Opinion

Photoshop culture requires touching up

Snap a selfie and you might add a filter before posting it. Hold a magazine shoot, and you’ll need to brighten up the image, or maybe clear up some blemishes. But it rarely ends there. The practice of retouching has become commonplace, despite increasing objections to the unrealistic beauty standards that come with it.

But criticism can cross a line. The feminist website Jezebel has come under fire for paying  $10,000 for unretouched photos of “Girls” star Lena Dunham, from Vogue’s February issue.

Dunham is known for her comfort with revealing her body on screen, and is quite the feminist icon herself. Jezebel posted the leaked photos on its website Friday, calling attention to all of the Photoshopped alterations. The result seemed to shame the actress for allowing Vogue to photoshop her, despite Dunham going on the record as being happy with Vogue.

Photoshop is warranted in moderation, but its magical properties are often taken too far. That is why efforts to emphasize real beauty are worthy of attention. But there is a right way to go about it, and Jezebel missed the mark.

Their underhanded move comes off as more of an abuse of Jezebel’s power than a step forward. Dunham chose to be photographed, and the public rejoiced over Vogue’s decision to deviate from its norm with a different look on cover. Everything was fine until Jezebel crashed the party.

There’s a difference between brightening a photo and trimming six inches off a model’s waist. While there’s no denying that magazines take photoshopping to the extreme – influencing young teens to download photo editing apps and partake in this culture – but neither Vogue nor Dunham went overboard in this case. Their collaboration should be celebrated.

There are good examples of how to promote real beauty and create positive awareness about photo doctoring. American Eagle’s lingerie line Aerie announced Friday that it will only feature un-retouched models in its spring ad campaign, Aerie Real. It’s a bold move, and a beautiful one.

Also this week, a music video by Hungarian music artist Boggie released in December went viral because it reveals her transformation on Photoshop as she sings. The young singer is airbrushed into an entirely different girl, showing how drastic changes can be made with simple editing tools.

Until we can touch up the Photoshop culture entirely, let’s allow encouraging messages to come from the companies or celebrities themselves.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

January 22, 2014

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is starting Thursday night for the No. 16 Miami Hurricanes against ...

It sure sounds like redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry is going to get his first career start at 8 Thurs ...

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

Theatre arts students open the Ring Theatre’s 2018-19 season with a tribute to the creative genius w ...

UM representatives earned Novice and Junior Varsity categories at the National Opener, one of the mo ...

The Office of Civic and Community Engagement receives a $300,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

Miami junior Estela Perez-Somarriba's 6-4, 6-3 victory over Evgeniya Levashova will be re-broad ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.