Photoshop. is not evil; to some it


What exactly is photoshop, if youtry to put it in a one-sentence definition? On Google, photoshop is whensomeone alters (a photographic image) digitally usingPhotoshop image-editing software. Since the arrival of photography workflow oncomputers, digital manipulation has been a beast with two heads- helping some,and hurting others. Digital Manipulation is not evil; to some it is actuallyquite helpful. Correcting photographs allows people to circumvent the problemsthat they might encounter while actually taking a picture.

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Too much light?Correct exposure. Awkward red eye? Red eye correction. Feeling artsy? Convertto black and white. Photo editing is a useful tool that allows photographers toguide an image closer to what they want, or the idea that they originallyimagined. But has anyone ever looked at the hurtful side of photoshop? Whetheryou consider it photo shopping, digital alteration, image manipulation, or blahblah blah, we know the fashion industry is notorious for its heavy-handed useof it, and has fallen under criticism for introducing ‘false images’ into themainstream and passing them off as real.. Everyone talks about the fact that somany images of women are “perfected” with the help of technology, but do wereally understand how serious this issue is? Like exactly HOW MUCH these photosare manipulated to fit some seriously unrealistic ideals that we viewconstantly? And do we understand that it isn’t just fashion magazine coversthat feature altered images? It’s everywhere. My name is Brianna Bracey andtoday we are going to discuss digital manipulation in the fashion industry andhow it affects everyday women.

*plays Thin the New Beautiful?One of the main strategies used to reinforceand normalize a distorted idea of “average,” which sparks body anxiety when wedon’t measure up, is media’s representation of women as extremely thin (meaningmuch thinner than the actual population or what is physically possible for thevast majority of women). This is done by consistent use of models and actressesthat are extremely young and thin and by making the models and actresses fittheir idea of ideal of youth and thinness and beauty through digitalmanipulation. This unrealistic form is consistently represented across almostall media forms, along with blemish-free, wrinkle-free, and even pore-freeskin, thanks to the wonders of digital manipulation as an “industry standard”that is openly endorsed and defended by magazine editors and media executives theworld over. Programs like Adobe Photoshop, Light room and iPhoto have becomestaples for many professional photographers, and most alter their photoswithout a second thought (not knowing how it affects those who view it). Iinterviewed Henry Farid, a Dartmouth professor of computer science whospecializes in digital forensics and photo manipulation, and he agrees.

“Themore and more we use this editing, the higher and higher the bar goes. They’recreating things that are physically impossible,” he told ABC News in August2009. “We’re seeing really radical digital plastic surgery. It’s moving towardsthe Barbie doll model of what a woman should look like — big breasts, tinywaist, ridiculously long legs, elongated neck. All the body fat is removed, allthe 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 normalor beautiful. It’s fake. It’s a profit-driven idea of normal and beautiful thatwomen will spend their lives trying to achieve and men will spend their livestrying to find. Until we all learn to recognize and reject these harmfulmessages about what it means to look like a woman.Black Is Not Beautiful?There is a specific type of photoshop thataffects a large group- black women. Its term is known as whitewashing.

Similarto ideals of extreme thinness, the whitewashing of beauty standards affectswomen of color in significant ways. Okay just in case nobody understands theword, When we say “white-washing,” we are referring to the artificiallightening of someone’s skin color so that they conform to the culturallycreated (and needless to say, wrong) idea of lighter skin being more beautifulthan dark skin. Celebrities like Rihanna and Beyoncé, who we look at asbeautiful black women, have been victims of this type of skin-shaming. Magazineslike Vogue, try to come up with excuses for the extreme whiteness claimingstudio lighting is the culprit for their cover girl’s lighter skin. Lighting islikely 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 colorto come through in photographs.

Countless women and young girls around theworld are looking at these images and absorbing the depicted standard ofbeauty. Some are thinking that lighter skin is better, or “moreglamorous” than their own color. Ultimately, thoughts like those can bedamaging on a global scale.So what is Beautiful?Although many fashion companies and advertisementshave given women such high standards in regards to beauty, there are a fewbrands that are fighting back. One company is Modcloth; if youhead over to the Modcloth website right now, you’ll see a banner featuringwomen of all different sizes and ethnicities in similar polka-dotted bathingsuits. Above their heads, it reads “Our employees prove swimsuit confidence isfor everybody.” Modcloth is the most recent well-known company to embracebeauty in all unaltered shapes and sizes by signing the Truth in AdvertisingHeroes Pledge. Citing company-wide frustration with overly photoshoppedadvertisements, Modcloth has agreed to the following: 1.

To do their best not tochange the shape, size, proportion, color and/or remove/enhance the physicalfeatures, of the people in our ads in post-production, 2. To be honest aboutads that are materially Photoshopped, by adding a “Truth in Advertising” labelto these ads., and 3.

Not to run Photoshopped ads in media where children under13 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 scarsthat would normally never make it into advertising campaigns. A look at theirwebsite today features a #AerieReal hashtag and this mantra: “Some girls wearmakeup. 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 ormaybe none of that. No matter your choices, let’s be clear, you won’t findretouching on any girl here. Simply stated, we made a deal. Trends may come andgo but We Will Always Be Aerie Real.” The models are still young, gorgeous, andthin, but their “imperfections” are clearly on display, too.

Aerie brandrepresentative Jenny Altman explained in an interview with me: “They are stillmodels, they’re still gorgeous… they just look a little more like the rest ofus. We hope by embracing this that real girls everywhere will start to embracetheir own beauty.” In the end, Photoshop is a tool and “like any tool itcan be used to do good things or bad things,” Thomas Knoll, who inventedPhotoshop with his brother, recently told CBS news in an interview. But itshould be used responsibly by the fashion industry.

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