I choose to experiment with Veri since I have never heard of it before. When first going to the site (veri.com), I was unsure what the purpose or aim of the site was. I say “learn, teach, play” so I figured it had was some sort of educational tool. I signed up and scrolled through the “courses”. I settled on “Outsmarting Breast Cancer”. I clicked on it and it brought me to another page with quizzes. There were about four to five questions with four possible answers. You received points for getting questions right and consequently lost points for getting questions wrong. But there’s a catch! You can click “I don’t know, teach me!” and it brings you to a site with information related to the question. You can read the section, answer the question, and you get full points. Veri made learning into a game. You can link your Facebook so you can play with friends and try to outdo each other’s high scores. It seems like a good premise, however there are not a lot of categories that I was personally interested. In order to take full advantage of the site, you would have to have friends who are also on the site to compete and play with each other. Overall, the site is a good idea, but I don’t think it’s there just yet. People tend to get their information from internet search engines such as Google and not by playing a game. I did find it interesting since I didn’t know it existed but I don’t think I’ll continue using Veri.
This past Tuesday, I finally joined the iPhone world after being stuck with my BlackBerry for years. Of course, the first thing I did was download all of my social networking apps and that included Instagram. I quickly became obsessed with taking pictures, adding filters, and posting them waiting to get comments and likes. When I’m bored at school or my internship, I find myself scrolling through my Instagram newsfeed rather than my Facebook newsfeed. Come to think of it, I’ve hardly been on Facebook since getting an iPhone, except to post pictures, statuses, or when I receive notifications. Instagram makes it so easy to see what everyone’s up to, but some people call it “twitter for people who can’t read” because all it is is pictures with fancy filters and captions. However, I do love it because I can not only view my friends’ pictures but I can follow celebrities and find other accounts that I like. One bad thing is that there are a lot of spam profiles. Since getting a few likes from inappropriate profiles on my first day on Instagram, I made my profile private. However, I still get follow requests from a lot of fake accounts but I’m willing to fend off the inappropriate accounts while enjoying pictures from all over the world.
Whenever I come across any type of advertisement or picture with a model or celebrity in it, I have to wonder whether or not the person actually looks like how they are portrayed. Photoshop is used in virtually everything and is typically utilized to alter the bodies and faces of models and celebrities. When you see a picture in a magazine, you’re not looking at a naturally beautiful model; you’re seeing a heavily Photoshopped, touched up, and/or airbrushed image. What does this mean? This means that our perception of beauty is distorted. It also means that these images create an ideal that is impossible to reach. There is so much pressure to be incredibly thin while also being toned and having the perfect body proportions and being beautiful without trying. How are we supposed to reach this ideal if the models themselves don’t even look like how they are portrayed in these images? This can trigger eating disorders and other emotional problems because these ideals are unattainable. It is very important for people, especially adolescents, to learn that these images are altered.
Above are two Ralph Lauren advertisements featuring model Filippa Hamilton. One that presumptively has been retouched and one that has clearly been Photoshopped. Standing at 5 foot 11 inches tall and 120 pounds, Filippa worked for Ralph Lauren since 2002 until she was fired for being “too fat” and was told she did not fit in the clothes. In the ad on the right, Filippa was Photoshopped to Barbie proportions with a seemingly large head comparative to her body. Filippa was outraged at this altered image, which many people would be. It is disheartening to see that so many celebrities and models have to specifically ask that their photographer not use Photoshop because when you’re at a photo shoot you just assume that Photoshop will be used to alter your body.
I watched this short video in class yesterday and one part that really stood out to me was that the girl who was featured in the advertisement didn’t even recognize herself. They had lightened her skin to appeal to all black people because the emphasis is on light skin. I found this whole video to be ironic because in the caucasian community, the emphasis is on darker skin. You always want to be tan and people go to tanning salons even in the winter! I’m very light-skinned so I do like to get a little tan in the summer so I don’t look so dead in the winter but my sister’s always telling me I’m not “tan enough”. First of all, what does that even mean? Obviously I love my “pale” skin and I’m not willing to risk my body for society’s likeness towards tan-skinned caucasians. Skin cancer runs in my family so why would I even put myself at risk?