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The Issue Remains

February 2, 2010

While various news organizations and fashion magazines discussed the Demi Moore Photoshop controversy, Newsweek put in its two cents as well. Contrastingly though, instead of focusing on solely the recent Demi Moore issue, its article commented on various photoshopped photos throughout this past decade. From superstar Beyonce to tennis player Andy Roddick, it seems like no photo represents reality. Even the Dove campaign, which aims to promote “real beauty,” ironically retouched the photo of the curvy women to make the appear “real” but attractive.  Now that just seems like a step backward.

But the Dove model retouching further proves that these photo alterations are intended to sell a product, lifestyle, and image. Although the Dove models were not photoshopped to match today’s beauty standard, the alterations were still designed to reiterate that Dove believes all body types can be beautiful and promote the Dove campaign. Still, despite this common advertising technique, there are those who feel photoshopping is detrimental to female’s health and body image. France’s Parliament is even going as far as pushing for a law forcing all retouched images to have a notice indicating that the photograph has been altered. Just as some diet ads include warnings, these altered photographs would as well.

Personally, I believe this is a fair compromise. Enhancing photos has been so embedded in the fashion and advertisment industry that it would be next to impossible to ban the practice entirely.  The law still acknowledges that retouched images are an advertisement strategy, but assures that the consumers are aware as well.  Such a notice would recognize that another person (besides the photographer and subject) contributed to the final product, thus giving credit where credit is due. Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for his hard work?

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