Photoshop is an incredible program. If you're not familiar with this particular program's capabilities let me just say that the opportunities are endless. You can change skin color, erase or add body parts (if you just so happen to dream of having an extra leg), change backgrounds, and manipulate just about anything you could think of. There isn't a single magazine out there that doesn't have a photoshopped cover on their issue, which just adds to the undoubtedly strong self-confidence issues this world has. No matter how big of a feminist you are, no matter how much you tell yourself or others that you don't listen to the media, everybody has a body image in their minds that they wish they could be.
We live in a photoshopped world.
Being a photographer who uses Photoshop myself, I understand the fascination and even sometimes the necessity for this program. However, I never ever change my model's body shape or even anything past little fly away hairs or zits on their chin.
Magazines and various different campaigns have made today's world completely obsessed with being beautiful and utterly perfect. The funniest part of all of this is, nobody actually looks like that, but we don't even pay close enough attention to care. We all know that there is no way Sarah Jessica Parker's legs are actually that long or Britney Spear's skin is that glowy, yet we all want to look like that anyway. Even though we know it isn't real, it still affects how we look and judge ourselves, and that my friends, is the problem.
We aspire to be some unreachable level of "beauty" because that is what sells. That is what the media shows us. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not putting all of the blame on media because although it's incredibly degrading, they are continuing to do it because it works.
Adverting and different media platforms play off of our insecurities and make us feel like we are never good enough. By doing this, we are talked into buying special offers or reading their magazines because they obviously have all of the secrets to help you reach this said unreachable level of perfection.
To put into perspective just how ridiculous retouching in today's advertising goes:
*Gaga's cover is my personal favorite out of these outrageous edits
Please remember Odyssey readers: aspire to be the best you, not the best version of what you saw on the latest cover of GQ.