Photoshop: Where is the Line?

Updated on Mar 24, 2011
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Comments (14)

rashi_rajguru
rashi_rajguru on March 31
I completely agree with what you're saying, our ideal image for a female has been completely tainted by what we see in the media. Personally, I think it should only be used, for lighting/tonal corrections, not taking away blemishes and miniscule wrinkles.
Foxvintage
Foxvintage on March 30
Totally agree with what your saying. There was a TV programme recently with a celebrity called Alesha Dixon in the UK. She wanted to have a photo taken without any air brushing. She went everywhere, they refused to publish her photo until it was airbrushed! Stupid! She didnt even need air brushing!
opfiend
opfiend on March 29
It very much annoys me how much photoshop is used. I want to see real people like myself in magazines and everywhere else.
wowalyssa
wowalyssa on March 29
wow. you edited this? amazing!
maymaylove
maymaylove on March 26
i wish i knew how to use photoshop. i think its just so time consuming. but one day, when i have lots of time, im going to learn how to use it. i like the idea of this fantasy world...i wouldnt mind some flaws vanishing with a few simple clicks. lol. but i think it would be awkward if someone was to see me in the real world with all my unperfectness....
maymaylove
maymaylove on March 26
and i agree with some arguments here...sometimes i do think its taken too far...but i understand that its needed for business. and sometimes, its just so weird to see someone's photoshopped makeup pictures and then see their makeup in real life...definitely not as gorgeous.
crystaldots
crystaldots on March 26
I used to think that celebrities really looked that great until high school when I learned what the word, "airbrushed" meant - Britney first came out with her "Toxic" song or something. And I was like... Britney looks pretty - and that was when my friend told me that she was airbrushed. Didn't knkow what it meant until I yahoo'd it (don't think google existed then LoL). It's true what you say.
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 27
the difference is that food in a restaurant is ACTUALLY better than what you cooka t home, while no one is ACTUALLY as perfect as a photoshopped babe.
crystaldots
crystaldots on March 26
Fantasy sells, not reality. That can be said about everything when it comes to "business." I mean like at the resstaurant business - do you really want the food taste like what you make at home. No, because a bit of a "fantasy" really goes a long way! Anyway, nonetheless, one of your best articles. Very great writing! : D. I always admire that since I need to improve!
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 26
It should be used in moderation, like to make the lighting appear better, or to remove things that ruin the framing from the picture. But I feel like all the people that are like "but we all KNOW things are photoshopped, who cares" are just slightly brainwashed. I would much prefer to see more reality in my magazines. I feel like there is so much detachment between real life and hyperreality.
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
Oh I didn't feel like you were attacking me at all. :) And I do agree with/appreciate your point of view.
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 26
and you are calling photoshop a symptom, but I think it's a bit simplistic to call one or the other the symptom: there are so many forces at work, all at the same time.. Of course people should work on themselves, and kids should be protected. But once everyone has worked on themselves and started putting less emphasis on perfection, there won't be need for omnipresent photoshopping. After all, you can say that perfection isn't attainable and thus "a fantasy", but the fact that it is an ideal and a fantasy still means that girls will think they should at least TRY and embody that unrealistic ideal. Even if they know it's impossible, it'll still influence them.
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 26
I wasn't trying to attack you btw if that seemed to be the point, my response was aimed at some of the commenters :) Parents are important, yes, but kids don't talk about all of their insecurities. From a certain age they are more susceptible to peer- and media pressure than to positive stimuli from their parents. I know so many young girls that hate their imperfections, and if your friends or parents can't talk it out of your head, it must be coming from somewhere else!
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
Instead of focusing on the symptom, people should work on themselves. Find other ways to change the mindset and be happy with themselves. And as for young children, well that's where parents need to step in. I
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
That was the point I was trying to make when I said that even I, as a retoucher, feel that twinge of envy when looking images that I've just retouched to perfection. It's a lot more than just photoshop that is the problem. We've all been programmed from inception to believe one perfect idea of beauty.
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 26
and young girls are not aware of how much these images are tweaked, and even if they are aware: they aren't able to actually REALIZE that no one is perfect. Young girls hate every small imperfection, and I am sure that photoshop has something to do with that: small wrinkles, freckles, a tummy that isn't flat to the point of not leaving any frickin room for your intestines: it's ridiculous and wrong.
pandaphilia
pandaphilia on March 25
this is a really interesting and helpful article. it is true, we buy the fantasy
coffee_imp
coffee_imp on March 25
personally, I wonder why we even bother raving on about the use of Photoshop. Everyone knows nobody can look as perfect as the models in magazines. It's just a waste of breath and bytes. Besides, you don't even need Photoshop - a good camera angle, a good light and a basic desaturation and presto! supafly girl.
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
I mostly agree. But even photographers, with their hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in lighting, still can't fix everything.
anonymours
anonymours on March 25
wow her arm shrunk o-o
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
Immensely!
TheBriiNicole
TheBriiNicole on March 25
I agree with you when you say it should be used in moderation. The people who use it in magazines and such are performing a service they were hired to do. I do not blame the photo retouchers, I blame the magazine editors and business owners (etc.), because they are the ones with the final sayso. Plus, we must learn to LOVE what we have individually. We shouldn't point fingers.
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
Exactly my point! Pointing fingers does nothing. The easiest (and most efficient use of your energy) thing to do is to change yourself. But I don't think even blaming the magazine editors will do anything. They are all trying to run a business. They have to do what sells.
PatriciaMelgarejo
PatriciaMelgarejo on March 25
It depends. In an article of beauty, or an advertising es right. A fashion magazine is an ideal world, always pictures were retouched with old methods. But if it is an personal interview I want to see the real people.
gdolceamore
gdolceamore on March 25
i dont think it should be banned, but it should not be used to mislead. if a foundation does not make my skin look absolutely flawless, like the woman in the ad, then i am being mislead as a consumer with touched-up advertisements. i think we should also begin to embrace the reality of women. its a shame they had to make faith hill's arm so much smaller- she is a real woman!
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
The retouching on Faith Hill was overboard. The difference with the the girls in the makeup ads is that they have a team of professionals applying the makeup, a photographer that knows what angle to shoot from, and lighting to make everything else disappear...
JyaDi
JyaDi on March 25
i honestly done mind the photoshop. i would not buy a magazine if it had "normal" looking people. these days the photos in magazines and ads are more like art, and we have to recognize them as is.
Annebeth
Annebeth on March 26
The problem is: where's the line between "ooh I want that" and "wtf". The people we see on magazines are evidently more gorgeous than a "normal" person, so even without photoshop they would still embody a fantasy.
Squarectomy
Squarectomy on March 26
I was wondering something similar. What if magazines ran nothing but 'realistic' covers? No photoshop, no glamorous lighting, nothing. I think they might sell for a short while, because people would be curious. But ultimately, they just wouldn't be aesthetically appealed. People want what they can't have.
paintinglilies
paintinglilies on March 25
I agree!

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