I’ll be the first to admit that photoshop can be a life-saver when used appropriately. It’s the perfect save for an under or over-exposed photo or add some life to the colors of a picture. What I hate to see is magazines, advertisements and photographers using photoshop to morph the bodies of models and actors.
Why do editors or photographers feel the need to alter photographs of people who are already famous and loved for their accomplishments or their appearance? Actresses or socialites with curvy, beautiful figures are slimmed down on their thighs and waists and accentuated in across the bust, all to preserve the skewed perception that skinny is beautiful.
Everyone knows that girls love to read magazines cover to cover and studying fashion tips, laughing over embarrassing stories, and reading eye-opening articles. What everyone also knows, but doesn’t like to admit is that most girls envy the women on the cover of their magazines, and some will go to the extreme to achieve that “perfect” figure. This obsession with a body type is a problem for many reasons, but one terrifying reality is that the woman on the front cover of a magazine is many times fake. Her hair may be the same color and you could buy the clothes she wears somewhere online, but her slim waist, tiny thighs, and perfect skin are unattainable.
When a photographer alters the appearance of their models, it can create an impossible standard that some women feel they should live up to.
Women’s clothing provider, Ann Taylor, stooped to photoshop abuse in one of their ads. Gawker’s Jezebel caught the original photograph that was leaked. Ann Taylor made a few statements on twitter after the original and photoshopped pictures were published saying things like, “We agree, we may have been overzealous on some retouching but go forward we’ll make sure to feature more real, beautiful images” and, ”We want to support and celebrate the natural beauty of women, and we apologize if in the process of retouching that was lost.” It appalls me that someone who wants to support the natural beauty of women would publish such altered photos to begin with.
Recently, Kim Kardashian fell victim to photoshop as well. Her skin was smoothed and lightened, her thighs trimmed, and her waist slimmed. Yahoo’s Shine comments on other odd choices of alterations in its article such as removing some of the fringe on her clothing. Ms. Kardashian’s photoshop experience was much less astonishing than some that I’ve seen in the past, but I agree with the question that Shine’s article brings up, if its such a small, yet noticeable change, why even make it? Kim Kardashian is known for her beauty before photoshop, why change her?