Photoshop is a brilliant tool, at least when it’s used ethically and correctly, however, it’s increasingly gaining criticism for its misuse by glossy magazines, creating unrealistic expectations for hordes of young girls and women that are taken in by what they see on the covers of publications.
Models with smooth, tanned skin, size zero figures and legs that go on forever. These are women we come into contact with on a daily basis in adverts. But guess what? In reality, these women likely don’t look anything like that. They’ve been airbrushed to within an inch of their lives to look like beautiful creatures, when, ultimately, that height of perfection just doesn’t exist.
You’ve probably had a good laugh at images of celebrities and Instagram ‘influencers’ who have painstakingly attempted to edit their own photos, but published without realising they have one finger less, or that one ear is a lot larger than the other.
In the 90s, digital manipulation tools became popular, and now it’s almost an obsession to touch-up our photos and play around with lighting and filters in an effort to look ‘perfect’.
In fact, when a photo of a woman without makeup or filters is published, it’s shouted from the rooftops as we are simply no longer used to this.
But try telling that to an adolescent young girl who’s highly influenced by all she sees and easily susceptible to dieting fads and other dangerous trends in her quest for impossible beauty.
The controversial cost
Magazines are defining how they believe women should look; this is a dangerous precedent and experts say it’s leading to a rise in self-esteem, depression and even body dysmorphia issues.
Voices around the world are crying out and it’s been suggested that magazines should feature ‘warning labels’, letting readers know that images have been manipulated.
Glamour and Seventeen magazines have vowed to never alter women’s bodies featured in their publications and Seventeen has partnered with the ‘National Eating Disorders Association’ and ‘Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls’.
Getty Images, one of the world’s largest stock image providers, has also said it will no longer include images of re-touched models on its platform.
Many celebrities too have publicly criticised the extent to which they have been photoshopped in magazines. Jameela Jamil, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Thorne are just some of the high-profile names who have expressed concern about the effects of Photoshop on themselves.
It seems that change is certainly in the air to counter the negative impact fake images can have on impressionable youngsters.
If you’re a gifted photographer who fancies leading this change, check out the HNC Photography course offered by the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA). You’ll be taught by a supportive faculty who are considered experts in this area.
Enquire today to learn more!
JOIN THE DEBATE
Professionals and companies in photography, media, graphic design, entertainment, fashion and other industries do benefit from the use of Photoshop. What is your opinion about it?
Share your views and your related work in a message to our IG account @LCCALIFE.