What the Big Giant Head phenomenon is really about

I think I just had an epiphany about the Big Giant Head phenomenon in bad photoshopping of glamour photos of women. The missing ribs and wasp waists are bad enough, but the BGH lollipop-look appears again and again and again.

For one example at Photoshop Disasters, see this post: Intymnie: Sorry I Have A Huge Headache:


(See also: Bratz dolls.) It’s not just about someone cutting and pasting a fresh head and forgetting to resize, because the heads are always bigger. It’s about making women look even more like preadolescent children.

Babies are born with giant heads. Their head:body length ratio is about twice that of an adult. The head rapidly grows to near-adult size, followed much more slowly by the body.


What also grows disproportionately between toddlerhood and adolescence? Leg length. A girl between toddlerhood and adolescence is growing her legs faster than she is her torso. Female models are valued for their disproportionately long legs.


So this confirms, for me: what “glamour” photoshoppers think consumers want to leer at is malnourished preteen girls with breast implants and a few abdominal organs missing. Which is deeply, deeply creepy.

Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism

Tags: , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Wow … I’d never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense. Too much sense, really.

  2. She’s come to gobble you up haha…the nothing to hang onto bod with the giant head filled with marshmallow & all things nice…but don’t expect her to fulfil expectations…or move or talk animatedly or look around or get involved in any action, in case that neck can’t support that pumped up noggin’. Imagine her lolling head in your lap, tongue emerging, askew…muttering, “I kwant mooove my head”.
    Some of Humanity devolves at a rapid pace…into dumbos…soon to join the dodos & Neanderthals…dumby dee dumb, dumb dee dumb…you can tell them by the way they flutter their eyes, dwool & fall on their butts wearing stilts for shoes, giggling like 1950s Granny locked in the attic.
    Or they have their eyes super-glued to cameras & computer screens whilst hands continually flutter about their groin appendage, searching for meaning. Addicted to the rush of blood & spurt to nowhere.

  3. Excellent graphic demonstration of just why those giant head photo-shops have such a creepy feel to them. The infantilisation of women is becoming the relentless back-beat of consumer media.

  4. La Greer said, in the Female Eunuch, that the ideal of hairlessness is really deeply disturbing because it really belongs to a prepubescent (and therefore, also, is the reverse of any real idea of ‘womanly’). I read that when I was 16 and went “eeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!” and I never forgot it.
    Laure, Hetty Johnson’s coming to get you viz. that graph.

  5. Too true, unfortunately.

  6. Horrible, horrible, horrible (sorry I am feeling rather inarticulate at the moment) *sighs and shakes head sadly*
    Rayedishs last blog post..Bratz versus ‘My Scene’

  7. Don’t forget that an essential part of this picture being on Photoshop Disasters is that the photoshopper also tried to do something about her nipples and she ended up having a nipple on one breast and no nipple on the other. They’re in two minds about how sexual they want this *child* to look. It’s a very telling image, don’t you think?

  8. What I find worrying is that one doesn’t notice the oversized head until one is told that the head is oversized (al least that’s what happened to me and my mum).
    Note that the figure in the graph above is male. Reinforcing the idea that “human” is male by default unless specified otherwise?


  1. Bratz versus ‘My Scene’ « The Radical Radish
%d bloggers like this: