I believe that the concept of Photoshop creates a major variety of fake interpretations and appearances throughout the printed aspects of the media (magazines, social networking sites, etc), and so I wish to look further into the different areas linked between Photoshop the possible poor body image. I found a good quote online (http://www.beautyredefined.net/photoshop-phoniness-hall-of-shame/) that I shall use in my essay as I believe it speaks the truth… ‘While the vast majority of images of women are being digitally altered, so are our perceptions of normal, healthy, beautiful and attainable.’ and ‘based on a flawlessness that doesn’t exist’
I have decided to focus Photoshop to magazines as I believe this has the largest amount of unrealistic images present than any other area of media. Many different magazines use Photoshop on the front of their covers (as well as embedded throughout the pages), and this is seen in all forms of magazines aimed at women AND men.
The first example I looked at was Britney Spears appearance on the cover of the magazine ‘Marie Claire’ in 2008. This ‘before and after’ shot truly shocked me as I realized how much Photoshop and airbrushing photos has been part of our society for many years. As it says in a small article I saw online (http://www.lifeandstylemag.com/posts/britney-spears-women-s-health-cover-sparks-photoshop-debate-a-look-back-at-her-photo-editing-fails-47940) the ‘fans were stunned‘ when this untouched photo was released as they truly understood that this particular photo was not realistic and had be altered in many ways to help signify her beauty in a ridiculously over the top manner.
Here, you can see that her hair, eyes, nose, skin, decolletage, and lips have been altered to make herself seem more attractive on the cover of this magazine. Airbrushing is a major aspect that first drew to my attention when analyzing these two photographs. On her face you can see no imperfections on her skin other than the use of blusher and highlighter on her cheeks and nose (which are not bad things). This overuse of airbrushing gives a false appeal and interpretation of what Britney Spears’ skin looks like on a day to day basis, initially creating controversy throughout the public eye, as the obviousness of this Photoshopped look creates high expectations of what women her age should look like to the readers.
Now, you have magazines directed at men…
Although I could not find any ‘before and after’ shots of men online, I still believe that Photoshop is used on photographs that appear on the front of magazine covers such as GQ, Mens Fitness, Mens Health, and more! Especially on magazines such as ‘Mens Fitness‘, this is the sort of topical magazine that highlights nothing other than the physical qualities of a male. Fitness is something in which everybody will do in order to enhance their physical appearance and make them look and feel better. This therefore ties into the aspect of the media constantly portraying men as needing to have muscles, a six pack, and overall an attractive physique.
‘Men are nearly as dissatisfied about their bodies as women, experiencing depression and self-esteem problems; some of which are produced by media‘ (Grogan 1999; Olivardia, Pope, Borowiecki, andCohane 2004) – ‘Body Panic: Gender, Health, and the Selling of Fitness’ by Shari L. Dworkin; Faye Linda Wachs.