I’ve recently read a blog article detailing the scandal of using Photoshop to make models in magazine adverts look more flawless than they already are. Jennifer Lawrence, an Oscar-winning and well-loved actress has recently come under scrutiny by popular blogging site Hellogiggles, referring to how much airbrushing a human face can actually take before it doesn’t look real.
There is a lot of debate around the subject of using Photoshop in ads, with an outcry for advertisers to use ‘real’ women in their posters for luxury perfume and make up. In this Dior commercial for lipstick, J-Law looks amazing, more amazing than anyone could ever look in real life and there’s been a lot of criticism, asking if this is right, that women in ads don’t look real. Is it misleading to women to suggest that this lipstick will make you look as beautiful as J-Law, as it magically makes your blemishes and chubbier-than-you’d-like-cheeks disappear? The answer is, no. In this day and age, it’s incredibly common knowledge that Photoshop is used; we know that actors and models probably don’t look as great as in the photos, and we know that that particular lipstick isn’t going to make your eyes sparkle like Barbie’s. We’ve seen the wonders that Photoshop can perform and it really revolutionised the magazine and advertising industry.
Let’s consider this; if you’ve got this wonderful, unique product that you’re about to unleash on the world, surely you’re going to want the marketing campaigns to be the most beautiful, to stand out among all of the other millions of products out there. As a modern woman, I’m not going to be duped into thinking that one single make up product is going to change my life and make my skin look as smooth as a Disney princess’s. I do know, however, from the pretty advert that it’s a desirable and luxury make up product that I’d probably quite like to add to my make up bag, if I could afford it(!).
Don’t get me wrong, adverts have been pulled before for legitimately being misleading; Natalie Portman starred in a Dior
advert for mascara and they specifically used Photoshop to lengthen the lashes, which is understandably not cool. But if Photoshop is being used to make someone look beautiful, rather than lie about the effects of the product, there isn’t necessarily a problem. We all know that Photoshop is used, and a lot of us have used it ourselves. We know that the unrealistic images in magazines aren’t always real and that not all women look like that in real life. We’re not supposed to feel duped by the magazines, they’re not intending for us to look at some famous actress with a tiny waist and big boobs and think that is always the norm.
The beautiful thing about these modern times is that we are learning to accept who we are, gracefully and gradually. We are now being told that there are all different shapes and sizes in the world and it’s okay to be who you want to be. Rather than paying much attention to photos in magazines, on TV, on the internet, we are clear about our identities and what we look like. We’re far more accepting of our shapes and that’s how it should be.
Photoshop doesn’t matter; why shouldn’t women look beautiful in magazines? Why can’t we have idealistic images to admire and look up to? As long as we’re happy in our own skin and don’t expect that these images are 100% normal and how you should look, that’s all that matters.