In nytimes.com I came across an opinion video directed by Jesse Epstein which seeks to understand “why magazines should let readers know if images have been retouched.” It is titled Sex, Lies and Photoshop.
It starts by explaining a bill in France which is trying to pass that would force magazines to list the touch-ups that have been done on every photo. Later the video explores the negative effects these images have on people.
For something that is only 4 and a half minutes long, I was struck by seeing just how in depth the photo shopping is. In the video, people who work for fashion magazines explain the process of how they select body parts from different models to create one photo, how freckles can be filled in to seem more “even,” how they avoid touching up the eyes as that is something people can spot quickly, how to make legs look longer, how to make female bodies less athletic, etc. The director asks, “If the models themselves can’t even measure up to their own images… what does this mean?”
I ask, Why do we have impossible beauty standards? Why do we feel pressure to fit them? Is there a way for us to have alternatives to the constant bombardment of… beauty avatars?