“Real” photography

In today’s world, there is definitely a pressure to look nice in pictures.  My dad would argue that we should dress to impress but I’m a firm believer in doing, and wearing, what I want so I’ll stick to t-shirts and shorts for as long as possible.

Whenever I do look nice, I want pictures for a few reasons: I need evidence that I can clean up, it’s nice to have proof that I have friends and finally, I need to Instagram (don’t judge).

Instagram has built-in filters that users can put on their pictures and many, including myself, try to pick the perfect filter so that your picture is perfect.  This seems like nothing compared to what some people go through to make sure their pictures are perfect.

Some celebrities are guilty of heavily editing their pictures to make their skin smoother, their waists narrower or their hips smaller.  I don’t mind seeing Kim K making her waist tiny for her Instagram, but I expect more from companies than I do from individuals because I trust companies, including news sources and magazines, to give me the truth.  It’s been proved time and time again that my trust is misplaced when photos are heavily edited, manipulated or completely fake.  We believe what we see, so I place an extra importance on images being as close to reality as possible, or it skews how we interpret the truth.

Target is an example of a company I expected more from.  The company had a scandal involving poorly photoshopped model wearing swimwear.


If you aren’t noticing anything wrong with the picture, look in the nether regions of the picture.  I’ll leave it at that.

Rolling Stone made significant changes to Katy Perry’s body for the magazine cover.  The same happened for Jennifer Lawrence on the cover of Flare Magazine.  See the differences below on how different the before and after images are for both women.



I think both of those women are beautiful without any photoshopping, but that’s beside the point.  The fact that images are so heavily altered sheds light on the fact that there seems to be a shortage of “real” images in the media.

Aerie, American Eagle’s intimates company, took a stand against heavily edited images by launching a no retouching campaign called “Aerie Real.”  This is what the company had to say about its change:



Aerie did more than only refusing to photoshop its models, but it offered customers the option of shopping for bras by size meaning they could look at models that are like them.  This campaign was praised by AdWeek and quite honestly, I think the praise is well deserved.

Dove has done something similar with its Real Beauty Campaign which gives me hope that one day, we’ll actually see “real” images in the media.  A picture is worth a thousand words and I’d prefer that all of those words weren’t lying to me saying the model looks one way when they actually look another.

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