Seeing is no longer believing

Altered images distort our sense of reality

Back to Article
Back to Article

Seeing is no longer believing

Mrs. Mohr, art teacher, teaches students how to manipulate images using Photoshop.

Mrs. Mohr, art teacher, teaches students how to manipulate images using Photoshop.

Samantha Kinnaird

Mrs. Mohr, art teacher, teaches students how to manipulate images using Photoshop.

Samantha Kinnaird

Samantha Kinnaird

Mrs. Mohr, art teacher, teaches students how to manipulate images using Photoshop.

Breanna Negron, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Photoshop: (v.) To alter a photographic image digitally using Photoshop image-editing software.

People around the world have used plenty of Photoshop for plenty of reasons, whether it is for fun, to create myths or to fool people.

Some of the most popular social media apps in the world use Photoshop. Facebook recently started offering filters for its messaging app, which is similar to Snapchat.

Snapchat is another well-known app for its picture taking and its filters. Filters provide the chance to add color, cool little stickers, and drawings to your original picture.

Additionally, social media users can crop a fragment of a picture and paste it to another. This form of altering images is mostly used during natural disasters, to create more alarm or belief than there should be.

For example, during Hurricane Harvey someone had photoshopped a picture of a shark on to a flooding highway with the caption: “The storm has gotten so bad, now they have sharks on the highway.” This picture created a lot of attention and alarm on social media.

Another popular social media app that uses altered images is Instagram. You take a picture, add a filter, and then post it to your story.  

Further, many images of celebrities have been Photoshopped to make their bodies look perfect. Most of the celebrities that are photoshopped are actresses. Often this is to correct the figure of a woman’s body as the maker of the movie had envisioned it.

Models are also often photoshopped, especially to smooth the skin and eliminate flaws. Many students have expressed thoughts similar to this: “Looking through a magazine you might see a Victoria’s Secret model, modeling a piece of clothing, but when you think about it, ‘Why doesn’t she have any flaws?’”

The use of Photoshop is responsible for all sorts of optical illusions, including a perfect jawline. If a model is wearing concealer, Photoshop can make even a big flaw go away. It is just a matter of photoshopping skills for one happy techie.

Photoshop used on models and celebrities have made an impact on what younger girls are thinking of themselves, especially when they constantly see models with perfect bodies – no scars or scratches.

Meanwhile, there are beautiful girls everywhere that deserve the actual definition of “beautiful.”

Many of us are born with marks on our face. Girls with larger-than-average birthmarks struggle with self-esteem because the model on the front page of Seventeen does not look like her. Nor do any of the girls in the rest of the magazine, even though in real life one of those models may have a really big flaw, but images have been photoshopped to where all the  younger girls can see is pure perfection.

A side effect of this is that men can view females very differently due to Photoshop. So when men are looking at magazines or commercials or social media pictures, all they can see is beautiful, toned, flawless, perfect women.

But are they really that perfect? Maybe there is a fifty-fifty chance that those models are really that perfect. But in reality most likely not; almost every human on Earth has a scar from something because you do not see that in the photos.

One way to spot the work of photoshop is when a model’s face is completely flawless – no marks, no scars, no changes in skin tone.

Another way to spot the work of Photoshop is when you see a twinkle in the model’s eyes.

Does a model’s body appear extremely toned, almost as if it were made from a mold? That is, again, the work of Photoshop.

All of this pleases men and fuels insecurity in women.

Many people take Photoshop for granted, or perhaps forget that it even exists, even though we all use the techniques in our social media apps. We also seem to forget how it is used in commercials, or in magazines and newspapers, or even the ads in the mail.  

We live in a Photoshopped world. Perhaps remembering that will lead to healthier mindsets.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email