20 July 2007

Absolute (Photoshopping) Power Corrupts Absolutely

I have mixed feelings about what I'm about to say, because it's hypocritical. I've totally Photoshopped pictures of people, and I have totally Photoshopped pictures of myself.

To fix stray hairs or bad lighting is one thing. But when you make people look skinnier than they are, that's a little messed up. But when you're a celebrity that people idealize, I think it's really extra messed up.

I posted last year about Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty and how much I loved how it took a clear-eyed look at how wrong-headed our cultural ideals could be.

Now Dusty just sent me this article on Faith Hill's retouching for a magazine cover. And I mean, seriously. If Faith Hill needs to be made prettier and skinnier in order to meet our ideals, doesn't that show how screwed up they are?



Edited to add: Yes, they are two different shots. But if you look the pattern of the dress, you can tell that she barely moved between the two pictures. And you can tell by comparing them that she's been Photoshopped to death. Her arm is much thinner, her shoulder and back have been taken in, her collarbone is lightened, the bridge of her nose and under her eyes have been fixed up, her hair has been poofed up, her left thigh has been taken in, and so has her waist. It's not hard. I could Faith Hill your ass so fast your head would spin. (...If that makes sense.)

Edited again to add: Playing with this old photo took me about 15 minutes. Unretouched, I look dubious, tired, and shiny. Retouched, I look like a teenage drag queen in a bad wig. So it's not exactly an improvement, and I'd never actually want it. But it shows how different you can make somebody look without much effort.

Edited again again to add: I don't know why but pictures of me here creep me out. So I took them down.

7 comments:

Matthew said...

Those are different pictures.
Look at her ass (yeah, look at it...no wait seriously) it's at a different angle. FAKE!!!!!

Karen said...

I think Faith would be better served by better posture and a dress that didn't make her look like she has backfat than by the photoshopping.

These might be different pics but I still think the cover photo might be photoshopped because her shoulders look freakishly thin.

Tracy said...

And yet, her collar bone was removed.

Plus, I disagree with Karen. That is not back fat. That is a body. Complete with flesh.

Matthew said...

That isn't you.
FAKE!!!!!

Matthew said...

Anyway, what are you trying to say, that SOMETIMES PHOTOS AREN'T REAL???? Next thing you'll say is that the internet isn't 100% true.

But what if the magazine cover is real, and the OTHER PHOTO IS DOCTORED?!?!??? -cue dramatic music-

Anonymous said...

Ack! I missed your photos, Sarah! Email me them so I can see your photoshop genius in action!!!

--megan

Sarah said...

@Megan - Pics are up on my Flickr, and I left them public cos I wasn't sure if you were on Flickr as one of my "friend" contacts.