abdul's video, Promise of a New Day.

You gotta admit, she did look sizzly in that video. Then the MTV Music Video Awards came around and some damn fool thought the small of someone's back was the perfect place to put a mic pack.
posted by linux at 2:28 PM on September 18, 2006


That's not to say that eating disorders are not a horrible thing, I just think we could be doing worse things than presenting a smaller waste size as a positive ideal.

Nothing of substance to add, just think that this is a delightful typo. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
posted by Kwine at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2006


We have art lets we perish from the truth.


Yes, let's!
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:45 PM on September 18, 2006


"Whoa baby, I done thought you was a LOT more oblong than you really are."

*puts HP on the list of 'do not buy' products*
posted by smallerdemon at 3:46 PM on September 18, 2006


What's with HP these days? This idea must have been thought up by the same person who thought up the "Let's pre-text our board members and find out who they talk to" idea.

Note to self: Buy nothing from this weirdo company.
posted by trii at 4:16 PM on September 18, 2006


There's been plenty of discussion about just what, in The Bold New Age Of Digital Media constitutes fair editing of photographs and what is simply dishonest. I have to say that I would put "red-eye removal" on one side of that line and "slimming camera" firmly on the other. Furthermore, I'm at a loss as to what people would hope to acheive by using one of these: you can change the picture, but that doesn't change reality, so it's ultimately futile.
I guess some people are happier when deluded, even if they are aware of the delusion.
posted by Enucleator at 5:21 PM on September 18, 2006


This is like something out of Infinite Jest.
posted by ontic at 5:35 PM on September 18, 2006


great, but i also want features that make me look i did when i was 20. but with a sexy haircut on my head, and one of those sexy looks in my eyes that i was never able to master. you know the look. yeah, that one.

and it needs to make my nose smaller, much smaller, without that embarrassing bony lump about halfway down. and my chin, it's way too big. and then my arms are kind of too long and stick out at funny angles when i have my hands my pockets. and i have kind of broad shoulders, which are nice, but i'd like for it to make that bulge around my waist go away.

can the camera do anything about that? that would be great. then i could go out and socialize without feeling bad about my appearance, because i'd look great everywhere i went.
posted by treepour at 6:53 PM on September 18, 2006


How outrageous that they use attractive women who are already slim in the first place. It reinforces the idea that regular women need to be skinny, and skinny women need to be skinnier. Heavier women? Well, they can just forget about it.
posted by flarbuse


That was my first thought too...that woman in the blue sweater couldn't have been any bigger than a size 4-6 to start. If they wanna show me something impressive, make a Sumo wrestler skinny.

That said, I'm in the "what the hell is up with HP" chorus. They used to be such a nice company.
posted by dejah420 at 7:17 PM on September 18, 2006


Holy shit, I'm 5'8" and 110 pounds. I KNEW my massive crack habit would come back to bite me in my (non-existent) ass.
posted by liquorice at 1:36 AM on September 19, 2006


Sorry, Iridic, you're wrong. For most of my 20s I was about 120 lbs, at 5'10", and none of those things. Some people are just skinny.

Ditto. 5'11 1/2" and 130-135 all through school, and healthy/athletic looking (long distance runner, but not the skin-and-bones marathoner). Bring on the hate.

Besides, aren't we forgetting about a little thing called age? 125 lb 18-year olds are not that uncommon. 125 lb 40-year olds are. If we're setting social standards that everyone is supposed to live by, then yeah, that's kinda dumb. But I suppose we'll have to go banning those young runway models, too, because older people can't look that way!

What's the story -- did you take it in school? -- where the dancer must be really good because he's wearing all those balance-upsetting weights, and he must be really handsome, too, what with all the face plate-age. Was that Brave New World? If not, one of that ilk -- I can't remember. Are we there yet?
posted by dreamsign at 2:12 AM on September 19, 2006


Harrison Bergeron, and it's almost as clumsy as your attempt to make it relevent to the discussion.
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 AM on September 19, 2006


Am I the only one who just finds this funny?
posted by blueplasticfish at 9:13 AM on September 20, 2006


Harrison Bergeron, and it's almost as clumsy as your attempt to make it relevent to the discussion.

Of course this is only about health, right? There's no ridiculously self-conscious push, even in this thread, to redefine beauty -- shall we say -- in weightier terms.
posted by dreamsign at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2006


« Older Read the last statements of executed Texas death r...  |  Victorian Workhouses... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments