Category Archives: Photoshop

i’ll have curves with a side of bones, please. hold the cellulite.

Well, readers. I’ve got some good news and I’ve got some bad news.

The good news is that it seems as though the outrage against society’s “thin ideal” is finally being recognized. Magazine photo editors have finally gotten the message and have stopped Photoshopping images of women down to impossibly skinny frames.

The bad news is that instead of Photoshopping women to look skinnier, now editors are adding fake curves. According to the lovely ladies at Beauty Redefined, curvy is the new skinny, but only in places curves are “allowed.”

Sigh. SO CLOSE, YOU GUYS. SO CLOSE AND YET, SO FAR.

Seriously, people? The problem isn’t that images of women have been manipulated to look thin. The problem is that images of women (and men, for that matter) are being manipulated at all. I’ve been dying for magazine photo editors to get this through their heads and with this new revelation, I feel like I’ve spent the better part of my life begging my parents for a puppy, and they just finally agreed to get me one. Only they came home with a beat up Pound Puppy they found at the local Goodwill and hoped it would pass.

And so. Here we are again singing the same song reinforcing the idea that one body type is better than all the others. Where it used to be impossibly skinny, now it’s impossibly curvy; that is, thin all over except where curves are acceptable (boobs and butt, essentially).

As someone who falls in the “curvy” category (or plus-sized, if you can believe it) I’ve always wished that I could have this exact body type — thin everywhere, but with killer boobs and a butt. But even when I was starving myself into misery, I still had the body type I do: curvy, even in the spots where it’s not acceptable (bigger arms, bigger thighs, and so on). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a conversation with another girl about how we wish we could switch body parts with each other so we could fit the ideal.

ME: Ugh, I hate how big my boobs are. I wish I was skinny all over like you.

FRIEND: Whatever! I wish I had your shape and actually looked the way a woman is supposed to look!

ME: But we’re all ‘supposed to be’ skinny like you.

FRIEND: Yeah, but with big boobs like you!

I wasn’t born knowing that there is a “right” way to look and a “wrong” way to look. I was taught it from a very young age. Sadly, I was also taught that, thanks to Photoshop in the media, the “right” way to look is also the “impossible” way to look.

Either it’s being so skinny that you’d have to have most of your rib cage removed…

 

Or it’s extremely curvy, but only in the places that curves are accepted.

And if you don’t look like this? Well, it’s no one’s fault but your own because you’re the only one not working hard enough.

To learn more about this stupid new trend in Photoshopping, click here to read the article by Beauty Redefined.

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mirror, mirror…

I’ve always been obsessed with my reflection, in both good and bad ways. When I was a kid, my mom caught me smiling at my reflection in the mirror once, and I was so embarrassed. (Nowadays if I were to see a small girl do that I’d love it. I was mortified, though.) And now, if I so much as walk past a glass-covered building, my eyes automatically attach themselves to my reflection, usually for several seconds, just to make sure I still look presentable and am not walking funny or anything. I’ve even found myself having a conversation with someone while walking past my reflection and completely tuning them out while I ogle myself. Bleh.

This week, two of my friends sent me a link to the same story — the story of Kjerstin Gruys, a woman who avoided looking at herself in the mirror for an entire year.

You can read the story here but, in a nutshell, Kjerstin spent the better part of her life fighting an eating disorder. After years of therapy, she finally beat her ED. Later, she got engaged and began planning her wedding. While dress shopping, she found herself thinking the damaging thoughts associated with disordered eating and, rather than subjecting herself to the temptation to fall into old habits, she decided to avoid mirrors altogether.

Yes, even on her wedding day.

When I first read this story, I had conflicting feelings: first, I felt ecstatic for her. What an amazing, liberating thing. But then, I felt convicted. Ashamed of myself and my own addiction to my reflection and the fact that I didn’t think to do it first.

And I thought not straightening my hair for 40 days was a big deal!

When I got married, I got ready in a room with no mirrors (the church nursery). I distinctly remember feeling a sense of anxiety about not being able to give myself the once over before walking down the aisle. How silly — the happiest day of my life spent worrying about whether or not I look okay? (And, as if my Christian, children’s pastor of a husband even gave a crap? Let’s be real, y’all; I could have walked down the aisle in a paper bag and he would have said, “I do” anyway, so long as I took the paper bag off later. Blatant inferences intended.)

As a brand new mom, I haven’t had much time to look in a mirror, let alone analyze my appearance in one. Through this process, I’ve come to realize how truly fleeting and insignificant my looks are. This point was proven when just a week after delivering, one of my TV reporter friends (I used to work in TV news, by the way) was doing a story on breastfeeding and texted me to ask if she could come over to interview me. Without thinking, I agreed, and she told me she’d be over in 15 minutes. Then it hit me — I couldn’t remember the last time I’d brushed my teeth, showered, or changed clothes. And here I was, about to be filmed for television.

My apathy was amazing. You should have seen it. I only changed clothes and brushed my hair because I thought I was doing those in our viewing area a favor. I couldn’t have cared any less about my appearance because my new baby was happy, healthy, and fed. Oh, and I’d gotten to nap that day, too. (Priorities, people. Motherhood changes them.) My baby boy had become my mirror; the way he thinks of me — with blind love and dependence — is the way I’m learning to look at myself.

Instead of a new baby, Kjerstin focused on her new husband as her mirror. His thoughts about her were all she needed to engage with. In an interview, she said that, when he looked at her, he saw all the things he loved, not the things he wanted to change. And she wanted to look at herself that way, too. By removing mirrors from her life, she was able to look inside herself and see everything she has going for her. (Appropriately enough, her first dance with her husband was to the song, “I’ll Be Your Mirror”. How perfect, right?)

I’ve actually considered giving up looking in the mirror for Lent before. But I’ve never done it. Just like giving up social media, I’ve always assumed that avoiding mirrors would be “virtually impossible” so there’s no use in trying.

Psh. If one girl can do it for a year — the year in which she gets married — I can do it for 40 days. Maybe I will…

Thanks for your inspiration, Kjerstin! You truly are beautiful, inside and out.

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julia bluhm vs. seventeen.

I think I’ve mentioned Julia Bluhm before, but I couldn’t find it when I searched my blog archives for all of 0.5 seconds. At any rate, this amazing little middle-schooler has done something incredible. While I, a 20-something blogger in Florida, sit down and piss and moan on the Internet about how magazine companies shouldn’t Photoshop models or celebrities in order to protect impressionable youth, Julia is actually doing something about it. 

This amazing 8th grader was sick of hearing girls in her ballet class complain about being fat, so she started a petition to get Seventeen Magazine to stop misrepresenting women in their publication by publishing at least one unaltered photo an issue. Some 84,000 (yes, you read that number right) signatures later, the unthinkable happened — she won and then some.

According to this article from Think Progress, Seventeen agreed to her terms, but they even went a step further. The magazine offered to start representing girls and women from all shapes and sizes without using Photoshop on their bodies at all. (They did say, however, that they’d still use Photoshop to edit away wrinkles in clothes and flyaway hairs.)

Here’s a picture of their new Body Peace Treaty, alongside a picture to illustrate what to expect from Seventeen going forward:

And, if you click here, you’ll see a Body Peace Pledge that is posted on Seventeen‘s website to which girls can add their signatures. I particularly love the first statement (“I vow to remember that the sun will still rise tomorrow even if I had one too many slices of pizza or an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.”) and the last statement (“I vow to accept that beauty isn’t just about my looks. It’s my awesome personality and my energy that creates a whole, unique package.”)

Hear, hear!

Oh. And don’t think Julia’s done yet. She’s developed another petition to get Teen Vogue to follow in Seventeen‘s footsteps.

I can’t deny how giddy this makes me. Assuming Seventeen sticks to its word, this will be huge for the self-love movement and for young girls worldwide. However, I’m trying to curb my enthusiasm for fear of being let down later. I mean, if they’re still using Photoshop to smooth away wrinkles, what’s to keep an editor from discreetly splicing an arm or a boob or something?

No matter. For now, we have their word. And furthermore, we have proof that we are actually being heard. 

Great job, Julia! I wish we could all be as strong and badass as you are.

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actually hourglass-shaped.

When I first saw a picture of Romanian model Ioana Spangenberg, I thought to myself, Holy Photoshop, Batman! That has to be the WORST editing job I’ve ever seen!

But uh, I was surprised to find out that this isn’t Photoshop. This is what Ioana actually looks like.

Now, I’m not one to be a policeman and regulate others’ bodies. That’s how I got diagnosed with an eating disorder in the first place and I know how exhausting it can be to defend your natural, God-given appearance. So, I’m really struggling with the fact that Ioana is claiming she is naturally built this way and — on top of that — eats three big meals a day!

I’m having a hard time buying this. Ioana HAS been informed that a head of lettuce does not count as a “big meal” right? I mean, I can see how that could make things confusing for her. All I’m saying is that if I were eating three big heads of lettuce a day, I might look like that, too.

What do you think: do you buy it?

Click here to read more about Ioana and see her, like, walk around and stuff.

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overly photoshopped and blatantly untrue diet advertisements in japan.

Maybe it has something to do with being a naive, ethnocentric American (sorry, I’m a bit patriotic after last night’s politically charged television lineup) but I find myself frequently falling into the trap that says that self-image issues only span our borders and no one else’s. When I get on my soapbox, raise my fists, and go on verbal rampages against “society,” I’m usually referring to American society, because I really don’t know much else. (I mean, I did live in London for almost a year but that doesn’t really hold a candle to the other 25 I’ve lived in the States.)

All that to say, a good friend of mine sent me a link to this article about diet advertisements in Japan. Yes. You heard me right. Diet. Advertisements. In. Japan.

When was the last time you looked at a Japanese woman and was like, “Dang, that girl needs to lose some WEIGHT?”

I don’t know about you, but I honestly have never uttered those words. Maybe I’ve just been uncharacteristically lucky enough to only lay eyes on super thin Japanese people (I mean that in the nicest I hate you for being so naturally small but not really I actually love you and will you please make some babies because all of you are so adorable it’s too much to handle way possible) but I honestly feel as though the Japanese are just, on average, a smaller group of people than we Americans.

Ugh. I keep feeling like Im going to get a slew of, “You’re a big fat racist!” comments. I swear I’m not! I voted for Obama!

Anyway. None of this is the point.

THE POINT IS.

The pictures and numbers in the article. Holy hell.

If you’re like me, and you can’t read Japanese, let me do some translating for you.

The women in these ads (who are, as you can plainly see, the unfortunate victims of some of the most atrocious Photoshopping jobs I’ve ever laid eyes on) have apparently dropped up to 60.7 kilograms (which, if you are doing the math in your head and you’re a bit stumped, is about 133.4 pounds) in 60 days.

SIXTY DAYS? As in, TWO MONTHS? A hundred and thirty pounds in TWO MONTHS?

Does anyone believe this is at ALL possible, least of all HEALTHY?

Somehow, these diet ads are trying to convince their readers (who, by the way, ARE YOUNG GIRLS, of course) that these little women lost the equivalent of a eighth-grade-sized Lindsay in TWO MONTHS? And, furthermore, that they needed to lose that much weight in the first place?

I am speechless. If nothing else, this article proves that the diet industry is deceptive, evil, and (evidently) thinks we’re all just a drooling pile of schmucks who can’t tell the difference between an overly photoshopped toothpick and the normal-sized person she once was. While I thankfully have yet to stumble across an advertisement of this caliber in the states, it still puts me on alert to all other diet ads out there.

Remember what your good pal Lindsay has said about pictures in magazines: 99% of them are Photoshopped. You cannot believe what you see (or even read, in this case.)

Check out the rest of the article and scroll through the mind-blowing pictures here.

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catherine, duchess of photoshoppington.

Okay. So my headline needs work. Whatever — deal with it.

Last weekend, Dan and I went over to our friend Ashley’s  house to hang out. Ashley’s a professional photographer (probably the best I’ve ever seen, by the way, and I don’t say that because she’s my friend — I say it because it’s true!) and we somehow got on the topic of outrageous Photoshop disasters. Then, Ashley pulled up Photoshop on her Macbook showed me just how easy it is to edit and morph images of people to make them look completely different. It blew my mind. I know Photoshop is powerful, but to see it in action is baffling.

If you’ve been paying any attention to the world at all, or have been following my blog for any length of time, you know that 99.9% of the images you see in magazines are Photoshopped. Maybe it’s desensitization to the issue, I don’t know, but I don’t get the urge to blog about each and every image I come across, pointing out all the obvious ways the image is distorted. I’ve just grown to accept that Photoshop isn’t going away and, if anything, it’s becoming more and more widely used. Sigh. I don’t like it, but it’s not like one little blog out there is going to change anything.

But every once in a while, a magazine will go way too far and piss me too far off to not talk about it. Grazia did that for me this week. Check out these magazine covers from Grazia, showing the same exact image of Kate Middleton.

Left: Australian Grazia. Right: British Grazia.

Image source: Jezebel

Grazia! What are you doing? That’s the SAME. EXACT. PHOTO. How did you think no one would notice?

Okay, so seeing these images initially made me angry for the same reason all Photoshopped images make me angry. Someone out there took a picture of another human being and decided she wasn’t thin enough so they just had to edit her waist down to an impossible size. And publish it for millions of people to see.

But then I stopped and thought, Holy crap, this is Princess Kate Middleton on her bloody wedding day. First of all, if I found out that my wedding photographer Photoshopped the pictures of my big day to indicate that I got married without a freaking ribcage, I would punch her. But, that glaring fact aside, do any of you reading this remember the headlines surrounding Kate before her wedding to Prince William?

And so many more.

So. Even after all the hoopla surrounding Kate being too skinny, Grazia evidently thought she still wasn’t skinny enough for the cover of their British magazine.

According to the lovely, smart, talented ladies at HelloGiggles, the folks at Grazia responded to the public’s outrage by saying they “reassure all our readers that we did not purposely make any alteration of the Duchess of Cambridge’s image to make her appear slimmer and we are sorry if this process gave that impression.

Yeah. Okay. That story holds about as much water as Kate Middleton’s non-existent stomach.

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