by Stacey Woods
The Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco — in which the Victoria’s Secret model instagramed a photo misrepresentative of her body’s true dimensions — shouldn’t have inspired yet another meditation about the prevarications of Photoshop. We all know about Photoshop — how it’s used and what it’s capable of. We’ve all got Photoshop’s number. What The Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco should, and with any luck will, turn out to be is a watershed event about our culture’s new and exciting interpretation of the word “support.”
To recap: last week, Victoria’s Secret had a fashion show. Unable to participate, Kerr stealthily instagrammed a photo of herself from last year’s show and included the caption: ‘Sending love and best wishes to the #vsangels from Japan xxx.’ (I would’ve chosen the blunter, “Um, in case you guys forgot, I’m a Victoria’s Secret Angel too. I’m just not there tonight, okay?” but she spun it differently and I guess that’s okay.) Then, a small but vocal faction of her 2.6 million followers, recalling the original photo from their backlog of (we might suspect) masturbation inventory, noted that Kerr’s waist looked suspiciously over-hewn and swiftly supplied evidence to support that the photo had been altered.
The typical fury reverberated. How could a supermodel — a Victoria’s Secret Angel no less — be party to such inanity? The next day, Kerr retorted. She correctly ‘grammed the original image with the following explanation: “Hi guys, here is the original VS image! When I re-posted the photo this week to support the girls I screen grabbed it off the internet when I was working in Japan. I had no idea it was photoshopped.”
“To support the girls”?
Throughout the Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco, all the expected points about body image and the evils of fashion were raised and bandied, but at no point did anyone single out the one rotted kernel at its withered, dirty cob: the idea that this has anything to do with support.
Hi guys, here is the original VS image! When I re-posted the photo this week to support the girls I… http://t.co/ejtqqzKvjk
— Miranda Kerr (@MirandaKerr) November 15, 2013
Support has always been able to waffle between activity and passivity without much contention from anyone. You can support civil rights by getting crushed by a tank, or you can support your favorite team by sitting on your couch and eating potato chips. Both are accepted usage and I won’t argue with either — even when “support” comes in the form of a tepid Facebook wall condolence after a funeral or the wearing of a new shade of ribbon.
But, to my knowledge, the Miranda Kerr Waistline Fiasco marks the first and most public incident wherein the support itself was entirely an act of self-promotion.
Let’s imagine the following scenario: It’s moments before the big Victoria’s Secret fashion show. All the Angels are as nervous as can be. How are they going to pull this off? Will their wings stay on? Will they trip and fall? What if no one claps? So many things are running through their heads. Then, one of the girls checks her phone. “Look, everyone! It’s here!” she exclaims, and shows the other angels the photo of Miranda in lingerie. They all breathe huge sighs of relief. Now everything will be okay! And the show goes off without a hitch.
Support doesn’t have to be merely passive anymore. It can actually form the basis for all kinds of new bragging. This new support is unquestionably better for everyone, but if only had been invented sooner! Instead of leading the March on Washington, Martin Luther King could’ve just sent over a picture of himself marching around his house in a bikini. Instead of invading Normandy, General Montgomery could’ve just posted a shot of himself from some other battle. “Good luck, chaps! Miss you xoxo!” There’s no telling how many horrors could have been avoided, but thanks to Miranda Kerr, and other tireless self-serving supporters out there, we can start to turn things around. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go Snapchat the IRS.
Just finished my evening yoga routine…Namaste and God bless ❤