Monday, September 6, 2010
Photoshop of Horrors
If at my age, I am still secretly comparing myself to images on television and in magazines I can only imagine what it's like for teenaged girls growing up in the age of Photoshop. Recently,Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz reported on a popular website for 18-34 year olds called Jezebel.com. Whenever the website discovers unretouched photos of celebrities they post the before and after Photoshopped photos. One of their first ones was a photo of singer Faith Hill on the cover of Redbook in July 2007. Connie Schultz wrote "The difference between the two images was not just striking, but stomach-turning. Editors had digitally poofed up her hair, deflated her cheeks, shaved inches off her left arm and removed her right arm altogether. They erased fine lines from her face, the protruding clavicle from her chest and the tiny bit of back flesh blooming over the top of her sundress. Her previously small waist was whittled to the size of a 10 year-olds."
Why? What's wrong with being a naturally pretty woman? Why do magazines that are supposedly for women make us all look at images that are literally impossible to live up to?
For awhile I subscribed to a magazine called "More" because it was promoted as a magazine for women over 40. Great, I thought. But after awhile I became really annoyed with a section called "This is what 40 looks like, or 50 or 60..." But of course the women looked nowhere near those ages. I thought here we are again - being told to live up to perfection.
My favorite chuckle of every month is seeing how Oprah miraculously loses 30 or 40 pounds for her magazine cover and somehow gains it all back for the taping of her show. Who are they kidding???
Schultz quoted Jezebel editor Jessica Coen: Remember that every day a young woman somewhere sees one of these overly polished pictures for the first time... and has no idea that they're not real...She may well have no idea that most waists don't really bend without a roll of flesh, that a 40-year old woman actually does have some wrinkles, that no mascara will make one's lashes long enought to tickle her eyebrows. What the girl does know is that the pictures show What is Beautiful. She thinks they are reality. And maybe she doesn't have someone in her life to point out that this is complete and utter bullshit.
Above you can see an unretouched photo of Madonna looking like, well, kinda like a 52-year old woman who is in good shape. The Brittany Spears photo is a small example of retouching. You can click to enlarge.