I’d Prefer Unretouched Photos Of Women

Retouched Ralph Lauren Photo The image to your left has spurred yet another debate about touching up photos of women.

In recent years an ongoing debate has brewed over advertisers and fashion magazines using photographs, particularly photographs of women, that have seemingly been altered, or “retouched,” by airbrushing and photo editing software such as Photoshop. The latest such image to cause an uproar is one featured in a new Ralph Lauren advertisement that shows a model, Filippa Hamilton, so emaciated that her waist actually appears to be smaller than her head.

…On September 29th, Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin posted the ad, which originally appeared on a blog dedicated to pointing out suspected retouched images called Photoshop Disasters, with the comment, “Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis.” Ralph Lauren responded by filing a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint against Boing Boing and Photoshop Disasters, claiming that their use of the image was a copyright infringement that fell outside of the Fair Use laws which allow the media to reproduce creative content for the purposes of commentary and criticism.

…Another website to garner attention for its dedication to exposing photo retouching offenses is Jezebel.com. Speaking on the subject of retouching, Jezebel editor-in-chief Anna Holmes told Yahoo!, “I don’t see any point in retouching anymore … The cat’s out of the bag.” She added, “I think Americans in particular are sick of having the wool pulled over their eyes … even if it’s regarding fashion models and actresses. The more they do this sort of retouching — and then try to justify it, as the editor of SELF magazine recently did — the less anyone believes anything else they have to say, or show. They are, in a sense, digging their own (shallow) graves.”

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Retouching has been taken to such an extent that it’s unhealthy for our society. This kind of retouching gives men an unrealistic standard of what to expect from a woman even as it gives women, who care a great deal about their looks, an impossible standard of perfection that they’re expected to work towards.

It’s one thing to correct red eye or edit out a pimple, but what does it say about us that we have to take the most beautiful women on earth and photoshop them to make them presentable for a magazine cover? Very little good, I think.

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