Picture Perfect? Photoshop Impacting Teens and Adults

As a kid, I would see magazine covers in stores and think, wow she’s beautiful. I want to be like her when I am older. By being in a world brimming with technology, I now realize that my naive six-year-old self was looking at photoshopped magazine covers. Although most people know that, it still gives them self-esteem issues and ultimately cause them to try to look like that model. Today, when people flip through a magazine, photoshopped pictures give them unrealistic standards about body shape, cause depression, and lead to eating disorders; therefore, photoshopped pictures should not be allowed in advertisements.
To begin, photoshop should not be allowed in advertisements because it gives people unrealistic standards about body shape. According to Alanna Vagianos, the women’s editor of The Huffington Post, a survey was conducted and it showed that, “Fifteen percent of 18 to 24-year-olds surveyed, were convinced that the images of models and celebrities in advertisements, magazines and billboards accurately depict what these women look like in real life.” When looking at a magazine cover or an advertisement, young adults could think that is what the model really looks like. It creates an unrealistic standard. Also, because of photoshop, editors can make celebrities “look [very] different from one magazine to the next” (Wilson). If photoshop can make a person look different from cover to cover, and people actually believe it, that shows how naive people can be. It also shows that people on this planet actually have standards according to a model’s physical appearance. Finally, Peter Lindbergh, a very well known photographer said, ““My feeling is that for years now it [photoshopped images] has taken a much too big part in how women are being visually defined today”” (Wilson). If these kinds of images are defining standards for how women should look, then these retouched pictures are going to have a huge impact on how society looks and treats its people. Clearly, photoshop should not be allowed in the entertainment industry because it causes unrealistic body image.
In addition to creating a mirage for body image, photoshopped pictures should not be allowed because they cause people to have self-esteem issues along with depression. Recently, the AMA also known as the American Medical Association said that they were fighting against photoshop, which gives many unrealistic body standards and makes them self-conscious about how they look in comparison. (Diller). For some unknown reason, our society looks to magazine covers for how people’s bodies should look. Because of that, self-esteem issues and other problems arise In the history of human existence, striving for the ideal mindset of “perfection” occurs all the time. (Saville). Due to this, photoshop gives the idea of unreal perfection and causes self-consciousness. Peter Lindbergh, a world famous photo editor wrote that photoshop should not be the thing that sets women’s standards during this era. (Wilson). Because these pictures are supposed to show women how their bodies are to look, it gives people real self-esteem issues. As shown above, photoshop should not be used in magazines and ads because it causes body image and self-esteem issues along with depression.
Also, photoshopped pictures should not be allowed in magazines and advertisements because they promote eating disorders. Vivian Diller, a psychologist, and author, says that “They [the AMA] want us all to reflect upon the way in which unrealistic imagery may serve as a contributor to adolescent health problems.” Teens have some of the most difficult choices in life because they are about to get pushed into the real world. Because of photoshop, the real world is giving these almost-adults a reason for body image issues and eating disorders. According to the article “Dying to be Barbie” on rehabs.com, “By the time they [teens] reach high school, 1 in 10 students have an eating disorder.” Because of the media, photoshopped ads are everywhere these kids look and when these kids reach high school, they have seen so many skinny people in pictures while checking their social network apps it triggers eating disorders.Also in “Dying to be Barbie” on rehabs.com, 42% of female children ranging from the ages of 6 to 10 years old want to be skinnier.Since these children want to be thinner at such a young age, these retouched pictures can trigger even more of a desire to lose weight. All in all, photoshopped pictures should not be used in ads and magazines because they can produce eating disorders.
It is true that some people, like Carrie Arnold, an eating disorder specialist, do not think photoshop causes any harm. In response to the AMA’s theory, she said,““We [society] don’t think ads for disinfectant somehow promote OCD. We also don’t think that those Bluetooth headsets promote schizophrenia”” (Diller). If these products are used on a day to day basis and do not produce mental health issues, then same goes for retouched images, right? Wrong. Although such arguments have merit, it can still be argued that every day people are being affected by eating disorders and self-esteem issues. According to Gina Vaynshteyn, a writer for the website hellogiggles.com, she conducted a survey and found out that, “30% of high-school girls and 16% of high-school boys have an eating disorder,” and that the teenage girls were reported to be, “more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents, or a nuclear war.” If teens are more afraid gaining weight than Cancer or a nuclear war, people should really start taking action. To further illustrate, in the article Photoshopping: Altering Images and Our Minds on beautyredfined.com, “Dr. McAneny of the AMA states, ““We must stop exposing impressionable children and teenagers to advertisements portraying models with body types only attainable with the help of photo editing software.” And yet, in the last year, Photoshopping has reached an all-time high. It is inescapable.” Photoshopping does affect teenager’s minds more than anyone else’s so by showing them those retouched pictures, it is going to most definitely give them self-esteem issues. Furthermore, photoshopped ads should not be allowed because it causes eating disorders and self consciousness in adolescents.
As aforementioned, photos that have been enhanced should not be allowed in magazines. These photos cause people to believe in wild standards about body shape, and trigger self esteem issues and eating disorders in teens. In the past few years, as technology is advancing, eating disorders have reached an ultimate high. If this issue continues, photoshop is going to become more advanced and these issues will become a problem. The whole point of fashion magazines is to help people express themselves in their own style and to be confident in themselves. With photoshopping these covers, it takes the whole purpose of people being true to themselves away. Making models look more realistic without photoshop is the sole reason that self esteem and eating issues will drop.

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