Rachael Leigh CookRachael Leigh Cook’s good looks helped make her a breakout teen star in the ’90s, but she’s railing on the media for its unhealthy expectations when it comes to appearances. Cook, who starred opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. in the hit 1999 romantic comedy “She’s All That,” and was the subject of a flood of magazine stories at that time, is taking action against the editorial manipulation of images of celebrities and models — which she views as having a harmful impact on young women.The 31-year-old star addressed the issue at a summit in Washington last week, joining The Creative Coalition, the Girl Scouts of USA and fellow actress Geena Davis in the cause. “I did not grow up getting told about how manipulated the images we see of women and girls out there are, and I think it’s an absolute travesty that young women are seeing what the media is feeding them,” Cook told FoxNews.com. “It breaks my heart to be part of an industry and part of a machine that really pushes out these images and propagates these really terrible standards that are false.” Cook knows from experience. After wrapping her first movie — an adaptation of “The Baby-Sitters Club” – when she was 15, she struggled with body-image issues. “I remember gaining quite a bit of weight on the first movie that I worked on because, ‘hey, free food!'” Cook said. “You’re at that stage where your body is just changing so actively, so it was a natural change, but I remember finishing that film and realizing that I had gained probably 10 pounds over the course of filming which is a lot when you’re only 5’2.” “I knew then that I needed to go and really try and get healthy,” she continued. “I went too far in the other direction and I worried my parents for a while, I think it’s fair to say. I think that it’s something that many, many teenage girls go through, especially ones that are achievers and ambitious. You’re looking for a sense of control, and when you’re in a really transitional phase in your teenage years, I think it’s a pretty normal reaction to develop food issues.” Kate Winslet in GQNowadays, it’s not surprising to find out that Kate Winslet had possibly been photo-manipulated to look leaner on GQ magazine. Or that Gabby Sidibe was seemingly lightened up on Elle magazine. Or that an already-skinny model was digitally slimmed down to appear even less than zero. Image doctoring – even among nonfamous people who want to touch themselves up before posting a photo on Facebook – is so pervasive, that society can be de-sensitized to it. But when young girls who are prone to eating disorders and low self-esteem are constantly barraged with said image doctoring, the effect could be damaging. To combat the problem, Cook advised people to do an Internet search “Photoshop Tutorial” to witness how the media alters images and helps foster unrealistic standards of beauty. “Nothing that you see is real, even if you look at what looks like a candid photo of someone, anything can be done,” she said. “It is false advertising and false advertising is a crime so why isn’t this a crime? I’m just up in arms about it. People need to know that there are actual lenses that are put on cameras that make people stretched out. If you saw these actors in person, you wouldn’t even recognize them as the people you see on TV. It’s just all a complete illusion and maybe it should be viewed as art, the way that art isn’t real. The way that a picture of a rose can be beautiful, but it’s not a real rose.” She’s not the only actress to vent about retouching. Winslet complained about the GQ magazine photo spread in which she looked visibly thinner. “I just didn’t want people to think I was a hypocrite and that I’d suddenly lost 30 lb. or whatever,” she said after the issue came out in 2003. “So I just came out and said, ‘Look, I don’t look like that’. I’m not mad at the magazine, but I have no intention of looking like that.” As you may know, Cook is not alone — the French are contemplating legislation that would require Photoshopped images to carry a disclaimer, thanks to Parliament member (and mom) Valérie Boyer; a group of doctors in the UK have found that retouched images make women and girls as young as five hate themselves; and earlier this month, a Canadian retailer banned retouching. Of course, overly manipulated, unrealistic images — from Gabourey Sidibe to Christina Hendricks to even Brad Pitt — persist. The flubs get called out on blogs like this, but most people — the public at large — consume the photographs as truth. Making the publication of patently false images a crime could help — but don’t we also need a complete attitude adjustment, society-wide? Speaking up for the magazine industry’s side of things, contributing Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley defended the practice, saying on “The View”: “You got a cover, you eat it, you say it’s fabulous. You don’t like your twitch or your twisted lip, it’s fine. You’re on the Vogue cover.” Article excerpts from Jezebel and Yahoo! Omg *     *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *       *       *      *      *      *       * I love her! So happy to see that a few people in Hollywood aren’t completely braindead. The thing that struck me the most was when Rachael said that she did not know that advertisements were altered when she was growing up. I didn’t either, and I’m sure that about 80% of people, if not more, grew up not knowing this. I actually did not discover this until I went to school for graphic design and was exposed to Photoshop – I was 18. My mind/body issues had been ingrained into me and had a long list of physical traits I wanted but would never possess naturally. I think this goes for most women. Psychologically, it can take time to reverse these habits and brain patterns even after the truth has been exposed. Photoshop scandals have only been exposed in the last few years. Before that, there was barely any mention of altered ads and airbrushing. Imagine the millions, billions of women that grew up in that time and never had the education of knowing reality from digitally altered. On the other hand, it is a great time for our younger girls (and boys) to grow up, and hopefully they will keep getting exposed to these facts. It could have made a world of a difference to so many people – I myself know that I could have had a much more fulfilling childhood if I hadn’t been locking myself in my basement doing exercise videos every evening after school, when I should have been hanging out with my friends or focusing on my education. You know, the actually important stuff. Changing gears, isn’t it absolutely DISGUSTING that Vogue editor Andre Leon Talley thinks that actors/models should just “eat it” for the sake of a Vogue cover?!?! What a douche. It’s that attitude that propels this kind of stuff. It’s a shame that some people view fame over health, peace of mind, quality of life and most of all, honesty. I’m relieved that there are celebrities speaking out against the industry. Rachel Leigh Cook, Kate Winslet, Crystal Renn and Jamie Lee Curtis are high-profile women that we can appreciate and trust to fight for what’s healthy and fair. I hope we see more on this!