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The Impact of Photoshop on Self Esteem

Veronica Mork, Millennials Staff Writer

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Models are presented to us as the most attractive, ideal body types in our society. From magazines, to television, the internet and beyond, models are everywhere; and so are their unavoidable affects on the public’s self esteem. Because the public is constantly presented with these people, comparison is inevitable. Because, more often than not, the beauty shown on pictures of models is artificial beauty, people are comparing their features against those that are unrealistic and occasionally unachievable. Most people don’t consider the element of photoshop right away when looking at a picture and are thus are given unrealistic standards of beauty.

Many teenagers already have low self esteem and photoshop seems a bad thing worse. About 70 percent of girls grades five through twelve said magazine images influence their ideals of a perfect body, according to the The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. Another poll found that “33% of the women polled also feel the body they aspire towards is not possible for them to achieve.” This mix of negative influence and sense of hopelessness can only cause trouble.

In an article in the Huffington post, Vivian Diller writes “What is clear is the imperative to relieve our youth of the rampant pressures they feel when it comes to their bodies. We need to question the unrealistic goals set not only by the distorted images in magazines but by those promoted through celebrity makeovers, reality shows and parents who undergo radical transformations through plastic surgery.” Not only are people influenced by unrealistic body standards, they are unknowingly influenced by bodies they can not naturally achieve without undergoing surgery.

Another study found 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,” Huffington Post stated. “Differentiating between Photoshop and real life is hard enough when a woman is aware of the airbrushing that probably went on; it becomes much harder when she isn’t even given the basic facts.” All women should keep an eye out for photoshop, because becoming aware of all the work that goes into photoshop is the first step to resisting becoming a victim of it.

For a tool that was originally invented to be able to alter photos for more positive or more desired results (with tools such as cropping, airbrush, and shading, etc.), photoshop has come a long way from its original intent.  While it can be fun and interesting to see how much photos can be changed and adjusted with just a few clicks of a mouse, we as a society have to realize that the images we put out into the public can affect others in ways we never imagined.

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The Impact of Photoshop on Self Esteem