Photoshop. majority of women). This is done by consistent

Photoshop. What exactly is photoshop, if you
try to put it in a one-sentence definition? On Google, photoshop is when
someone alters (a photographic image) digitally using
Photoshop image-editing software. Since the arrival of photography workflow on
computers, digital manipulation has been a beast with two heads- helping some,
and hurting others. Digital Manipulation is not evil; to some it is actually
quite helpful. Correcting photographs allows people to circumvent the problems
that they might encounter while actually taking a picture. Too much light?
Correct exposure. Awkward red eye? Red eye correction. Feeling artsy? Convert
to black and white. Photo editing is a useful tool that allows photographers to
guide an image closer to what they want, or the idea that they originally
imagined. But has anyone ever looked at the hurtful side of photoshop? Whether
you consider it photo shopping, digital alteration, image manipulation, or blah
blah blah, we know the fashion industry is notorious for its heavy-handed use
of it, and has fallen under criticism for introducing ‘false images’ into the
mainstream and passing them off as real.. Everyone talks about the fact that so
many images of women are “perfected” with the help of technology, but do we
really understand how serious this issue is? Like exactly HOW MUCH these photos
are manipulated to fit some seriously unrealistic ideals that we view
constantly? And do we understand that it isn’t just fashion magazine covers
that feature altered images? It’s everywhere. My name is Brianna Bracey and
today we are going to discuss digital manipulation in the fashion industry and
how it affects everyday women.


We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Is Thin the New Beautiful?

One of the main strategies used to reinforce
and normalize a distorted idea of “average,” which sparks body anxiety when we
don’t measure up, is media’s representation of women as extremely thin (meaning
much thinner than the actual population or what is physically possible for the
vast majority of women). This is done by consistent use of models and actresses
that are extremely young and thin and by making the models and actresses fit
their idea of ideal of youth and thinness and beauty through digital
manipulation. This unrealistic form is consistently represented across almost
all media forms, along with blemish-free, wrinkle-free, and even pore-free
skin, thanks to the wonders of digital manipulation as an “industry standard”
that is openly endorsed and defended by magazine editors and media executives the
world over. Programs like Adobe Photoshop, Light room and iPhoto have become
staples for many professional photographers, and most alter their photos
without a second thought (not knowing how it affects those who view it). I
interviewed Henry Farid, a Dartmouth professor of computer science who
specializes in digital forensics and photo manipulation, and he agrees. “The
more and more we use this editing, the higher and higher the bar goes. They’re
creating things that are physically impossible,” he told ABC News in August
2009. “We’re seeing really radical digital plastic surgery. It’s moving towards
the Barbie doll model of what a woman should look like — big breasts, tiny
waist, ridiculously long legs, elongated neck. All the body fat is removed, all
the wrinkles are removed, and the skin is smoothed out.” What we see in media,
and what we may be internalizing as normal or beautiful, is anything but normal
or beautiful. It’s fake. It’s a profit-driven idea of normal and beautiful that
women will spend their lives trying to achieve and men will spend their lives
trying to find. Until we all learn to recognize and reject these harmful
messages about what it means to look like a woman.

Black Is Not Beautiful?

There is a specific type of photoshop that
affects a large group- black women. Its term is known as whitewashing. Similar
to ideals of extreme thinness, the whitewashing of beauty standards affects
women of color in significant ways. Okay just in case nobody understands the
word, When we say “white-washing,” we are referring to the artificial
lightening of someone’s skin color so that they conform to the culturally
created (and needless to say, wrong) idea of lighter skin being more beautiful
than dark skin. Celebrities like Rihanna and Beyoncé, who we look at as
beautiful black women, have been victims of this type of skin-shaming. Magazines
like Vogue, try to come up with excuses for the extreme whiteness claiming
studio lighting is the culprit for their cover girl’s lighter skin. Lighting is
likely to blame, as digital retouching has not been confirmed in either case.
However if lighting is what is causing this “white-washing” effect,
perhaps better training for photographers would allow a model’s real skin color
to come through in photographs. Countless women and young girls around the
world are looking at these images and absorbing the depicted standard of
beauty. Some are thinking that lighter skin is better, or “more
glamorous” than their own color. Ultimately, thoughts like those can be
damaging on a global scale.

So what is Beautiful?

Although many fashion companies and advertisements
have given women such high standards in regards to beauty, there are a few
brands that are fighting back. One company is Modcloth; if you
head over to the Modcloth website right now, you’ll see a banner featuring
women of all different sizes and ethnicities in similar polka-dotted bathing
suits. Above their heads, it reads “Our employees prove swimsuit confidence is
for everybody.” Modcloth is the most recent well-known company to embrace
beauty in all unaltered shapes and sizes by signing the Truth in Advertising
Heroes Pledge. Citing company-wide frustration with overly photoshopped
advertisements, Modcloth has agreed to the following: 1.To do their best not to
change the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physical
features, of the people in our ads in post-production, 2. To be honest about
ads that are materially Photoshopped, by adding a “Truth in Advertising” label
to these ads., and 3. Not to run Photoshopped ads in media where children under
13 might see them. Another better example is Aerie; In the spring of 2014,
Aerie launched “Aerie Real”, featuring completely un-retouched lingerie models.
The results? Beautiful models…with tattoos, freckles, beauty marks, and scars
that would normally never make it into advertising campaigns. A look at their
website today features a #AerieReal hashtag and this mantra: “Some girls wear
makeup. Some girls don’t. Some girls wear pushup bras & some just won’t.
Lots of girls live in heels & others in flats. Long hair, blue hair or
maybe none of that. No matter your choices, let’s be clear, you won’t find
retouching on any girl here. Simply stated, we made a deal. Trends may come and
go but We Will Always Be Aerie Real.” The models are still young, gorgeous, and
thin, but their “imperfections” are clearly on display, too. Aerie brand
representative Jenny Altman explained in an interview with me: “They are still
models, they’re still gorgeous… they just look a little more like the rest of
us. We hope by embracing this that real girls everywhere will start to embrace
their own beauty.” In the end, Photoshop is a tool and “like any tool it
can be used to do good things or bad things,” Thomas Knoll, who invented
Photoshop with his brother, recently told CBS news in an interview. But it
should be used responsibly by the fashion industry. Thank you for listening on
the one and only episode of