The quest for personal discovery is a journey which every individual must undergo. Identity is made up of a constellation of characteristics, none more essential than the sense of belonging we feel with other humans. As with Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of needs, which maintains that the sense of security and self-esteem associated with belonging is essential in the pursuit of 'self-actualization'. Maslow's theory suggests that 'belonging' is far more important than individuality. Photoshop has revolutionized our society, and I with all my bumps and lumps can be as alluring as Beyonce', have flawless skin as Aishwarya Rai and eyes as blue as Charlize Theron. The world would bow down to my feet, men would drool at my image and boys would turn into puppies for as long as my Photoshop account was up to date.
Belonging means acceptance as a member or part. Photoshop has made it possible for people to believe that by changing their image, they may then belong to something. Photoshop was created in 1988 by Thomas and Jhon Knoll and has changed the lives of millions. There are currently 12 million paid up Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud subscription members.
People post fake pictures of themselves on Whatsapp and Facebook to attract attention and importance. The effort of flawless appearances has created an unrealistic expectation of what people should look like. Adverts photoshopping their models have made women and men dissatisfied with their bodies. A licensed Psychologist Dr. Sarah Ravin stated: 'Photoshop has made society believe that it is normal to be flawless and to have perfect proportions, which is not true'. In many instances Photoshop used inappropriately has marginalized the natural qualities inherent in every women and man, how disgraceful!
Perfect images of men and women have created strife in marriages and families. I have personally seen relationships break up when a beautiful girl Photoshopped her face and body with alluring lights and posted it on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram. I believed that this was an innocent act of experimentation without any underling thoughts of deception. Her partner was angered and believed that she was selling her body and taunting other men with her seductive pictures.
Photoshop is not always bad and is, in fact, a very useful tool in cinema, school projects and in photography. Every newlywed couple wants to have memories that would last forever, so a few touch ups on lighting, shadow, and background does a world of difference.
Different is beautiful. Refilwe Modiselle, a South African model, and entertainer were born in Rockville Soweto. She grew up with albinism. She was mocked and taunted for being different but it was in her disability that she found her ability. She worked diligently and was determined to change people's mindset and not her image. She is now the face of a South African fashion brand, Legit, a leading SA clothing brand.
Photoshopping becomes a problem when it is used to enhance qualities to deceive others for ulterior and sinister motives. Just as the craters and cracks on the surface our moon that makes it so unique, so does our imperfections make us perfect. What would a life be, if we all perfect? There would be no reason to improve or better ourselves.
Eleanor Roosevelt once remarked: 'No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.' Beauty, as I believe, is in every one of us, and can never be artificially enhanced.