Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 12/28/2011

Down With Photoshopping

the (evil) power of photoshopping

the (evil) power of photoshopping

Retouching photographs of models in magazines and newspapers has been a point of controversy in the publishing industry ever since technology like Photoshop has become readily available. Most magazines, especially ones dedicated to fashion and/or celebrity stalking, have no qualms about retouching “imperfect” pictures. I think this practice is absolutely reprehensible.

There are instances when it’s appropriate to retouch photograph. For example, if a person in a photograph has red eye or some stray hairs, or the lighting isn’t good, or if there’s some other imperfection that doesn’t change the concept of the picture to a ridiculous degree, I don’t see a problem with that. I do take issue with pictures retouched to the point that the original subject is unrecognizable or completely changed, especially in the mass media.

Dozens of studies have proven that young women are very much influenced by how the media portrays women, whether on television or the Internet or in magazines. As a result, when models are depicted as super-skinny with heads wider than their hips (as was done in a Ralph Lauren ad), that sends girls a message that they need to be as thin as possible in order to be accepted, to be “normal.” This sort of thing is why anorexia and other eating disorders are so common in our society. If models and celebrities were shown in magazines looking the way they do without Photoshop enhancements, young women would be able to see what “normal” really is.

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  • Emma E @ at 1:35 pm, December 28th, 2011

    I’m glad there was such an uproar over that Ralph Lauren ad–it shows that even our screwed-up society can recognize that that is messed up. A step in the right direction, right?

  • Renee @ at 1:04 am, December 30th, 2011

    In everything except for advertisings I LOVE photoshop. It’s just about the coolest skill ever.

    But yeah photoshopping in ads to the point where you are advertising the photoshopper and not the product is ridiculous.

  • Claire @ at 10:34 pm, January 7th, 2012

    I no longer read magazines for a multitude of reasons, one of which is that the models and actresses portrayed on glossy covers simply do not look like that in real life. The wonders of Photoshop and other photo editing programs help people who may look a bit better than the average bear look amazing. Thereby, the rest of us in the wild feel icky in comparison, and we are to think we can only be as pretty as them if we buy the 57 makeup supplies between its magazine covers and lose about 10 pounds (off of each leg). But I digress…

    I love looking at before and after the digital editing process. Photos of celebrities, actors, musicians, models, sometimes look so different, it occasionally makes me question if they are the same person (if the editors have amazing skills). Talented editors clear the blemishes, enhance hair color, and remove muffin tops of all sizes.

  • liz @ at 9:57 pm, January 13th, 2012

    I’d start photoshopping all the superskinnies in the opposite direction – add flaws (blemishes, tats, wrinkles, etc). GUESS WHAT … they’d be just as lovely – just not some “perfect” fake fantasy. I remember models and actresses that looked like normal women and they were people … not all trying to fit in one prepubescent mold. That’s male gaze telling women what they should be like and women internalizing it. Don’t buy it.

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