Happens to guys as well, remember that Nadal Armani shoot? Hardly recognised him.
No problem that they airbrush, the people that let stuff like that get them down about themselves are at fault and need to get their shit together.
Nah, that's too easy. I agree you can't blame all your self-confidence problems on the media, because it's up to each person to work upon this and try to be at peace with how they look... but you can't just say the media has no responsibility.
Lots and lots of girls I know are insecure. Boys too (I think it's becoming worse and worse), but compared to girls, the pressure put on men to look "perfect" is still far more negligible.
I am strongly opposed to the "dieting culture", and as long as I am healthy, I absolutely refuse any idea of going on a diet to reach some kind of unattainable ideal.
But I'm a rather self-confident person, compared to most girls I know.
I always try to reject fake images as an ideal, and I try to feel comfortable with myself, but you are really under constant pressure.
If you try to ignore the injunctions to diet and try to be always skinnier, you can be sure that people or magazine covers will constantly remind you of this. I wish I could say I don't care at all when I feel that someone is implying that I'm too fat, that "If only I wanted", I could be skinnier (of course, you always CAN...if you stop eating!), but it's not true.
I know they're wrong, but it still hurts me whenever it happens. Knowing that it's all bullshit isn't enough to really stop caring, in my opinion.
And some people are just more fragile, and for them, being constantly bombarded by crazy images and implicit or explicit instructions that they should go on diets... it can be extremely destructive. I have several friends who have had eating disorders, or severe self-image distorsion, sometimes with really tragic consequences. And I do think that magazines are making it worse.
The media are everywhere and they shape our vision of what is beautiful, and we don't live in a void, so unless you are really strong and self-confident... I think it has to influence you in a way.