Is Photoshopping images lying?

Sep 24 2009

Self-Portrait: Lisa Bettany
Disclaimer: This photo has been photoshopped to make me flawless. I was in fact tired, irritated & slightly ill when this photo was taken.

In an effort to combat body image disorders in adolescents, French MP Valerie Boyer has just proposed a law requiring disclaimers on Photoshopped or “enhanced” photos of people in newspaper and magazine advertising, press photos, product packaging, political campaigns and art photography. As someone who has been on both sides of the lens, as a model and a photographer, I find this proposal overkill.

Isn’t it a given that all photos of females appearing in glossy magazines have been retouched?

Don’t we all subconsciously know that the latest Maxim cover girl actually has skin pores, arm pits, knee caps and a waist line bigger than 20″ in real life? If you really want to know, you can just flick through one of the millions of celeb-bashing websites and see said Maxim cover girl’s “appalling cellulite” or “disgusting tummy roles”.

As a model and someone who is in front of the camera, I have to ask myself if these picture perfect images contribute to my body image insecurities? Probably. Is this a rational behavior? Not really. I think as a culture we are educated enough to know fact from fiction.

I find the pictures of girls in Men’s magazines almost laughable. They look like more like CGIed sex bots, than real, sexy girls. The sad thing is that if they replaced these images with more realistic images of women, I would probably spend 5 minutes pointing out all their flaws and chastise them for not airbrushing a wrinkly elbow.

As a photographer, I try to make my subjects look their best. And by best, I mean as close to perfection as I can make them. Obviously, all blemishes, wrinkles, & stray hairs will be cloned out immediately, but that’s not all that gets brushed to perfection. I’ll admit to restructuring noses, lips, eyebrows, slimming 20lbs off people, making eyes bigger, adding makeup, painting in eyelashes, the list goes on and on.

Maybe the continual exposure to this airbrushed standard of perfection in images of models and celebrities has made me as sick as the Maxim editors, but I don’t see retouching images as negative, it’s merely a part of my artistic process as a photographer.

Is Photoshopping images lying?
This photo of me has not been retouched. Areas marked in red will be retouched to make me look perfect in the final picture.

Beauty and fashion photography isn’t meant to be a realistic portrayal of everyday life. It’s a fantasy. And in this fantasy everyone is skinnier, prettier, richer and more well-endowed than you. Once you know what the images selling, you can take the blow to your ego with a grain of salt.

The other day I was looking back at old Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit covers from the mid-nineties, pre-airbrushing and required breast implants for models. It was interesting to see supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Elle MacPherson, Christie Brinkley with minor bags under their eyes, little bulges under their bikini bottoms, and actual texture on their skin. In some ways, they looked sexier and simply more real, than the pushed up, squeezed in bikini models of today.

I response to my question: Is Photoshopping images lying? I say a resounding YES. But it’s a lie I’m willing to live with. The more important question is: Will the media ever go back to a publishing photos sans Photoshop? I honestly don’t know. Brad Pitt seems to think it’s possible, but then he’s Brad Pitt. No one cares if he has bags under his eyes. But if I was Britney Spears, I would want a whole team of Photoshop monkeys working on my photos 24/7.

What do you think of this proposed law?

Should Photoshopped images come with a disclaimer?

Tags: , ,

54 Responses to “Is Photoshopping images lying?”

  1. I for one think that it has gone to overkill. The touched up images look plastic and lifeless. I prefer a more realistic portrayal of the human form, either female or male. However, making it a law seems overkill as well.

  2. Aside: I know I need to get off the computer for awhile when… I read “Is” in your title and right-away mistake it as the unix “ls” shell command (lists all the files of a directory). Ohh geez…

  3. I don’t have photoshop nor know how to use it yet. But to me it’s an acquired skill and more power to people who are good at using it. As long as it’s not some sort of non-photoshop photo competition, then I think in this day and age most people understand that photos are photoshopped! It does bother me when people pretend their photo wasn’t photoshopped when it actually was.

  4. I agree with you that most people know that magazine covers, etc. are manipulated in some form, but I don’t think most people know the degree to which it occurs. Show anyone the original beside the altered version and they will be surprised.

  5. “Beauty and fashion photography isn’t meant to be a realistic portrayal of everyday life. It’s a fantasy. ”

    Fashion is also functional. I think you are wrong in calling it fantasy. There is a difference between fashion and fantasy, but most ‘photographers’ don’t see a distinction.

    It’s kinda disturbing to see flawless skin. Personally I think you push your post work a bit too far into the realm of photoshop magazine tutorials.

    It’s about subtlety.

    (two cents)

  6. To me a little bit of skin smoothing and blemish removals are ok. What seems not ok to me is running a portrait through Portraiture and completely reconstruct someone’s facial feature. Making touch ups so the models look plastic and lifeless just kills the portraits, no matter how good the pictures are. Look at the portraits by Richard Avedon, his portraits are about people’s imperfections and that was why his portraits are so powerful.

    Ultimately though, it’s up to the photographer and how he/she wants the image to look like.

  7. I personally dont like photoshop and dont use it since I feel it gives women the wrong idea about image and look especially found in magazines. Nice job showing us how different the before and after is. Its hard for photographers to show that. This post reminds me of the Dove self-esteem ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYfwIAWWH6M

  8. Beauty and fashion photography is all a bit messed up, for the reasons you just wrote about.

    But from what I understand, photography should be about capturing life. The elements you fake in photoshop will never be as good as if you actually captured it on camera. Limitations and imperfections make people interesting, appealing and charming.

  9. @People: Agreed. The retouched image does look plastic. That was the look I was going for. The Cyber Sexy Robot. It’s the sort of over-photoshopped look that appears in every multi-million dollar makeup ad. And, as a photographer looking to earn an income from my work, I felt that it was essential to have at least a few examples of “flawless beauty” in my portfolio and demonstrate my retouching skills.

    Lying or not, if you want to photograph huge ad campaigns and have your work appear in magazines, then you are going to have to compromise a little with reality. You simply would not find a glossy cover of a magazine that is not Photoshopped.

  10. True, but commercial doesn’t mean it has to look like the front cover of every mediocre Photoshop retouching magazine. Anyone can retouch a photo, and well if they do it for long enough. I work for a large agency, so I am not some newcomer.

    I’d have to agree with Alex – pieces of reality which poke through are much more inviting.

  11. This bill is a good idea. I’m from Spain and lots of girls here have problems with anorexy because of Photoshop and the people who use it to create artificial beauty.

  12. @Aiden: ouch. that comment smarted a bit. Perhaps the image I used on this post isn’t the greatest example, but it was the only recent shot I had of myself. My model and actor clients would hit the roof if I put up untouched images of them.

    If you look at this image and this image you can see that I don’t process all my photos in an extreme ways.

  13. @Alex: Photography should be about capturing life flaws and all, the only stinker is that the clients I work for want all their flaws removed. Usually I start with a few basic touch up to get rid of bulging pimples and nose hairs (that is something no one wants to see in a picture) and then submit it to my client. 10/10 the client wants more retouching done. so what’s a poor freelance photographer to do?

  14. Superb article, Lisa.

    I have two 13 year old sisters and I’ve seen how impressionable kids that age can be (“oh my god, I’m so fat/ugly/plain/disgusting!!”). In their case it’s other kids at school that have the biggest influence but I don’t think the images in magazines help matters.

    That said; the idea of plastering disclaimers on what would be near enough every photo in every magazine is an exercise in futility. Only the most naive moron would look through a magazine and not know that the images are enhanced in some way but that doesn’t matter. Subconsciously they still leave the readers longing for flawless skin and an unrealistic physique.

    Images speak louder than words. Mascara adverts have been forced to put “Inserts used” or “Enhanced in post production” disclaimers along the bottom of the screen but has it made them any less effective? Nope, not one jot. If anything it’s allowed them to publish ever more absurd images because they’re saying, in plain English, that the result isn’t purely down to the mascara being advertised.

    I’m sure there are ways to improve/change people’s views on body image but putting disclaimers on magazine images is not one of them.

  15. This is just one more example of what happens when you start letting busybodies tell you what you should eat, what you should drive, etc. At its core is a bunch of self-appointed nannies.

    Parents need to be responsible and keep their kids informed, especially if they choose to start slapping makeup on their little princesses shortly after they exit the womb. The girls I’ve known with the healthiest self-image are the ones who are told they can’t wear makeup until their teenage years; they don’t grow up thinking they need those things. They’re KIDS and need to mature a bit first.

    I don’t gawk at swimsuit covers but I did have a Christie Brinkley poster when I was a teenager. She looked real. These days so much of that stuff looks fake, and it is what it is. I think any reasonable adult knows that what they see is not reality.

    We’re also a more media-savvy culture these days, and many people who have never seen or used Photoshop have at least a basic understanding, when hearing the word “Photoshop”, that it is something used to manipulate images. Give people some credit; there are always those few that set new records for obtuseness, but they’re the exception.

  16. Thanks for posing a really interesting question. As a professional photographer and model, I imagine you have an entirely different take on this than I would as an (extremely) amateur photographer and father of a 1 year old daughter.

    I don’t necessarily have a problem with the overly processed images existing. They are indeed art. The problem I have is the way these images are so overly saturated in our society. Magazines, tv ads, billboards, food products, cosmetics. . . the list goes on and on. You and I may know the truth of these images, but girls have them constantly beat into their brains from day one.

    As a father, that scares the crap out of me. To answer your question, I think disclaimers on these images would be useless. There needs to be a shift in our social thinking about what “beauty” is and how we portray it, not more legalese. I know part of that will start at home, and I’m going to have to work constantly to help my daughter realize how beautiful she is, no matter what her peers, magazines, or boys tell her.

    Meera mentioned the Dove ads in an earlier comment. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. Hopefully it’s more than just corporate PR, and other companies will jump on board with this type of thinking.

    That’s the thing here – the change has to start from the top and work it’s way down. If a photographer like you tries to take a stand, you’re just going to end up being broke and hungry!

  17. I think this whole process has gone overboard but what can be done now? Nothing. It’s the world we live in and generations after us will continue to believe what they see really exists. I personally don’t like using anything except basics like removing red eye if required. Now images look too perfect.

  18. It’s a good article, and I share some sense that the proposed rules might be overkill. But, it’s interesting, and in a way telling about our society, that you didn’t actually in any way address the stated reasons for the ban, save for mentioning them once.

    Your arguments that “Don’t we all subconsciously know…” all take the point of view of a rational, adult human. The concern that the French minister appears to be trying to address is the effect on children. I’m not someone who believes that “for the children” is a magic excuse to pass any particular legislation regardless of reason, but I do believe that the issue of teen anorexia, which I seem to recall costs about a thousand US lives per year, is worth specific attention.

  19. @Mostly Lisa – it almost sounds like you don’t know wheere you stand on this issue. You make a case for photoshoping for clients but then apologise for it.
    “10/10 the client wants more retouching done. so what’s a poor freelance photographer to do?”
    Either you think it is moral to adjust photos to create a fantasy for others to enjoy or you think it is wrong. But “they make me do it is” not a moral position, it implies you are willing to give up what you believe in for your passion for a career as a photographer.
    If you think creating a fantasy is art and acceptable – then say it, sick to it, and stand by it, otherwise, don’t do it.

  20. Humbug! No photograph can present the truth. The photographer puts a frame around some slice of reality of his or her choosing, compresses three dimensions onto two, and most of all, decides if the shot is ever seen by anyone else.

    Busybody lawmakers will dictate a label on everything–except taxes! Caveat emptor.

  21. well….IMO a photo no matter what filter, exposure, etc is a historic snapshot.

    As soon as you use photoshop et al to enhance/improve ( color changes, airbrushing, etc.) a photo it becomes art.

    Though I do believe if you use any app to correct the original for light/exposure it’s still a snapshot.

    If a an object (person, object, etc) is being displayed as a true representation & it’s been enhanced/improved than yes it needs a disclaimer.

  22. @Dan: young teens are impressionable that’s for sure, but they are also extremely savvy on the internet. if you search youtube for photoshop examples, you will find thousands of “extreme photoshop” videos showing the entire process.

    i think we could further educate them, but trying to force advertisers to display disclaimers is ridiculous!

  23. @Clint: agreed! that’s what i just wrote in the comment above. I think that there are many contributing factors to one’s self image.. exercise, healthy eating, family support etc.

    I think untouched images of a drugged up Lindsay Lohan chain smoking does more damage than a retouched Playboy Playmate.

  24. @Patrick: As a father you hold a very important role in your daughter’s self-esteem. By promoting health instead of society’s standard of beauty, exercise over dieting, and happiness over materialism, you can give your daughter all the tools to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

  25. @G-man: I was commenting on the degree of retouching, rather than answering the question “to photoshop or not”.

    And the whole point of the article was to talk my own conflicted feelings on the issue from the stand point of a photographer & former model.

    Also, my question wasn’t “is Photoshopping images immoral?” It was “Is it a lie?” Which I said, yes, it is a lie.

    I don’t feel that enhancing an image is a question of black or white morality.

  26. Photoshopping is not a verb. Just like CSS is not coding. Get it right.

  27. @Mostly Lisa: Why do you think that teenagers are any less intelligent or savvy than you? They are basically leading the way AND understand all of this. Out studio hires a lot of these ‘teens’ to deal with post work & touch up. They also do a damn fantastic job & are ahead of most adults.

    People should really stop pedestal-ing your opinion.

  28. @Manta:
    I’d suggest you re-read the comment before attacking… she never said that. Actually she said the opposite.

  29. @Ray: Seriously? You are going to let Adobe dictate how a word is used? Language evolves unfortunately, and it is now common place to use photoshop as a verb.

  30. Yes, Just like LAMPing & DRAWERing & DOORing and ELECTRICITYing sounds good as a verb… NOT

    It’s not about adobe dictating it. It’s about it sounding amateur.

  31. While I like more natural looking photos (even if there are flaws), photography is a form of artistic expression—whether it’s angle, bokeh, exposure, lens distortion, etc. Throw Photoshop out the window. The way the photographer takes the photo affects how the subject is portrayed. I can’t see anyone honestly arguing that.

    Photography’s not always just capturing scenes precisely as they look to the eye. Take fisheye lenses for instance. Do scenes taken with them look natural? No. Are those shots considered photography? Yeah. Finally, should they have disclaimers attached to them? Heck no.

    And to those saying modifying pixels (like upping the clarity on eyebrows) throws the image into the “art” category instead of “photography” (as if they’re totally different categories): where do you draw the line? What if someone were to develop a light that completely hid blemishes? Like the exact opposite of a blacklight? Would that somehow vindicate a portrait being called a “photo” rather than an “art piece”?

    To sum up what I’m trying to say: what’s the fuss? If a photographer wants to retouch an image for an effect, who cares. Like any other photo, some people will like it and others will hate it. That’s just the way artsy things are.

    And with that said, it’s not like removing some blemishes and bringing out a few eyelashes for a robot look should be as provocative as an Andy Warhol move…

    @Manta: Woah… where was she demeaning teenagers? I sure missed it…

  32. @nate
    “i think we could further educate them, but trying to force advertisers to display disclaimers is ridiculous!”

    I don’t think they need unsavvy people to tell them what’s up with the internet

  33. @Mostly Lisa: Thanks for replying to my comment.

    I am not trying to lecture here but …..

    I do believe you are discussing the issue of whether retouching is moral or imoral, although you have not labelled it as a such.

    The very fact that you indicate that your “feelings” are “conflicting” indicate you not sure whether you are comfortable with photoshopping (to a large degree) or not. Conflict on feelings implies a moral dilemma. (Why are people so scared to use the word moral). It is certainly not a dilemma of taste.

    The point which I was trying to make (obviously poorly), is that this is a question of whether photoshopping (high degree of retouching) conflicts with you values. To resolve the internal conflict, if one still exists, you need to see it as a conflict of values. Sticking to your values is a moral issue.

    Most of the argument on this issue is has been around the impact on teenage girls and there esteem. So there are two clear questions that must be answered:
    1. Does the presence of highly photoshopped, unrealistic photos impact the self-esteem of the teenage girls (or anyone)?
    The answer is “yes”. While it is not the only factor, and may not impact all girls, surely we can agree it must impact some (even one or two of the millions of teenage girls who see these images in magazines).
    2. If the answer to one is yes, is it acceptable (to yourself), based on your values to contribute to this (even small) loss of self-esteem through retouching?

    Based on my values, I would argue the answer to two is YES as, the purpose behind your images is not to damage self-esteem of others, but to present pleasant images which people can enjoy. You cannot be responsible for others self-esteem – which is ultimately based on their own choices and thought processes. Do Tiger Woods and Roger Federer make you boys feel less athletic? Should they give up their sport?

    I think this bill is beyond ludicrous – a violation of freedom. What is our Western Society coming to when governments start telling us what we can publish and how?

  34. I admit to cloning out stray hairs, acne, and other small nuisances. The healing brush usually helps me even skin tone in one shot. I’ve yet to dabble into restructuring someone’s face—lengthening a neck, or shrinking ears or noses or any of that sort of thing.

    I think, though, that it doesn’t matter when you’re dealing with your own pictures. I want to present myself looking as good as I can, and that nice red zit on my face isn’t helping. Photoshop it out. I think the media could maybe tone it down a bit, and show a more realistic view of what people look like, but I don’t expect retouching to disappear completely.

    People want to look beautiful to themselves. There isn’t anybody (or there are very, very few) who wouldn’t alter something about themselves, and photoshopping pictures lets them do that without resorting to something serious (*cough* plastic surgery *cough*)

    Long live Photoshop.

  35. @Mostly Lisa: It’s easy to get caught up in what people want and what the industry expects. A great photo, film or piece of art should be timeless. That’s all I was trying to remind people of in my first response. If you create work you love, that’s all that matters.

    I don’t like the whole commercial side of things. But we all have to pay our bills so I totally understand.

    I use Photoshop everyday, it’s awesome.

  36. Many photos (maybe all of them) lie to some degree. Every photographer — or at least every good one — chooses what to include and what to exclude. Cropping is a lie. Black and white is a lie. Shallow depth of field is a lie.

    The question becomes, is excessive Photoshopping a problematic lie? And yes, in many cases it is.

  37. Call me crazy but I don’t think its the governments place. I don’t need the nanny government to protect me from photoshopped pictures. They could you know expend their energy on something useful..you know like making sure police and firefighters have the tools to do their jobs. Or protecting our borders..etc.

  38. Where’s my yesterday’s comment gone? Eaten by the system?

    Or censored by ml? Just photoshopped away because it spoke truth?

  39. I’m just gonna say I think you look much prettier in the untouched photo then in the photoshop one.

    By an order of magnitude.

  40. Yepp! Pic one is Barbie! (Untouched) Pic two a Princess!

  41. Okay, I am going to show my age here, But way back when I worked in a photo lab we had a team that would hand touch up the portraits, so it has been going on long before photoshop. Also how about tv, movies? I remember watching the show Moonlighting and every time the camera was on Cybill Shepherd it had this soft filter too it.
    So passing a law is just a waste of time and money. Like it or not photoshop is here to stay.
    I also have a 4 year old girl and I worry about her self image, but I think it would happen with or without photoshop.
    I agree that it has gone overboard but it is easy to tell what is real and what has been touched up.
    I guess in the end it’s up to the parents and the kids. How may times have I seen a 5 year old at an R rated movie…
    Will it really change anything…
    Oh just a personal note, I don’t touch up that much but I’m not getting ride of my photoshop.

  42. How different is editing a photo from editing the written word? Published books and articles all go through an editing process to correct errors, clean up structure and language, etc. In some cases, the editing can be severe, involving mass rewriting of that which was originally unreadable. Isn’t this a form of lying? One could argue that all this “perfect prose” help makes regular people insecure about their own writing ability.

    And that’s not even touching on things like exaggeration in writing, bias, attributed quotes in media releases, and ghost-writing.

    All in all, I would say photography is by far the more honest of the two.

  43. Even if the disclaimer is put on there people won’t see it. It will be more clutter that everyone ignores! Seems a little pointless to me.

  44. Photography is an art. We strive to get the best looking image every time. I believe if you state that the image has been retouched for desired look it is not lying. You could consider every image as a small lye. We see things differently from our cameras, so we make adjustments to try to get a realistic representation of what we saw. The image, as always is great!!

  45. I do think most people are morons, who don’t know how much Photoshop goes into photos these days. I do not think however a disclaimer would help… more like before/after photos, campaigns that show before/after photos so that people realize how much is being done. There is this great video by Adobe… http://tv.adobe.com/watch/profiles-of-creative-pros/the-life-of-a-photoshop-artistmodel/ Something like that would make more sense than disclaimers, IMHO.

    I usually remove pimples, clean up the skin etc., which I think is ok. Reshaping the face/body… I have to admit that I do that sometimes… but I prefer it if the photos stay realistic, and I think it looks better that way.

    About the to photoshop debate… that’s how language evolves, if enough people use it it will become a part of a language. Live with it. People also use google as a verb. So?

  46. That video in kadajawi comment is hilarious! Disclaimers are a dumb idea, people have been touching up photos forever. My mother-in-law used to work in a photo studio hand painting portraits. I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist (or a photographer) to know that models in magazines are photoshopped, celebrities even admit to it all the time these days.

  47. Well, I want to weigh in on this subject as a young (to photography) photographer who is still developing my skill and style. I think that this is an excellent discussion to have because as a photographer we must be aware of the mood, message, etc. we create with each image. As a young photographers emulates (we learn by emulating what already exists in the market, on the internet, in books, etc.) the different styles and genre’s of photography those “values” must be considered and developed.

    I personally prefer pictures of people that show them as a person. I found your photoshopped picture to be sterile and lifeless, and your original to be very beautiful. This, for me, is because I look into every portrait I see and expect to see a person looking back. I understand that what I value as a photographer is creating an image of the person as I see them. When I look at a person in real life, I don’t see zits, or double chins, or thin faces, I tend to be drawn to a particular feature that stands out. For my wife it is her eyes. My wife has very beautiful eyes and when I make a portrait of her I am looking to highlight the most beautiful part of her, the feature which stands out to me as an observer.
    Many times, as an unofficial student of photography, it is when I go to edit the still image that a persons physical imperfections tend to be more obvious. (please do not make a tangent on what is beautiful and not beautiful, I think there is a consensus that there are certain shapes and a certain sense of symmetry that is generally considered pleasing to the eye, Often it is that pleasing combination of shape and symmetry that we define as beauty.) It is at this point that I would use photoshop, or lighting, pose, and clothing if I were to re-shoot, to enhance the natural beauty and diminish the natural flaws. As I said earlier, my goal as a photographer is to make an image of the person ‘as i see them.’ I will tell you that I have not mastered this skill, but that is my goal, and that is what I am drawn to in the portraits that I like. In this way the imperfections and individual qualities that really make us unique are retained in the photo, but are in essence downplayed.

    It is my opinion that one of the things that can really help a young girl’s self esteem is a flattering portrait of herself. The photographers role in this is finding and capturing the most flattering angle, light, etc. and presenting it in the portrait.

    Despite our cognitive awareness of photoshop, or photographic techniques we, as people, see ourselves emotionally, and we see photographs of others emotionally. A young girl or boy can emotionally view a pleasing portrait of themselves and say to themselves: ‘that attractive person is who I am.’ In the same way, they will look at pictures in advertising and say “I am/am not that person.”

    To sum it up, the ability to present someone in their best light is, in my opinion, a positive use of neutral techniques. In my mind the argument is really about how much is too much and where do we draw the line. One thing that I see as a negative is that so often the people who have significant natural beauty are the ones who are overly photoshopped (its a verb whether we like it or not). I think that it skews the the standard. Many people would be pleased if their photo-shopped picture came out looking like your original.

    These are my opinions and I think the most important result of this discussion is that we all become more aware that we do not view things neutrally, but that we all project our values and emotions into and onto every image we view. Thanks for reading my comment.

  48. My theory is that the quantity of intelligence in the world is constant. So when a person dies his intelligence goes to the new births. As the world population increases exponentially, intelligence share decreases for each birth. So young people are less intelligent than old people.

    Of course, is a joke. Intelligence tests shows that younger people are more intelligence than ourselves, at least at test level. But my university students demonstrate year after year that they can do less with his test intelligence. The point is that younger people frequently don’t grasp the differences between real or not real, hence the risks that extreme* “phothobuying” do to their evolving minds. I don’t blame they for that, is our responsability if they can’t do it.

    * Ralph Laurent photos of Filippa Hamilton

    Disclaimer: i’m not a native English speaker, i’m from Spain, so my writing frequently appears as Spanish with English words.

    Saludos desde España.

  49. Great insights, it is all very much appreciated.

  50. love your site :)
    this is a hard one.. two parts to it…

    where i do not like photoshop is when you look at a magazine and the girls are photoshopped so much it is not real.. but teens or even older women think they need to starve themselves to look like this.. women that will look in mirror and find fault in themselves and look so close and say, omg i have fat right here… look closer, see that little piece or i cant leave the house i have a pimple… this is not because they are wanting to find a mate … no person looks that close.. this girl who now opens her mouth like that is less attractive to a man haha.. we dont mind.. we will kiss a girl with a zit.. its normal not gross.. if they have a little fat.. nice.. some men want a marilyn monroe monroe looking women (count me in :)

    but on the other hand… sure it is good to have photoshop to create art… maybe take off some fat cells that are not looking nice for the model.. maybe she scratched herself and yes it is ok to take off the pimple for the magazine.. i take off anything that is not normal for the woman.. but if moles i normally dim them unless model wants them off… i want to keep it looking like them.. if i do make the faces clear it better be for artistic purposes.. does this help get photography jobs? i dont think so… for one it puts you in a rank that all your photos will look like you get the best looking models.. all normal women will look at themselves and say.. i cant go take pics.. i do not look like that… it is sad.. all women are beautiful we as artists find that beauty and capture it,.. this is out talent as a photographer.. but some do not understand this.. that is why we have issues with people going to photographers that clearly are beginners ( i support them) but the model might say see i am no model.. and quite.. but this is the fact of magazines posting so much..

    what do we do?
    nothing…
    what do we change?
    well i say look at your work.. are you trying to get normal people or trying to get fake mag work…
    i do wish we could love normal looking people.. quit making fun of ugly people that you feel is ugly.. this is only yourself .. the rest of the world does not believe that 100% so keep it to yourself… put all sorts of women on sites :)
    i have heard many people say, take that girl down she does not make your work look good.. what??? silly no person can make my work look bad.. its how i take the pic or lighting etc…

    i try not judge people.. i put up what i think is pretty but i do not put down what i do not choose as beautiful it is just my outlook at that time.
    like for some wild reason i love big noses haha dated a few.. but i do know most go to contests and get funny looks.. this is not 100% true just a wide view..like people think fat is ugly… just a wide view but no one can say 100% there are some beautiful fat people :)

    sorry for the book haha :)

  51. I think plastic surgery gone awry reflects the desire to look perfect. We’re already perfect. I love what photoshop can do but that final picture posted above doesn’t look real. I think photoshop can do wonderful things, especially if the subject is kept looking as close to the real thing as possible. As for the law…we have too many laws as it is. It is our own personal responsibility to know, and own, who we are. And who we are is not our flesh, bones, hair, eyes, etc. To quote Lao Tzu…”that which is real never changes”. We are more than we see, more than our bodies…and until we all realize that…REALLY realize that, we cannot be truly happy with ourselves. Photoshop that!

  52. Seriously! Many thanks! I continually wanted to create in my site a little something like this. Can I have part of your blog post for my own webpage?

  53. I personally think that pictures that have been subjected to photoshop should contain a disclaimer. In a society where young men and women are subjected to distorted ideas of what beauty really is there is a great need for disclaimers. Boys are grown up thinking that for a girl to truly be beautiful she needs to look like models in magazines. When men are shown pictures of normal women after just inanimate objects and think they are gorgeous but are then shown the same women after pictures of photoshopped models they are okay with that women they just gorgeous to get work done and lose weight to make herself look like that model. It is sick and wrong. Even with a disclaimer, there will still be problems. So instead of disclaimers I feel there needs to be a ban on photoshop in magazines. The women and men in magazines are beautiful with out the work and deserve to be seen in a positive light.

  54. I don’t know, but I don’t share a lot of people’s point of view on this subject. I don’t think there should be a disclaimer accompanying pictures that have been “photoshopped”. It is now a known fact virtually every photo we see from a fashion magazine has been worked on. I simply think this media is there to sell a dream and that people should know better… It is the parent’s responsibility to educate their children properly.

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