Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sex, Lies and Photoshop

How many of the images we see in magazines and everyday life have been altered? Virtually all of them. Why does this matter? Because altered images effect our idea of beauty. It negatively impacts girls' and boys' self esteem because perfect beauty can only be achieved with an airbrush. 

When viewing a work of art that is clearly labeled as art. We can separate fiction from reality. But advertisements with models that have been photo-shopped 20 to 30 times are presented as real. They are an impossible standard of beauty that prompts the filmmaker to ask, "If not even the models themselves can really measure up to their own images, what does it mean?" 

What can be done about it? In France new laws are being proposed to make it illegal to promote negative body image and eating disorders. They propose to ban websites, censor media and force magazines to disclose the extent to which their images have been retouched. Watch this 4 1/2 minute piece which appeared in the New York Times on March 10. It is powerful. 

Oh, and by the way, the photo of Chuck and me on the upper right of this page is retouched.

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