Photo editing, which has come to be known as “photoshopping” doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, right? Of course magazines need to clean up and edit their photos to make sure they are appealing. But today photoshopping techniques have gone way beyond just improving the “quality” of an image; it is now used to drastically alter the faces and bodies of models, celebrities, and others appearing in magazines.
Several “photoshop disasters” have recently brought attention to the practice of slimming down and digitally enhancing models and celebrities.
Take, for example, the image below of a clothing model. The one on the left is the original, the one on the right appeared on Ann Taylor’s website.
Other side-by-side comparisons that have shed light on the practices include Kourtney Kardashian’s post-birth baby photos, Britney Spear’s ads for Candie’s, and of course Faith Hill’s drastic manipulation on the cover of Redbook.
How about this Demi Lovato cover for Cosmo? For some reason, magazine editor’s chose to display a sickeningly over-shopped and slimmed-down Lovato on the same cover that boasts an article about Lovato’s battle with eating disorders.
image via Beauty Redefined
A cool video from Diet.com (a website which I don’t necessarily endorse!) shows exactly how photoshopping is used to digitally alter women’s bodies. In it, a staff member of the website volunteers to have her image photoshopped to see that it would look like, and to expose the practice. Although opposed to the dangers of overzealous photo editing, even she says “I look so much prettier” in the altered photo. It’s a sad truth that even if girls and women realize the images they see in magazines are altered, it doesn’t necessarily stop them from feeling inadequate.
In fact, did you know that three our of four teenage girls feel depressed, guilty and shameful after spending 3 minutes leafing through a fashion magazine?* Or that 48% of teenage girls wish they were as skinny as models?**
The Keep It Real challenge was designed to call attention to the harmful effects that drastic digital manipulation of magazine models, celebs, etc. have on women and girls. In a world where 65% of American women and girls report disordered eating behaviors, and 32% of teenage girls admit to starving themselves to lose weight, fashion/lifestyle magazines need to acknowledge the role that their photoshopping practices play in the overwhelming negative body image epidemic that is sweeping the nation.***
Join me in telling these magazines to KEEP IT REAL; to stop manipulating their audience by pushing false representations of beauty. It’s time to take a stand!
***Source: SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=4726783&page=1; Source: http://blog.girlscouts.org/2012/04/healthy-media-commission-for-positive.html