So Keira Knightley has posed topless in protest of Photoshop. It seems like the Photoshop whining from feminists has been the lamest and longest campaign ever, and celebrities have taken it to a new level.

Celebrities, for some reason, want to look like real people in the magazines they grace. Like I want to see their zits. Come on. What about me, and MY feelings while I’m standing there in the grocery store line, hair a mess, no makeup, not even having bathed in a few days, booger and peanut butter-crusted kids. I have plenty of reality right here in front of me. I do not need to see your crusties, too, imaginary beautiful people. You are my moment of art and flawless beauty, while I wonder in quiet panic which of my boys that smell is emanating from. I don’t feel jealousy when I see you. I just remember wistfully how nice it feels to be all clean and done up.  Speaking of which – kids are at preschool. I will go shower right now.

I’m back. Damn that’s good.

So back to Keira’s boobs. The famously flat-chested actress has posed topless under the condition that she is not ‘shopped. The results? Well… if this is supposed to be some testament to the courage of facing your own reality and putting it all out there, it’s disappointing. Now, I’ve been on both sides of the camera. I can see that she’s simply traded a skilled photoshop job for a cheap easy paintdotnet job. Convert to black and white, adjustments -> bright/contrast till there’s hardly anything discernible left of her tatas. Judd Weiss has shown us all how fantastic everyone looks in black and white through the lens of a good camera, so between that and simply contrasting everything away, she’s still “cheating.” But she’s gorgeous no matter what. I don’t mind any of her photos, no matter what. But that’s not what this article is about.

Some people do mind.

There is a growing and loud contingent of people that want honesty in photography. This is about them and why their best (vs worst) efforts along these lines make me cheer for the market.

A little bit ago, everyone was talking about the Hollaback street harrassment campaign. I didn’t get all hot and bothered about it until this video pointed out where it was all going. Ugh. A push for more legislation and police power over people. Of course. Hideous. Not one person in that video deserved any sort of police action. A dirty look, yes. Arrest or citation, emphatically NO. The effort is going well in the UK, unsurprisingly.

Also going well in the UK is the legislative effort against photoshopping. They have successfully banned this gorgeous image of Julia Roberts and a contingent of angry parents, eating disorder activists and other such busybodies want the same for the US. Happily, this ridiculous nanny state intrusiveness (sponsored by a Republican, by the way) has gone nowhere and it is not likely to go anywhere soon.

How aggravating is it that so many people see a problem in society and just knee-jerk their way on over to Congress to Fix It For Us? Makes me want to violate the NAP all over their asses.

But not these girls. No. What did they do? They started a change.org petition, yes. But they directed it appropriately! To the magazine! And look what happened! When the editor of Seventeen heard there was a young reader on the street carrying signs and 84,000  signatures, she waved the eighth grader up to her office and they had a “deep convo” about body image and the media. Both parties left feeling something was actually accomplished. Police presence not required. Act of Congress not required. Force of the state not required. Just producers and consumers talking about how they could understand each other better and meet each other’s needs.

So Keira’s topless photos brought all these issues back up in the media and reminded me that the best efforts for change are happening by people just talking to each other, by celebrities voicing an opinion but not advocating for new laws. At least not that obviously. (I’m afraid to dig too deeply here… Put any demoralizing info in the comments for later when I’m drinking).

The truth is when people start buying magazines with photos that look one way vs another, the market will follow the money.

For my part, I’m happy just to see boobs in general normalized. Whether women are breastfeeding or not, in any shape and size, what’s the big deal? It should be no more obscene for a woman to go topless than a man, so for whatever reason, kudos to Keira Knightley for putting her rare exquisite miniatures out there.