Written By Contributor Writer Hollie Dickman
Everywhere you look, you are bombarded with images of what society says are the best looking people. Billboards on the freeway, magazines in the grocery store checkout line, clothing line ads, fashion shows, television show ads, social media.
It can be difficult to see the sculpted bodies, freshly blown out hair, perfectly shaped nose and blemish free bodies. Then you look at yourself, with no makeup on, hair up in a messy bun, third day in a row you couldn’t get to the gym and feel just terrible about yourself.
But the thing is, those perfect bodies are often not what they seem. Photographers capture images that are beautiful to begin with, but then they are altered. Muscles are made to look bigger, stomachs tighter, acne erased, and teeth whitened. They may look perfect, but it’s not real.
The fight against the use of Photoshop has been going on for years and work still needs to be done. Of course, Photoshop is an important part of publications, as it is not only used to enforce unrealistic beauty standards. It can be used to create text effects and change lighting, as well as a multitude of other design components that go into making a cover. We are just fighting against the use of Photoshop to airbrush models and actresses in order to make them look “perfect”.
In the last few years more and more celebrities and organizations have been speaking out against the use of Photoshop.
“Often, when we hear the word ‘real,’ we automatically think flaws, but it just means being yourself, realizing you’re beautiful the way you are, and not taking it all too seriously.” -Emma Roberts
Some celebrities are taking to social media to release the untouched version of the Photoshop pictures that the companies released.
Zendaya is a popular celebrity among young girls from her roles on Disney Channel shows. She took to twitter to release a before and after photo from a magazine shoot. It is clear that her hips and waist were noticeably slimmed down. With the right photoshop tips, the beauty industry could focus on more minor touch-ups instead of warping the reality of Zendaya.
“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self-conscious that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self-love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it.” – Zendaya
As a young woman, I can’t imagine someone taking a photo of me and thinking that my body isn’t perfect enough and changing such a big part of my image. I think it is incredible that Zendaya stood up and said I’m not okay with this, I am happy being exactly who I am. This is such an important lesson for all her young fans to see.
One actress has even taken it a step further by including a no retouching clause in her contract. Kate Winslet, best known as Rose in Titanic, took this stand in her modeling contract with L’Oréal.
“It’s a hope that other people might follow suit, but it does feel important to me because I do think we have a responsibility to the younger generation of women. I would always want to be telling the truth about who I am to that generation because they’ve got to have strong leaders.” – Kate Winslet
Actress Kiera Knightly, who played one of my favorite roles, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, did a topless photo shoot to stand up against photo retouching. Her only requirement, that her photo be completely untouched in any way.
“I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters. It does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.” -Kiera
In a society where we are made to think we all have to be the same to be perfect, it is so important to realize that no one has the “perfect” body. One shape, or hair color, or skin type, or height, or weight, is not “the best.” We are all different and we are all beautiful in our own unique way.
It’s okay to use that Instagram filter, but know that you are just as amazing at “normal.”