One word: Photoshop.
It seems obvious. And yet, not. My brother is one of the best digital manipulators that I’ve ever met – he has made me bald, blonde, fat, and thin on a whim. Any hairsyle I’ve ever dreamed has been impressed upon my digital face before I can say “layers”. In short, I’ve always been aware of the wonders of photoshop, or similar.
However, despite my early (and consequent lifelong) introduction to the world of digital mastery, I don’t think I truly understood photoshop until recently. Let’s be honest, it’s EVERYWHERE. Every sepia-drenched family photo I lust over on Pinterest has been modified, every landscape, every portrait, every gorgeously over-exaggerated fashion shoot I guiltily pour over in Vogue. Everything is not as it seems, and it’s not fair.
Let’s face it, the girl above is gorgeous before the editing. But magazine editors and readers have decided that she’s not gorgeous in the right way. It took me a long time to figure it out. I’m twenty six years old, closer to twenty seven (which is suspiciously close to thirty), and I only learned to do my make up properly a few years ago. I’ve started scrutinizing every photo, checking and re-checking every outfit, determined to look perfect. I wondered how they did it, these girls in the magazines. It started to depress me that no matter how hard I tried I never looked like anyone other than myself.
But the truth is obvious: photoshop reigns supreme. The online campaign has been long lasting, and is growing by the day. But, truthfully, it’s never going to stop. It seems that in a world of special effects, lighting, and photo-manipulation, nothing is real or truthful. It’s owning up to the fact that everything we’re sold is a lie that takes the most honesty.
At least, that’s my opinion.