Photoshop's Influence On Women
Start writing a post

A big controversy has been going on for years in the fashion industry: the controversy over the use of Photoshop. It has been said that the use of Photoshop does not affect women in a harmful manner. However, most would disagree with this. Some individuals believe the power of Photoshop is a marvelous thing, but the photographers in the fashion industry today go too far with the editing tools, and it is causing the women who view these images to suffer.

Photoshop can be used to slightly adjust an image or to drastically enhance its appearance. You can start with adjusting the light in the background of an image and go as far as completely changing the whole image by morphing the objects presented. Behind the scenes, photo editors are like magicians; they can do almost anything to an image. They can make celebrities and models look thinner, taller, unblemished, with brighter eyes and whiter teeth. Photoshop is not used just to retouch the model in the image, though. Editors also tweak and adjust the lighting, the background, and the color scheme. The ability of Photoshop is limitless, but this may or may not be ideal for the generation of women viewing all of the fashion advertisements that have been Photoshopped.

As technology has grown, so have the powers of Photoshop and some would say that these powers could affect the women viewing the edited images. Photoshop has come so far that editors can reshape and retouch everything about the model in the image, and this is ridiculous because it is giving women who view these images impossible ideas of how women should look.

I watched a video by Rare Digital Art, and it is a great example of how outrageous Photoshop has gotten. The video depicts Elizabeth Moss, the company’s head retoucher, an individual whose profession is editing and enhancing images. She spends six hours smoothing, shaping, and contouring a woman’s skin, nails, lips and more. Moss goes as far as zooming into the model’s ear and shading the area so that the model’s flyaway hairs next to her ear are contained. The detail that goes into this work is crazy! The women who view the final image of the video have no idea how much went into making the model look perfect and they think that they are supposed to be able to look as perfect as that model.

Madonna Before and After Photoshop Editing

The problem is when women look in the mirror, they do not have the helpful tools of Photoshop. Real women cannot compete with these models. There have even been petitions to get rid of Photoshop in the fashion industry, like the Anti-Photoshopping Pledge that was pushed by the Brave Girls' Alliance, which is an organization lead by women to lend a helping hand to the next generation.

Celebrities have also started to stand up to the issue of Photoshop. “I think women’s bodies are a battleground,” Keira Knightley told Time in an article regarding the use of Photoshop. “And photography is partly to blame.” The article also featured another recent celebrity, Lorde, a young singer/songwriter. Two different pictures of her at a concert, one with Photoshop and one without appeared in this article. The difference in the singer-songwriter’s complexion is drastic, and she even expresses aggravation because she is trying to be an image for young women, but editors are releasing pictures that do not look like her, which then gives young girls unrealistic ideas. Photoshop can affect the women viewing the image and the woman featured in the image, as well.

Image on top is photoshopped; image below is not. Lorde uses her Twitter account to call out the photoshopped image.

The effect Photoshop has on women is undeniable. Women are vulnerable, so viewing drastically edited pictures messes with their thinking, “Even when it's painfully obvious that a model's body has been altered, seeing these images everywhere still messes with your head." Women tend to think, "Wait, is that what people want me to look like?"

Yes, some women may be strong enough to resist the confusion and self-scrutinization, but most are not, especially vulnerable young girls. If photographers would release images that were not edited as much as they do edited now, it would greatly influence women in a more positive way.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments