Pop artist Lorde, known for her debut single, “Royals,” recently came across shocking photos of herself on Twitter. She noticed that fans had edited her facial structure to remove any blemishes. In response, she tweeted, “I find this curious – two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect, and one real… Remember everyone, flaws are okay.”
Throughout the last decade, Adobe Photoshop’s applications on daily life have become a controversial topic, as it has made powerful photo editing tools and apps more easily accessible to society. Apps such as Perfect365 and Facetune have soared in popularity since their initial releases in the App Store. Rather than helping adjust the lighting or filters on a picture, the app literally removes all blemishes and acne from a clear picture of someone’s face. Within seconds, the free app allows blemishes to be swept away with just a click of a button.
Some interpret the purpose of the app as a fulfillment of freedom of expression, as many who use it just play around with eye color, lip size, and makeup. However, there are those who download the app use it to remove imperfections from their bodies in order to enhance their pictures and boost self-confidence when posting pictures to social media.
Many people are outraged at the notion that the Hollywood media and various magazines are using these apps to edit the faces of their icons, yet as people scroll through their Instagram feed, there are remnants of photo alterations in many pictures.
While some magazine publishers find it necessary to edit photos of their subjects, sophomore Hannah Landau said she disagrees. “I don’t think most editing is necessary,” she said. “Everyone knows how you look, you don’t have to try to be anyone else. I don’t think individuals should want to put that false image into other people’s heads that don’t know you.”
Seventeen Magazine recently made a pledge to stop using Photoshop on their celebrities after an eighth grade student launched a crusade against airbrushing the faces of not only celebrities, but standard girls as well. The staff signed a statement and promised to “never change girls’ body or face shapes”.
Landau said, “I think it’s good that there’s self awareness nowadays because the world is coming to realize the beauty in one’s natural self.”
Freshman Lily Hochfelder said she believes that too much editing takes away from the natural beauty of others, yet small edits are acceptable: “When photographers are taking pictures of a celebrity, often their objective is to make them look as glamorous as possible,” she said. “I think that because of this, many people, especially teens, have a desire to look perfect, or at least on social media. I think reshaping a body, or making drastic changes is over the top, but if someone wants to cover a blemish or whiten their teeth, go right ahead!”
Sophomore Rebecca Bond said, “If you want to post a picture and you don’t look your best, it just wasn’t your best day, so I think it’s completely okay to edit it.”
Some believe that Photoshop is a damaging influence for young individuals, only causing them to struggle with self-confidence and their physical appearance rather than provide additional self-esteem.
“Especially [because] a lot of newspapers and magazines portray models in the unhealthy way that they do, it really is harmful for people to see images of people so skinny. These images often lead to many eating disorders and lowers self esteem. It is just a completely unattainable goal for someone to be as skinny as the media shows. Photoshop is really to impress other people, not the person who is edited. The person themselves know its photoshopped, so it’s only lowering their self esteem as a result,” said junior Ethan Szlezinger.
In the case of celebrity Photoshop, drastic changes in appearance help decrease the confidence and self-assurance of those, especially their young fans, who view them as role models. Like Lorde, there are those celebrities who are starting to embrace their imperfections like never before, while hoping to make it a priority to decrease the use of such editing in the media.
There are many positive ways we can incorporate Photoshop into our lives, but it has become apparent that caution should be taken before individuals go over the top with editing their appearance. Although many have strong opinions about the aspects of editing, the fight against photo-shopped images isn’t over, since hundreds of apps are in our possession and magazines haven’t necessarily stopped using them.