Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Saira's Speculating Mind: Do Photoshopped Images Make You Us Feel Bad About Ourselves?

This is a subject that is spoken and wrote about a lot and is something I feel quite strongly towards; do seeing photoshopped images make us feel bad about the way we look? I think it’s nearly a fact now that most images that we see in magazines and on websites are often photoshopped. There obviously is that professionalism of wanting to clean up images before you show your work to the public which I understand but have people been taking it too far?

A lot of people will say it’s just for marketing. At the end of the day, there are a lot of business men and women out there who are making their living by selling things like clothes and so on. They need to make their products look as appealing as possible, it’s just marketing and the way the business world works and surely that should be something that we are used to. People shouldn’t be foolish enough to believe that models really are what they appear to be when the finished product is shown. It should be common knowledge by now.

Magazines and websites should have the right to portray models the way that they want to. It’s their artistic licence and isn’t their fault If people feel hurt or offended. It was never intentional. Surely, a person should have a good enough self-esteem to not feel bad about a photo that they have just seen. Editors are only trying to cover as many bases as possible, in terms of different types of people, and the only way they are able to do that is by using photoshop.

But as many cases as there are for using photoshop there will always be cases against it. Marketing shouldn’t come to the expense of changing the way someone looks completely. If you look at before and after pictures of models when they’ve been photoshopped, you can see that sometimes they’re bone structure in their face has been altered completely. If you want models to look a certain way, then shouldn’t you be hiring them instead of photoshopping others? And if those models don’t exist, isn’t that telling us something. That maybe we are pushing this idea of what consumers ‘want’ a little too much?

Even though for some people it might be common knowledge that photoshop is used on a lot of models, some people may not know. I find that even though I know that quite a lot of images are extremely edited, I find it quite hard to notice which parts actually are. It could be anything for their height, to their weight, to their skin tone, to their hair length. You can do almost anything to an image in photoshop and that’s the problem.

You can’t blame a person for having a bad self-esteem, especially when it’s always edited photos that are being shoved in front of you face. How can you accept the fact that that isn’t what is normal when that’s what the media is trying to make you believe? There’s going to be a knock to your confidence.

Even though the above infographic makes it seem as though there aren't many people in the UK that have an eating disorder, there are in fact an estimated 1.6 million people who have a eating disorder. For me, I find that number way too high. Body image dominates social media sites and the media and it has to partially be a contributor to the high rates of eating disorders. 

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of photoshop. My generation is already extremely self-conscious about the way we look and constantly worked up about what we’re consuming on a day to day basis. I don’t think it’s helping that every magazine we pick up, every celebrity we look up to is just an edited form of what they are. For me, unedited photos and images are so much more beautiful.

So, are photoshopped images making you feel bad about what you look like? 

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