A Perfect Lie? The photoshop debate

Many of you have seen the recent Body Evolution video going around social media and have read the many comments calling it disgraceful to a woman’s natural beauty, complaining that it affects self-esteem and that it ruins a woman’s perception of one’s self. You couldn’t be more right.

The viral “Body Evolution” video, which was uploaded by Global Democracy in 2011, was recently resurfaced on social media platforms and like a tornado, it created a huge amount of comments. In the 70-second clip, an already attractive blonde woman is completely transformed into a mannequin-esque, Barbie like version of herself resulting in a full-body Photoshop transformation.


Not only was her hair, face and skin edited, but the women’s legs were lengthened to show how tall she might be, her breasts were lifted and eyes shockingly widened before an all-over tanned and dewy glow was added to every last inch of her.

Madonna Photoshop
Madonna getting younger by the day

In this day and age, altering celebrity faces and bodies has become, by far, industry standard. We only have to look through magazines like Vogue, Glamour and OK Magazine to be confronted with mannequin-esque styled stars such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sandra Bullock and recently Melissa McCarthy highlighting their “beautiful skin” from using a magic foundation that seems to make your skin turn from normal to airbrushed. If only such a foundation would exist.

Whilst I understand the importance of digital manipulation in editing photographs for things like weddings and fantasy styled photographs and for general play. I find it unnecessary to show us a digitally manipulated image of someone trying to sell a product to make you look as “young” as them when the only reason they look that good is down to software. I also wonder when the beauty industry will realise that we know that isn’t what they truly look like and that their products won’t make you look like them.

The sad thing is, it is getting easier and easier to edit photographs using digital editing suites as people are finding this tool a shortcut to making themselves look more attractive and more appealing to the public eye, when really, all they are doing is subconsciously ruining their own self-esteem and damaging their own confidence.

I decided to do a little investigation and asked a group of media students who knew how to use digital editing suites whether or not they have ever used the tool to edit a photograph of themselves, and surprisingly, they all agreed and said they have done. They used liquify, blurring, cropping, highlighting and various other techniques to make that bikini photograph of them in Corfu look slimmer, more tanned and more appealing to viewers, most probably on Facebook. Or to make their skin look less blotchy at a recent party, again to show off on Facebook, or even adding a touch of make-up to a bare face to make it look like their make-up was spotless, probably to use as a profile picture on Facebook.

My question is simply this. Whilst make-up, hair products and general beauty regimes help you feel more attractive, changing the way you look using an actual software just highlights how low your own confidence is. So why won’t you embrace your face? Embrace those pimples, embrace those little lines, and embrace those freckles because the image you have created for yourself isn’t what you truly look like, and people know that… And when will the media understand that we don’t want to see a 50-year-old woman advertising an anti-ageing face cream when her skin has been modified using Photoshop. It just isn’t real.

About Katie Smith

My name is Katie and I am a graduate from Canterbury Christ Church University with a degree in Film, TV and Radio and Digital Media. I have a huge love for scriptwriting, writing, photography and design.

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