This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
There is no argument that Photoshop is one of the most remarkable programs that came into existence during the digital age. Photoshop aides photographers and graphic designers by speeding up processes that would have taken weeks and even months of work before.
Photoshop is a tool known for its photo manipulation skills. Just like other skills, this can be used for good or bad. Photoshop is used to make great works of art, however there is one problem, most people use Photoshop as a way to deliberately lie or bully other people.
Most magazines use Photoshop on their images to create a more “desirable” image. They enhance butts, breasts, muscles and even eyes to paint a prettier picture for their viewers. Most of the images seen in “fashion” or “celeb” magazines are enhanced so that the subject becomes more desirable. Because this is the a norm in our lives, we have a hard time telling the difference between real life and fantasy.
Women and men fall victim to these clever tactics and scrutinize everything on their bodies. If even celebrities have to be enhanced, where does that leave us? We have created a world in which we will never be enough. No matter how much weight we lose or how much money we spend on surgery, we will still not be perfect and in need of enhancement.
Calvin Klein photographers shot artist Justin Bieber in only underwear for an ad campaign. Within a week, the original image came forth and reveled that Bieber had been enhanced in every way possible. His hands were larger, his biceps and abs bulkier, his bulge larger and his butt more perky. The two bodies compared side-by-side look like two different men. The enhanced Bieber is more desirable but what’s the point if it isn’t actually him?
Appalled at the accusation, Bieber posted a nearly nude picture on Instagram. In the process he reveled something about what these magazines are doing to people’s self-confidence. Bieber is insecure about how he looks and lashed out. He has been taught that his body isn’t sexy, that his body is something he needs to change.
A reaction like this is becoming common and it’s scary to think about what is in store for future generations. How much money will be wasted on plastic surgery, diets and therapy because of the damage Photoshop is causing? Damage we have created with a tool that can do amazing things.
Photoshop has also become a tool used in bullying. The program can make someone uglier, remove others from a photo or create an illusion meant to demean or bully.
Often used as a tool for the paparazzi and in tabloids, when did it become okay to bully others just for the entertainment value? When Bruce Jenner’s face was photo shopped into a woman’s (a commentary on the Jenner’s transition to female), it became blatantly obvious the lack of boundaries anybody has anymore. The cover of “InTouch” was tasteless and degrading to Jenner.
This great program was used to cause emotional turmoil on someone whose already having a rough go of it. Under no circumstances should you ever use a skill to degrade or bully someone else.
In doing this, you are pissing on the gift you have, you are telling the world, “I don’t care that I’m talented and I don’t plan on doing anything worthwhile with this skill.”
Now it’s our turn to put a stop to this injustice. The next time you think it will be “funny” to photoshop a friend, peer, parent or even stranger, remember nothing ever comes out of bullying except hurt feelings and unneeded turmoil in your life. Create something beautiful instead; you will always appreciate something beautiful.