Body Image: Picture Perfect and Photoshop Essay

Body Image: Picture Perfect and Photoshop Essay

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In March, Lorde, a Grammy Award winning artist, found a photo shopped image of herself online and decided to post on twitter a non-edited one next to it, standing against the use of Photoshop, a program that can “enhance” and “clean up” images to the point of perfection. Her tweet was simple; “I find this curious - two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. Remember flaws are okay.” The tweet contained two photos, featuring an altered photo where it seemed as if she had no pores and an untouched photo where her skin was just like the average Joe’s. A tweet may seem like a small gesture, but it shows that popular celebrities are comfortable in their own skin and their fans should be too – flaws and all. Seventeen year old Lorde is not the only celebrity who stands against Photoshop. Stars like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Kate Winslet, and Brad Pitt are among many who disagree with the use of Photoshop and have been the victims of photo manipulation.
To understand the issue of Photoshop and body image, we have to understand what body image means and what it means to those growing up. Body image is defined as one’s idea of the beauty and sexual attractiveness of their own body. This term was first used in an Austrian neurologist Paul Schilder’s book The Image and the Appearance of the Human Body in 1935. Society has always placed a lot of attention on the beauty and perfection of the body, but the person’s perception of their own body image may not line up with the standards of society, which is always changing from decade to decade. Someone’s body image is often a product of personal experience, personality, and the culture and society the person lives in. That being said, the use of Photoshop and editing photos...

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...s about body-images and beauty. It’s no secret that images in magazines are routinely manipulated to present a certain idea to sell their products. Healthy legs are often reduced to toothpicks and wrinkles are often wiped away to present youth. Growing up in an era of media, every magazine you can find in stores seems to have flawless photos of various celebrities and models posing with the latest handbag or holding the newest mascara. These ads and magazine spreads with flawless pictures may help sell products in beauty and fashion industries, but are detrimental to those who constantly see these altered images. Edited pictures not only give others a false reality of beauty, but it also pushes what a perfect body is expected to look like, causing women to reach for something unrealistic and unattainable – we can’t compare ourselves to something that doesn’t exist.

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