Stop the Photoshop


Photoshop has become increasingly prevalent in the media, especially on Instagram.

Photoshop in the media is incredibly damaging to the perspectives of young people. The issue of editing advertisements with body enhancing technology has become so widespread that nearly any image that we see that is not one from our own camera rolls is likely tampered with. The question arises- what does this do? What’s the harm? This issue affects predominantly young women who look at clothing ads of models with tiny waists and perfect thigh gaps and question their own self worth. Simply put, these “norms” are misleading and unattainable and because of this, are corrupting the self worth of young women.

Societal beauty ideas are developed through the sociocultural channel of the media. Mascara ads for “insanely long lashes,” waist trainers and shapewear for “the perfect hourglass shape” and FitTea for a “flat, toned stomach” are just a few ways that products and media market the “perfect” body.

The most widespread strategy used is thinning — editing the physique of women to proportions that are unattainable for the large majority of humans. Many celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato and Kelly Clarkson have publicly apologized for photos of them that were heavily edited to make them look significantly different and then published. 

The statistics for body related issues are alarming. According to the American Medical Association, over 50% of teen girls and 30% of teen boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors and 78% of 17 year olds are unhappy with their bodies. The root of this is the media only portraying women with perfect bodies, unattainable to girls. When a young girl sees an edited model on TV labeled as gorgeous and perfect, this becomes their view of beauty and when they can’t reach this standard then they no longer see themselves as beautiful.

Several countries such as Israel and France have already made laws to prohibit photoshopping in the media or at least requiring a disclaimer that a photo is edited. As far as personally, we can take steps to stop editing photos in hopes to create the new beauty norm to be “authentic.”