Natural Beauty? Or Unblemished Photoshopped Lies?

How photoshop impacts women: The blemish free images of women's beauty we see all around us do impact our sense of our selves.

A tool that shows how much photoshopping has been done on an image? You’d be amazed. Do click the link and check it out.

So you think photo shopping images of women doesn’t concern you and is a frivolous matter? Unfortunately not. The false striving for a perfection that cannot exist in the human form affects us all. You will start to look at your own body critically. Or, if you’ve reached a stage of self confidence where you think, ‘models are models, I’m never going to look like that so it doesn’t matter’ you may look at younger, thinner women and find them lacking.

Have you ever met a celebrity in real life and been disappointed at the difference between what has been portrayed and what is? This difference is PHOTOSHOP.

Debenhams in the UK has decided not to photoshop images of it’s models. This is a huge step forward. They said ‘Millions of pounds a year are spent by organisations retouching perfectly good images,’ says Sharon Webb, Head of Lingerie buying and design for Debenhams.

‘As a rule we only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair and rely on the natural beauty of models to make our product look great.’

This image shows what the kind of ‘touching up’ that’s routine. (Image courtesy Debenhams)


photoshop possibilities

There are others who are as passionate about the pursuit of real beauty as Debenhams. In March this year Dove created an app that reverts the image to it’s original state.

“The Photoshop action, which is a downloadable file that applies an action with a single click, promised to add a skin glow effect, but actually reverted the image to its original state, is aimed by Dove at art directors whom the brand suspects of creating such ads, Mashable reports.”

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Last week I wrote about the phenomenon where thin, perfect bodies are leading to an epidemic of anorexia amongst models. Models aren’t a breed apart – what affects them will affect us too eventually. We’re much more likely to go on unhealthy diets after looking at stick thin people. There’s a reason why people in general are so much thinner now than twenty years ago when a fuller body was the acceptable norm. It’s because the thinness bug is seeping into our collective consciousness.

Being thin is fine. It’s better than being fat. But best of all is to be healthy. And I don’t mean that in the tongue and cheek way that we use it sometimes where we’re actually saying, ‘You’re a fatso’.  When I say healthy I refer to your ideal weight. The weight at which you have the most energy to perform your tasks. You can’t be productive if you’re either too thin or too fat.

Whether it’s dieting or looking at photoshopped images or oooing at Kareena Kapoor’s size zero look, we’re all contributing to the unhealthy propagation of stereotypes of women that pressurise young women to conform to the Barbie doll like figures that are unattainable and that forever leave you feeling inadequate.

Yes, we are more than our bodies – but we are definitely impacted by media comments in gossip magazines. I recently read an article where Deepika Padukone was lambasted for ‘spilling out of her dress.’ Can you believe it? Yes, she is an actress, and owes it to her fans to remain presentable, but for how long can she continue to look like a leggy teenager? And why do we want that?  A mature women’s body, with natural beauty is just as gorgeous as that of a sylph-like girl.

What do you think? Do you feel strongly about photoshopping and compulsory thinness? Do you feel it should be our right to choose the size that’s best for us?

I’d love to hear from you.


About the Author


A freelance journalist and teacher, Kalpana is a feminist, an animal rights activist, passionate about the environment and fitness through yoga. She believes in a holistic and sustainable lifestyle and she also happens to be read more...

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