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The Distortion of Beauty: How Photoshop Is Destroying Our Body Image

It’s become an epidemic. Photoshop, or photo alteration, has become a common tool used to retouch, reshape, and resize models’ bodies. And while we’ve all noticed the problem, its detrimental effects have reached adolescent girls and young adults alike. The trend amongst young girls today involves taking a photo of themselves, modifying their bodies through countless filters, editing tools, and retouch applications, and putting it out on social media. And while this seems to be “normal,” the toll it is taking has become widely destructive.

While most people condemn the use of Photoshop in the media, countless fashion magazines and websites continue to use it on their models, creating a highly unrealistic beauty standard many girls are so desperate to live up to. The unfortunate part is that most of these Photoshopping jobs are anatomically impossible. Recently, Target was scrutinized for their failed attempt at creating a “thigh gap” and “skinny arm” on one of their teenaged swimsuit models. The photo is appalling. Not only does the botched job look so unrealistic that it’s a wonder how anyone let it be published, but it proves how ridiculous our standards of beauty have become.

Wow – how ridiculous!

It’s true that many of the models in magazines are naturally beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with a beautiful, confident woman doing her job. What’s crazy is the extreme lengths editors go to retouch every little imperfection on her body.

People we look up to, like Faith Hill, are normally heavily photoshopped!

The sad part of the issue is how much of an effect it has on girls everywhere. When girls, including myself, see this, it sends a painfully harmful message. Women begin to compare their bodies to the unattainable ones these models appear to have. Many of us go as far to use photo-editing applications to retouch our “Instagrams” and Facebook photos. I know whenever I do this, I feel extremely ashamed afterwards! Like my body isn’t what it’s supposed to be. This is not okay for women to feel!

It is important for us to remember that magazines make money from their advertisements, and Photoshop is one of the ways they do it. It’s also important for us to look in the mirror and recognize all of the beautiful attributes we have, without comparing ourselves to the women in magazines or other girls we know.

So celebrate your beautiful selves, Collegiettes!

Sources: 1, 2, 3

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