When you’re picturing yourself in a photo shoot, you’re undoubtedly using some inspiration from fashion magazines, or other models. We’re not knocking your creativity here, but it’s hard to ignore what’s already out there. So after practicing smiles, picking out outfits, and having my confidence soar through the roof–because let’s face it, I look good, I am so ready for this shoot. But darn-nit, why is my picture not flawless like that one? I’m thinking, there’s no way anybody’s legs are that perfect, or their stomaches that flat, or their hair so perfectly in place with not even one flyaway. That feeling of comparison should never make you feel less of yourself. The reality of it is that photoshopping, while amazing technology, can be a very deceiving thing, and hardly representative of reality at all.
Women now have this totally distorted image of what they believe they should be looking like because they see a model on a page in a magazine. Well, guess what? The model doesn’t look like that either! Photoshopping has gained some attention over the years, but not much has actually been done about it. Until now.
All a young girl wanted was for Seventeen Magazine to print one (just one!) unaltered picture per issue. After petitioning, this girl got over 84,000 signatures in just three months! I knew we weren’t alone in thinking this was wrong. The magazine responded by agreeing not to change their models bodies or faces, and will continue to use girls who represent a healthy lifestyle. This was huge progress considering the action started from a 14 year old, and I hope that other magazines soon take similar steps towards humanizing their models.
I understand that in the fashion industry sometimes photoshopping is necessary to fix a fallen bra strap, or change the lighting, but when you are altering and ultimately recreating a person, it’s affect is more widespread than you may think. That’s why I love portrait and boudoir photography, it is more focused on capturing beauty than selling a garment. Every woman is beautiful, and should feel beautiful, but sadly that can be a hard concept to grasp when you have the (literally) unattainable being shown as the norm.
So props to the young girl who realized at a very early age that the extreme types of photoshopping are just as unnatural as they are damaging to women’s self image. I hope all of you are able to love yourselves for who you are and realize that although on a glossy magazine page, the reality is not always what it seems.