Behind the Lens

Mena Walker, Staff Writer

On Instagram, I stumbled upon a picture of a very clearly photoshopped Jennifer Aniston. Yikes. I clicked on the comments from fans that went along with the lines of “Why would you edit her face? She doesn’t look like herself”, ‘’horrible photoshop” and “She doesn’t need that.”

The editors had removed everything that made her beautiful and unique. She’d been transformed into something different.

In today’s world, over 90% of society has used the Adobe creative cloud. The excessive use of Photoshop can be found in 71% of the photos we see.

Instagrammers use Photoshop to eliminate unique features, fix brush strokes and turn their pictures into art; however, Photoshop is harmful due to its use in magazine advertisements. Society is surrounded by the display of advertisements and magazines which project unrealistic beauty standards. It isn’t shocking that both celebrities and models, get photoshopped all the time; however, it is difficult to tell just how much photoshopping has been done. Actress Blake Lively claimed in a Time Magazine story that 99.9% of images of models and celebrities are manipulated.

Instead of enhancing the quality of photos, Photoshop is often used to completely contort a woman’s body into something that it’s not.

According to Science Daily, 90% of 175 teens surveyed use filters and editing apps to transform their photos before posting. The retouched models, flattened stomachs and smooth, spotless complexions present a never-ending blow to self-esteem.

There are photos that go so far as to reshape women into impossible figures.

For example, models who are already skinny are made even smaller by photographers and magazine designers.

Their waist is shrunken, and their legs and arms are morphed to look thinner — everything that was natural is gone.

This is known as photo manipulation.

These photos send a negative message to the 70% of women who want to be thinner and the approximately 80% of women who don’t like how they look. Pew Research Center found that 26% of teens say social media such as Instagram worsens their body issues, making them feel inferior.

Unrealistic body expectations are formed by edited images on social media, which makes children feel that they should look like what they see in magazines, billboards, and advertisements, when in reality it is unattainable.

According to Daily Record, many disappointed fans of famous model Gigi Hadid say she looks “unrecognizable” in the Vouge China photoshoot.

Monthly fashion and lifestyle Vogue magazine used too much photo-editing to make the 23-year old model’s skin have a different tone. Others commented “Is this supposed to be her? They photoshopped her into an entirely different girl” and it was a “major fail.”

Why would you take one of the most famous models and fully change her face? It doesn’t make sense. These photoshopped images lead us to believe that beauty can only exist in an unachievable physique; to me, it shows it is acceptable to hide our imperfections at all costs instead of accepting them.

In society, most of the images we see of both celebrities and models in magazines are altered to some extent. We tend to encourage these images instead of seeing them for what they really are ­— fake.

I have no hate for Photoshop. Period.

But to all the girls out there: no one can have perfect skin, flawless features, or an ideal body, even though we fool ourselves into believing that it is feasible. Emphasize and see the specialness in yourself. Compliment yourself and show that you are human, because that is what truly makes you unique.

Remember, real beauty is never about appearances — it is all about being a kind and passionate person.