Smoothing your facial lines, brightening your teeth, shrinking your waistline—these photo editing tools appeal to college students. Tools such as the ones previously listed are associated with perfection and heavily influence through social media. Nobody is able to achieve perfection so why not fake it through applications such as Instagram, Slim & Skinny, Facetune and Snapchat. Although seeking approval from peers through social may seem desirable, at what cost is young adults mental health suffering?
Recently, there has been a major increase in Photoshop since the release of apps such as Facetune and Slim & Skinny. With these two applications, users are able to distort their body in the way they wish and shape facial features into societies definition of perfect. Within reasoning, a simple filter and editing your body both have been generalized into Photoshop.
I argue that editing your body endangers the human’s mind and advances past the simplistic nature of adding a filter. Although, not all Photoshop is a disgrace to the world of photography; I believe there is a line that has been crossed when the latest trends involve editing bodies into Barbie dolls. I am, however, advocating that there be a change in the way social media users perceive themselves when it comes to comparing one edited picture to their own.
Photoshop creates a major issue because students can suffer from an illusion of perfection blinded by the trends on social media. There is a severe need for validation within our society, especially through social media. There are several risks that can arise from the major trends of Photoshop applications.
Dara Murray is a professor at Minnesota University who held a study on the effects of Photoshop on women’s mental health. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the time students spend on social media distorting their body and perfecting it to an impossible image of themselves. Her results show a positive trend with almost the entire portion of the female class using Photoshop. When she asked her students why they used Photoshop, each one of her students responded that they wanted to be more like celebrities and Instagram models on social media. While interviewing some female college students on this issue many women brought up the psychical and mental issues that follow Photo-shopping photos such as the development of severe eating disorders, low self-esteem, and many other mental disorders.
From hearing friends speak about their bodies in dissatisfactio to my own view of my body. The need to spread awareness of this issue is a must. Photoshop is damaging girl’s perception of what perfection should look like. There is no picture that is perfect in this world and we need to accept our bodies and promote self-love. Building up each other’s confidence is a universal message that needs to be shared NOT promoting false images of yourself while damaging other young minds in the process.