Photoshop next following years, Adobe Photoshop has drastically evolved

      Photoshop was created during the late 1980’s by two brothers; John Knoll and
Thomas Knoll. Since then, with the release of their creation in the next
following years, Adobe Photoshop has drastically evolved the way society has
used the application throughout the past twenty-seven years. For starters, it
has affected society and industries, especially between the digital design
industry and the magazine industry. When photoshop was established from the
start, magazine companies especially who advertise fashion would hire digital
designers into retouching their photos, examples like fixing the lighting of
the image and airbrushing minor details. But as time went by people have found
ways even the creators hadn’t known their program was able to do. The companies
have been taking advantages of these new findings by requesting digital
designers into changing the way someone’s body looks, a word for this is photo
manipulation. Besides retouching and manipulation, companies also use photoshop
as a method to obtain more profit and to motivate their readers to follow
certain standards. This is where the problem arises. The situation is that
although the magazine editors are requesting digital designers to photoshop for
self-beneficial reasons and reasons to promote their own beliefs to their
consumers, it’s still negatively impacting society by the altering images the
designers are creating. From body insecurities, to changing the ideal of beauty
standards throughout the world, and most importantly to making people perceive
the images as real.

        Majority
of times when you look at models being showed on magazines or watching them
walk down runways for fashion shows you see they all have one common thing and
that’s they all look thin. Although clothes are made at different sizes you
just rarely don’t see larger models.  The reason you see this occurring
trend is because of fashion designers ideal that their clothes look better on
thin people. Magazines are like the advertisers for fashion designers, they
promote their clothes. Kirstie Clements a former Australian Vogue editor gives
her statement about models being thin as a trend since the 1980s. According to
(Clements, 2015) basically designers know that models look best when thin
models wear their creations. And in most occasions, the sizes they issue out
won’t fit most models. She also reported that models she has seen throughout
the years have went into states of eating disorders so they can be able to make
the cut of wearing the clothes (Clements, 2015).  Now the reason I brought
this up is that models that are not thin aren’t the only ones that get
photoshopped but also the thin models as well. Which I stated before, many
models go through eating disorders to make the cut to wear clothing but when it
comes to the actual publishing of photos for magazines, magazine editors
request digital designers to make the model more appealing and attractive by
adding more weight but still appearing thin. A prime example of this is a
before and after picture in an article of a model who had her rib cage
photoshopped to not appear as much because she looked to thin and unhealthy
(Wade, 2013). The article overall addresses well know magazine companies like
Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and the U.S most top selling fitness and health magazine
Self that their editors have openly admitted to Business Insiders that they
frequently had to add more weight to models because their appearance was too
unhealthy.  The problem with that though is that people can look at those
retouched images and think that the model looks the way she or he is appearing
in the image. It could also convey a message to society that being thin makes
you look good and healthy which it doesn’t. Although magazines don’t do them
for those intentions, they do them because they know no one would want to
purchase a magazine where someone doesn’t look good or attractive. What comes
to me from the article is that this situation is not just happening in the U.S
but also on a global scale like the United Kingdom with British Vogue editors
having the same situation.  Another example is on a United Kingdom survey
a clothing line did in 2013. The Huffington Post addressed the survey in an
article that shows that people are viewing photoshopped images of models and
believing that they look the way they do. According to Vagianos (2013),
“Fifteen percent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, were convinced that the images
of models and celebrities in advertisements, magazines and billboards
accurately depict what these women look like in real life.” When it gets to that
point digital designers should start realizing how impactful the images they
retouch are making people believe the unrealistic images are real.

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    For
some opposing arguments people just try to say that people just get too emotional,
become sensitive too easily, or just not smart enough to know that the images
aren’t real. But you can’t really say that because from my perspective that
person(s) probably doesn’t have someone to tell them that the image is not real
or that they grew up in a place that doesn’t have access to technology, so they
don’t know photoshopping is an actual thing. In some ways I could see where
their coming from but you have to understand not everyone is the same. Another
argument I like to address is when in 2012 a fourteen-year-old model created a
pledge to an American magazine, “Seventeen Magazine” to stop photoshopping
their models. The editor and chief of the magazine accepted the pledge which
also followed Teen Vogue: the younger fashion magazine of Vogue to join the
pledge as well. A blogger who opposes the idea of the magazines of following
the pledge stated, “But what Julia doesn’t see
is that asking a magazine to stop Photoshopping its models is asking a magazine
to take away its ability to edit its own content, and it is a shame for any
publication to self-inflict such limitations on its own editorial voice. And
once that happens, how much farther will the issue be pushed? Will the next
Julia now spark a campaign demanding that models stop getting their makeup done
professionally, because that’s a distortion of what the average woman can
obtain? (Chen, 2012.)” The blogger does have her valid points but it seems that
she doesn’t know how photoshopping can make a large impact to society. She
brings up on limitations the pledges brings which I personally agree as a
digital designer, it creates limits for designers but it’s preferably better to
include healthy and real people than false advertisements. Her statement she brings
up does have bias but her blog is an Op-Ed. People believing on unrealistic
images is just one of the impacts of photoshopping has on society.

     Furthermore,
digital designers should understand what they’re doing are having a big impact
on society. Culture is a main aspect in the world, it makes people be who they
are. Those retouch images are changing culture. Magazines are sometimes
considered as the trend of society. Big magazines have their own magazines in
different countries and they associate their fashion and beauty with how the
culture is in that specific country. Even though they are following with the
associated culture, their photoshopping can influence culture and alter it. An article from the
Huffington post mentioning about a woman who sent one picture to different
editors around the world and asked them to make her look beautiful. According
to the author, the woman had stated that the editors added features based on
their religion and customs but also how they see perceive beauty in their country
(Duberman, 2015.) From the images each editor has done you can see the culture
throughout countries but what can be inferred from this is they choose those
preferences based on how they see beauty in those specific culture. Magazines
have the power to influence people on culture. People perceive magazines as the
marketing for trend throughout world. The downside of this when people are
looking at magazines from their own country they are perceiving it as that
being the beauty of their culture and how they’re supposed to look like.
Examples like from the body and how the person looks like on the magazine. This
isn’t just happening only in one place but around the world. Another factor is
the creation of body insecurities.

          Body
insecurities from magazines has been a common thing since the creation of them,
but over the years with the arise of photoshopping in magazines, it has
drastically impacted people to take certain measures because of their
insecurities. According to (Inglis, 2013), he addresses the claim why media
images in magazines for example use photoshop. The author claims that they gain
a large profit when photoshopping because consumers purchase magazines and
advertisement when the person looks perfect and attractive. It’s a method to
use, the desire of the consumer to look like the model because society has been
perceived into thinking the models in magazines are the ideal of beauty
(Inglis, 2013). Although the images are photoshopped, it does motivate people
into trying to reach that goal of the photoshopped body, but the designer is
still creating retouched images that aren’t even realistic and it makes the
magazines consumers believe on the false images. Sometimes it leads them into
motivation, but some people go beyond in what the model looks like which leads
to anorexia and eating disorders. Those situations tend to happen more with
young teens because at their age they go through a large amount of
insecurities. In 2013, the health research fund conducted statistics on body
image in the United States. (Health Research Fund, 2013) found the following, “75% of women
saw themselves as overweight when only 25% actually were. When asked about the ideal body
shape, 74% of women chose an underweight body. 80% of women say they feel
insecure from media images of women. More than half of teenage girls are, or
think they should be on a diet.” This shows that photoshopped images from magazines
can create body insecurities for people because they don’t look them and their
considering them to be the perfect person. Another example is from a journal on
the effect’s manipulated images create. (
Lampros, 2015) explains on how photoshopping images greatly lowers people’s self-esteem
which usually leads them to think that they’re overweight but in reality
they aren’t actual overweight. They see the constant images every single time
they look at a magazine and believe that overweight because all the models are
looking thin and perfect. When some people go through eating disorders they
sometimes create illusions to themselves that they still look overweight but in
most cases, they look thin. It pushes them to the point of leading to death because
the anorexia and eating disorders are catching up to them. Some might argue
that photoshopped images do not cause body insecurities because there isn’t any
phycological proof besides statistics from people and the controversy between
eating disorder and disordered eating is still a talk to this very moment but there
is proof that it links to body image dissatisfaction which connects to body insecurities.
Another thing people would argue is that why do people who have body insecurities
don’t come fourth about their issue they are having? That is because some
people are just personally insecure to talk about that situation. Some might
feel that theirs not anyone that can understand them because they might perceive
everyone besides them as perfect, just like the unrealistic images in the
magazine.

  
     In conclusion, photoshop is a
powerful tool that can make big impacts in the world, especially with magazines
and society. This research paper was not intended to inform you that digital
designers should just stop photoshopping all together. What I’m trying to say
is that digital designers should consider how their work on retouching body
image is impacting society negatively. Not everyone is the same in the world,
not everyone is going to be affected of the digital designer’s work, but even though
they aren’t breaching any digital designers code of ethics they should have
consideration on their impact. All the fault should not be lashed on to the
digital designers but also the magazine companies as well because they are the
ones that are requesting them to retouch their photos into certain ways that enforces
the creation of the dilemma to appear. Photoshopping has its benefits but it’s
aspects are going towards self-beneficial for both digital designers and the
magazine companies, and it’s not having a positive impact to society which are
the people who purchase the magazines.

 

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