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.