What’s Wrong With Photoshop

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Published April 4, 2018
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The Montclarion
The use of Photoshop in media on models and celebrities can have a profound effect on people's self-image. Photo courtesy of GettyImages

Plastered onto magazines are “beautiful” celebrities and the latest dieting crazes to supposedly help you lose those last 10 pounds. You see supermodels and athletes with flawless, toned bodies. Victoria’s Secret models are stick thin and incredibly tall. Their faces are unblemished. Not a pimple or pore to be found. Nothing but smooth symmetrical skin. To society this is what is believed to be beautiful, but why?

How come only a select few are gifted by the gods with the ideal body? Well, in reality they are not. They may be close, but no one is perfect. The key to a perfect body and perfect skin: Photoshop. Photoshop possesses the magical ability to manipulate a person’s body to appear perfect.

Photoshop is used throughout the modeling industry. Supermodels are airbrushed to look tanner and edited to have thinner waists and wide hips. Many people, especially teenagers, feel that this is how they have to look. Young girls believe that they must be stick thin and have big butts and breasts in order to be viewed as beautiful.

The use of Photoshop in the beauty industry does not affect only girls, but boys as well. Boys are left believing that they have to be insanely muscular and over 6 feet tall in order to satisfy societal norms regarding attractiveness. Because of these impossible standards, people go to extremes to obtain the image.

Dieting and exercise are encouraged when done in a healthy and safe way, but there is certainly a limit. Some individuals become controlled by eating disorders. Some individuals eat to the point where they are sick, attempting to get bigger or will starve themselves to be smaller. Physically, this is extremely unhealthy and dangerous. Eating disorders destroy a person’s body.

For example, according to Futures of Palm Beach Recovery Center, anorexia causes the brain to undergo changes in its structure. In addition, hair loss is a common symptom of anorexia. These are just a few of the dangerous physical effects that eating disorders can have on a person.

Not only does Photoshop have a physically negative impact on people, but a severe mental impact as well. When people attempt to obtain the bodies they see on magazine covers, some individuals may become discouraged that they cannot achieve an alleged “perfect” body. The frustration and insecurities brought about can cause people to develop mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.

According to Eating Disorders Victoria – a support and information service about eating disorders – people who suffer from anorexia will suffer from severely distorted body images. No matter how much weight a person may lose, in their minds they will never be thin enough. The fact that the media imposes these cruel effects on people’s lives is devastating.

I believe there is a solution to avoiding the effects that Photoshop has on people’s lives. It may be the most difficult challenge yet, but it is certainly worthwhile. The best advice I can provide is to be true to yourself. Although it may sound cheesy, it works. You have to learn to love your body. For most people this is the most challenging battle of all. If you or anyone you know is suffering with body image problems or eating disorders, ensure they are receiving help.

Eating disorders can leave people feeling helpless so it is crucial for the person to feel loved during difficult times. There are many anonymous helplines that are available 24/7. The fact of the matter is that people come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one size that is viewed to be beautiful that all others are inferior to. Once you learn to love who you are and your body, the images on the tabloids will be insignificant. I hope to see our society accept people of all sizes.

We are beginning to embrace curvy women, but that is only the beginning. We must embrace small, tall, petite, curvy, medium and all other types of people. I am eager to see the day when society and the fashion industry will no longer use Photoshop to define beauty and embrace natural people.

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