Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Photoshop is a powerful tool which has been often misused (Safronova, 2015). In the past there have been brands which have been called out for photoshopping. L’Oreal’s ads were banned because they photoshopped models. Photoshop has made society believe it is normal to be flawless and perfect. Women are subconsciously affected by pictures of models with theirs perfect unattainable bodies. Often high end fashion brands photoshop and air brush models. You don’t need to reduce a size, cover scars or blemishes to sell a product. Manipulation of this sort is common and the celebs who have been subjected to this know very well about this and raise their voice against this. Photoshop cannot be banned but we can take it upon ourselves to stop using it. Celebrities and models whose photographs are constantly subjected to photoshop can rally against use of photoshop. Once we photoshop one thing, we find another imperfection and end up correcting it. At the end we have a complete stranger in the photograph. There have been ad campaigns where celebs have been photoshopped to the extent of dropping pounds of weight and also their scars disappeared after alterations made using photoshop. Looking at many retouched images of celebrities and models that make them look much better and even look like Barbie which is utterly discouraging and pathetic, in my view. Sometimes those digitally altered images leave us feeling dissatisfied with who we are and discouraged and desperate for models’ and celebrities’ retouched looks. Those images make us think we are fat, ugly and incompetent. Esther Honig, a journalist sent her photographs to different people across the world saying that they should make her photograph look beautiful. Here photographs were then transformed in ways which were comical and also looked nothing like Esther. I interpreted that everyone has a different image of beauty in their mind and she had sent her picture to people in different countries. Some thought beauty means long hair, some thick eyebrows and some thought well defined collar bones.
Not only us, but even celebrities after seeing doctored photographs of themselves are disheartened. Many brands just want to sell their products even at the cost of objectifying women. They care for their profits and are just glad if a celebrity agrees to endorse their products as that would mean more publicity. Retouching images is done to make model as well as the product stand out. Also to attract attention towards a product it is done. I believe that is wrong. I think as professional models they have posed for numerous photos. “By photoshopping images, the viewers become conscious about themselves because the models always look skinny and glamorous” (Woolen, 2019). And the reason given for editing photographs is that they are edited to look more attractive. Personally, I don’t think that it is beautiful in any way. Social media affects both boys and girls in more ways than they realize. They come across many pictures on social media some heavily doctored. When we think about photoshop it is only girls we think about, but we never think about boys. Even they are affected by this. They see pictures of men with muscular bodies and themselves want bodies like that. Images which have been digitally altered should be followed by a disclaimer that they have been retouched. A lot of teens don’t know which images are photoshopped and which are not. People on seeing images like they start feeling they are not good enough. I think it’s high time people start realising that a software does not have the capability of making them look beautiful. It is them who has to realise they are beautiful and they do not have to prove anything to the world. It is sad that people take the time to edit photographs of themselves so as to look beautiful in other people’s eyes. This is quite depressing because then the person who is seeing this edited image put themselves down, wishing they were this “perfect” and can cause low self-esteem or depression.
Photoshop is a huge lie in social media that causes rumors and for some odd reason, people see social media as a reliable source. However, little do they know it is all a bunch of lies on their screens. Photoshop is used by people who go overboard on it. They edit pictures to the extreme that can look so realistic. People easily believe the pictures they see on social media but sometimes when a person uses too much Photoshop, you can easily notice that. I have come across various situations Photoshop can be used in cyber-bullying and it can offend people in their looks. Some people use Photoshop to edit pictures but not in themselves but on other people.