Elle magazine photographed 14 women with no make-up, no stylist, and no airbrushing as part of a photo project called "Selfies and Self Esteem." The magazine then had each woman select the photo they thought was the most flattering and explain why. Afterward, Elle editors chose their own favorite image of each woman and asked them to share what they liked and didn’t like about the images chosen. Their raw and honest answers reveal the lengths to which many women go to hide the “flaws” that are often invisible to others.
The photo project led the magazine to examine how social media are warping our sense of self worth and beauty. Quoted in the article is CMC alumna Kendyl Klein’s ’14 senior thesis titled "Why Don't I Look Like Her? The Impact of Social Media on Female Body Image," which has been downloaded more than 26,000 times. She examined the impact of social media in the development of eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction among college-aged women. She argued that the "ubiquitous and enduring nature" of social media has more of a "detrimental impact to the body image concerns of college aged women than advertising or the media generally."