Monday, October 1, 2012
Why Photo-Shopping Is Ugly
The title on the August 1989 edition of TV Guide Magazine does not ask who the most beautiful or who the skinniest woman on TV is, it asks who is the richest. However, the editor of the magazine made sure Oprah looked thin by giving her the body of actress Ann-Margaret, whose picture was taken ten years previous. Neither of the two women knew about the photo-shopped madness until the actress' fashion designer recognized the dress and shot as Ann-Margaret's. Although I find the fact that neither woman knew this happened and Oprah wound up with someone else's body to be disturbing within itself, for personal reasons one both sides, the message this photograph sends is worse.
When a woman, black or white, picks up this magazine to see Oprah on the cover looking thin as ever, the message she receives is that Oprah did not get her money by being intelligent and ground-breaking in her field, but instead reached success by being the ideal form of beauty. Oprah is seen as a role model to women across the world because she has a rags-to-riches story and worked hard to get where she is, being the richest woman on TV, not because she has a model thin body. I chose to write about this picture because it infuriates me how media turns attention away from real achievements by women and turns it into another out-of-reach role model for young girls to look up to. These kinds of non achievable role models in society harm the younger generations and morph their healthy body image into self-critique. The editor of this picture probably did it because the more beautiful the woman on the cover, the more people want to pick up your magazine. However, this does not make it okay or right! This video displays celebrities before and after they are photo-shopped.
The video below shows perfect examples of women who are transformed digitally to appear outlandishly beautiful because they are famous. One must think of the impact these photographs have on young men and women who think this is the "norm" when really it's not even possible to achieve that sort of perfection in real life. The added body image pressure added by the media is unnecessary and harmful.