Pixelated political pulchitrude

by Ron Coleman | January 20, 2008 12:08 pm

If only it were this easy:[1]

A mailer from a congressional candidate’s campaign contains a photo of his head attached to an image of a different body that makes him look thinner.

The photo is presented as a true image of Dean Hrbacek, a Republican former mayor of Sugar Land. In reality, it is a computerized composite of Hrbacek’s face and someone else’s slimmer figure, in suit and tie, from neck to knee.

Yes, it is dishonest, especially in a society where we not only prefer to have pretty people around us than un-pretty ones (has there ever been a different kind of society?) but one where we make pretty firm affirmative moral judgments[2] about people based on their weight.

Is it more dishonest than wearing a hairpiece? I’d say so, yes. The hairpiece, like any cosmetic appliance, changes how you really look. So does getting a tummy tuck; if Hrbacek had done that, he’d be a slimmer guy. But playing with pictures is a tad more of an acute angle on that slippery slope.

Cross-posted, along with completely self-indulgent additional material[3] on this topic, at Likelihood of Success[4].

  1. If only it were this easy:: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080119/ap_on_fe_st/odd_candidate_doctored_photo
  2. we make pretty firm affirmative moral judgments: http://likelihoodofsuccess.com/2008/01/01/just-too-fat/
  3. completely self-indulgent additional material: http://likelihoodofsuccess.com/2008/01/20/the-photoshop-diet/#more-862
  4. Likelihood of Success: http://likelihoodofsuccess.com

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