Whether we realize it or not, everyone experiences the effects of digital manipulation. It is everywhere we look. It’s in our social media, the billboards we pass on the interstate, as well as the movies we watch in our free time. It is everywhere. One of the consequences of these distortions is that we lose perception of what we see as real. We look at celebrities on magazine covers and immediately envy them, without paying attention to how their bodies do not actually look like that. Yet we strive to be like them anyway. But then we are outraged when learning how they are edited to perfection.
Interestingly enough, it turns out that celebrities are furious about it too.
Numerous celebrities are speaking out for showcasing natural beauty, but are their efforts really making a difference? What results are coming from their stand that “real” beauty surpasses this faux reality? Can their mission end this craze of extreme digital enhancement?
First, let’s take a look at some of the individuals that are apart of this fast-growing movement. Superstars such as Beyonce and Lorde are showcasing their natural beauty and encouraging their fans to do the same. Lorde even posted an Instagram of her laying in bed with acne cream on! Actresses such as Kiera Knightly, Kate Winslet, and Ashley Benson are also flaunting their natural beauty.Jamie Lee Curtis even posed nude at the age of fifty to show that women of all ages are beautiful!
This movement is not being adopted by just women. Men are also speaking out against the pressure they feel about this issue as well. Brad Pitt, who is usually the cause of some swoons, deliberately hired a photographer known for his detailed work to shoot his cover of W Magazine. He refused any photoshopping because he wanted to show the world his real appearance.
Musicians have even began to write songs about appreciating real beauty. Some of these songs reflect the sassy attitude like Meghan Trainor’s “All About that Bass,” while some take a more serious approach like “Try” by Colbie Caillat. Even though these are two different approaches to the same topic, they both emphasize the beauty and perfection of each individual.
Companies are launching campaigns to build off of the work these individuals are doing. Dove’s Real Beauty campaign is striving to broaden the definition of beautiful. They look at every body type and declare that it is beautiful. Darling Magazine also features a Real Not Retouched movement and they feature no photoshopped models in their magazine. Online fashion store ModCloth was the first retailer to pledge to not photoshop their models in their advertisements. These are a few simple examples of the countless brands that are a part of changing the way our society views beauty standards.
But what about those celebrities and companies that continue to allow these outrageous Photoshopping acts? And how did we even find ourselves at this point? How has this issue even escalated to this large of a problem?
The fact that this excessive photoshopping is still an issue is cause for concern, but I do believe that we have the power to change how our culture sees beauty. As more and more celebrities and companies are adopting these ideas, I predict that that will become the standard for advertising over time. Extreme photo manipulation did not appear overnight, so it will not disappear overnight, but like every aspect of life, it is a process. In our society, I have seen a rise in celebrating uniqueness, which I think is absolutely beautiful. Culture shifts occur in every society, and I believe that the elimination of extreme photoshopping is one of the next steps for us.