Tag Archives: Photoshop

getting real on instagram.

Jennifer Lawrence has been known to speak out against the way the media attacks women’s self esteems. She’s a body image/self-love warrior if I’ve ever seen one.

Over the past couple weeks, though, a GIF showing a recent picture of her and its dastardly photoshopping has begun floating around the internet. When I saw it, naturally, I was livid. (Click here to check it out and to likely get mad, too.)

A couple days ago, when Dan, Dax, and I were on our way to meet our friend Zach for a family photo shoot, another friend of mine texted me about the Jennifer Lawrence thing. I told her I’d seen it already and that OMG HOW COULD THEY DO THAT TO HER, UGH. 

Mere minutes after that text, I posted a picture of myself to Instagram expressing my concern over my hair. (I’d used a volumizing shampoo that morning and it was dreadfully humid outside and so my hair was quite huge.) Here’s the photo I posted:

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I got lots of comments along the lines of, “ZOMG U R SO PRETTY”, to which I sheepishly replied, “Awww thanks guys!” And my self-consciousness faded away more and more with each new LIKE and praise-worthy comment.

But about an hour later, I got really convicted. You see, I am no different than the magazine that photoshopped Jennifer Lawrence.

That photo I posted to Instagram is a picture of a very pretty girl, for sure. But I am not that girl. I WISH I was as pretty as that girl. But that girl on Instagram is covered in makeup and filters. She, like the Jennifer Lawrence-imposter on the cover of that zine, is not real. It’s not enough to compare myself to fake women who aren’t supposed to look like me; now, I’m comparing myself to fake images that really are supposed to look like me.

It’s making me feel all kinds of weird.

I’m about to do something really ballsy. I’m about to post a picture to the internet of me without any makeup or filters. Want to see the real me? Here she is.

gross

 

See? Way different.

I’m not sure why my face looks like it’s been through puberty five times in the past month. It could have something to do with being pregnant and then miscarrying, all while still nursing a toddler, but really, the reason behind it doesn’t matter because it’s so bad and I want to hide under Instagram filters forever so who cares.

As if Instagram isn’t bad enough, there are actual apps you can download for your smart phone so that you can actually photoshop photos of yourself before you post them to Facebook or Instagram. So you can make sure you look extra perfect before choosing which filter you can put on your photo to make you look even more perfect.

Instagram is, no doubt, the egg to the photoshop chicken, so how can I, in good faith, use it to perpetuate the problem and claim to be a champion for self-worth?

I love using Instagram to keep up with my friends (especially those who live far away and have babies who, for some reason, keep growing despite my distinct instructions for them not to do so) but I hate the way it makes me feel like I have to have a perfect photo before posting it. Furthermore, I hate comparing my pimply face to perfect pictures other people post of themselves. It’s not fair to my spirit and it does nothing to fight against the media’s insistence that images can only be published once they’ve been doctored to unattainable standards.

So I’m taking a pledge — rather than quitting using Instagram (because I love it) from here on out, anytime I post a photo of myself or any other person to Instagram, I will not use a filter. I can’t promise I won’t be wearing makeup because holy acne you guys I want to claw my face off but I will forego the filters.

Get ready for a slew of pimply selfies, y’all. It’s about to get real.

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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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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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