"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Photoshop: Behind the Scenes

One of my students dug up this video a couple of quarters back and showed it to class, and it's too good not to share here. If you ever need to demonstrate to skeptics just how out of control the retouching industry is, this pairs nicely with the Dove "Evolution of a Model" video and the Impossibly Beautiful series at Shakesville.


Unapologetically Mundane said...

Is it bad that the most important thing I took from this was a better understanding of the Photoshop liquefy function?

That nutritionist is right, though. Even though I KNOW everything is Photoshopped, I still can't convince myself that's not how I'm supposed to look.

Bachelor Girl said...

You know, it's funny: I am pretty highly trained in Photoshop. I have learned to do everything that editor demonstrated in the video. And yet I have a hard time remembering, when I look at magazine covers, that those images are HIGHLY edited. So just imagine what some 13-year-old thinks. It's very, very sad and extremely unhealthy.

For the record, when I edit photos, I take out big blemishes, emphasize the eyes and occasionally take out a lump or bump that becomes prominent due to the way someone's sitting. Every once in a while, I'll whiten the teeth a few shades. But that's IT. I think it's dishonest to manipulate images any further than that.

Tracey said...

You know, the conversations I got to have with students about Photoshopping were always very interesting to me, because I always felt myself reminding them that the issue is more complicated than we think. I often have students who are so outraged by this that they think retouching should be banned. But where do we draw the line? Should we allow editors to fix lighting and color? How about red-eye? And then there are all of the art-philosophical questions such as "Do photos really represent reality, anyway? SHOULD they? What about artistic manipulation?" Don't get m wrong, I totally think it's political when all of the changes lean toward bringing images into line with hegemonic western beauty standards, but trying to regulate it would be incredibly sticky.

Anonymous said...

I agree with UM exactly. I KNOW it's being done, but I still subconsciously admire and envy that person on the page and compare myself to them.