There’s been a big debate over recent years about the use of Photoshop. Many celebrities have had photos digitally altered in order to make themselves look better, but is this the right thing to be doing? Does it have a negative effect on people and should it be stopped, or is it something that can be understood and accepted?
Yes – it sends out the wrong message
A lot of photos of people that you see in magazines and online publications have been touched up using Photoshop. A lot of the time, people are made to be skinnier, their imperfections such as spots and blemishes are removed and the final result isn’t an accurate representation of what the person actually looks like. There are many who think that Photoshop is used far too much and that it creates unrealistic impressions on young people of what they should aspire to look like. Many also think that if someone is going to appear in a magazine or any sort of publication, that the photo that should be used shouldn’t be edited or touched up at all – in other words, they should appear in the publication as they do in real life. Many celebrities, such as Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Keira Knightley and Lady Gaga have spoken out against Photoshop and have said that the focus should be on natural beauty, not a sort of beauty that’s created from a photo editing programme. Cases of anorexia and bulimia have been linked to Photoshop as impressionable young people have changed their eating habits for the worse in an attempt to look like people they see on magazines, people whose weight has been digitally reduced.
No – many of us edit our photos
While some think Photoshop creates unrealistic expectations of what you should look like, Photoshop isn’t the only thing used by people to enhance their appearance. Many people wear make-up to improve their appearance, do they not? Many people undergo plastic surgery to look better and many people, when posting photos of themselves online, will very often edit them using different filters and other techniques to make themselves look a bit better. Sure, many celebrities do get Photoshopped, but young children can be taught that the images of people they see in magazines and online have been altered and are not realistic images. There’s also the point that Photoshop is used in advertising to make people look better because consumers are more likely to buy products if they’re promoted by an aesthetically pleasing person. Take beauty products, for example. The more beautiful, the more aesthetically pleasing the person in the ad, the more effective consumers are going to think the products are. Sure, it may not be realistic, but using Photoshop is a way of getting people to buy products.
What do you think?
If you’re going to ban magazines and online publications from using Photoshop because it creates unrealistic images of beauty, surely you should ban Instagram’s filters as well and any sort of tool that lets you edit images? Let’s face it, a large percentage of the images we see in magazines and online have been touched up and editors using Photoshop aren’t the only guilty party. Seeing touched up images is just something we have to get used to; we have to acknowledge when an image has been enhanced and teach people that, when images have been Photoshopped, they’re not realistic and not something you should aspire to. Do you think the practice of editing photos for publications should be allowed to continue?