Photoshop, that is. We all have access to tools that will “Photoshop” us in one way or another, whether it’s the SkinnyCam App, one of the many make up apps like Makeup Genius or Perfect365 that promises a makeover, or actually Photoshop itself.
Bloggers who Photoshop: Yes, I’m one of them.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve Photoshopped some of my images. I fix them when the exposure is too low, or when there’s a stray hair in my face, a dog hair on a close up shot of a sweater, and I’ll brighten my face up using the Dodge tool. I’m no pro photographer; sometimes the shots out of the camera need some help.
What I don’t do, however, is try to knock a few sizes off my body. I’ve smoothed out odd wrinkles (see the photo above; those damn wrinkles drove me insane!) but I don’t alter my size because I think that it’s important for you to see how clothes look on my actual body. Why would I want to share an outfit with you that I had Photoshopped myself into? If you are built like I am and go buy whatever I am wearing, I’ve just lied to you. You’re going to be bummed when you get home and that top doesn’t look right. Nobody’s got time for that.
When I saw this Instagram account, it really shocked me. The extremes that these women go to is insane. And what is most mind boggling to me is that they must go out in public! People are going to see what you actually look like. Most of all, WHO CARES? So what you’re not a size 00? That’s okay. In fact, I think it’s great.
We all can’t be a 00 or 0. Just like some of those 00/0s can’t be a 4, 6, or 8, yet want to be. It’s not always a choice, but I think it’s important to own your size for whatever it is. If you’re unhappy about it, do the best things you can for your body – eat good food, get exercise, and be happy you are you.
Sure, sometimes I get bummed after trying something on that didn’t look how it did on the model… but I’ve got a bust and a butt that isn’t always represented by said models. And I’m only human. I don’t love how I look every day. I get zits. Sometimes my hair looks greasy, even after I’ve washed it. Sometimes I feel bloated and blah. But if I Photoshopped every one of my photos to make myself look thinner and denied it… what kind of message am I sending?
To those bloggers with thousands of followers who use Photoshop to wittle their body down to a smaller size, just give it up already. You’re sending the wrong message to your “followers” and you’re not fooling anyone.
Do you Photoshop your images? What do you think about bloggers who do?
And speaking of feeling good about yourself and getting real, how about you come link up with Sarah and I on Monday, December 29th? We’re going to be sharing what we accomplished in 2014 before we look ahead to the New Year!
If you need inspiration, think about these questions:
– How did your new years resolution pan out?
– Did you hit any big life milestones this year?
– How are you doing on your 101 in 1001 list? (if you have one!)
– Did you set a reading goal for yourself, did you complete it?
– In what positive ways have you grown from the person you were a year ago?
And Im here staring at your pic to see what is photoshopped about it. haha I dont use photoshop or those apps (never heard of some of em) but I do use picmonkey and will adjust exposure and change the effects etc. I dont even know how to move a stray hair so I wont try. It is what it is.
I LOVE this post! I completely agree! I never make myself look thinner in any of my photos. The most I do is whiten my teeth and attempt to get rid of the dark circles/bags under my eyes a little. haha!!
This is such a great post, Jenn! I photoshop but I’m certainly not good enough at it to be able to make myself look thinner. Mostly I fix lighting, exposure, etc. I think it’s so unfortunate that we as a society have prized being over-thin so much that even normal sized women are unhappy with their bodies. I admit that a lot of the time I’m unhappy with the way I look, but I know that I also have unrealistic expectations. I worry so much that one day I might have a daughter who feels about her body the way I feel about mine, even when she’s beautiful. It starts with people like you and me showing ourselves as we are and being proud. You are beautiful!
I love this post-I completely agree! Photoshop can be a good thing to get rid of minor things, but not to completely alter appearance. I rarely use it on myself-just to fix exposure and saturation in my travel photos. Aww, I wish I could participate in your linkup. What a fun prompt! I’m going to be on a cruise though so I’m missing all the fun end of the year stuff.
This is a super interesting topic and one that I think it’s important bloggers discuss. I absolutely Photoshop my images, but 99% of it is for lighting, filters, etc. and not to cover up some perceived flaw.
What I do photoshop in that department is some of my acne scars. I’m EXTREMELY self conscious about them, but you can only see them in certain lights and at certain angles. The truth is, others probably wouldn’t really notice. The way I justify it to myself is that it’s not much different from make-up (which is a whole ‘nother topic we could dedicate a dozen blog posts too). Maybe if I were a better person, I wouldn’t feel the need to do it, but for my own self-esteem, I do.
I don’t see anything wrong with photoshopping scars. Most scars will fade, and like you said, are easily covered with makeup and really don’t change your appearance much. Definitely quite a bit different than some of the fashion bloggers who are altering their body shape completely!
I definitely adjust exposure in PicMonkey or with an app on my phone, but as for cleaning up things on my own person, I don’t have the patience for it. I also don’t want to misrepresent myself.
Ha, yeah, I get that. I use Photoshop nearly every day for work anyways, so editing photos doesn’t take very much time for me at all. I definitely hope I don’t misrepresent myself in any of my photos!
I agree with Steph ^^ I make pictures lighter on PicMonkey if they’re too dark. Anything else is beyond my skill level. I looooove that instagram, just like youdidnoteatthat. They’re hilarious and the people they feature, well, someone ought to be straight with them! I don’t think I’d recognize any of them in person because they photoshop SO MUCH. So I’m not a size 2. (or 4 or 6.) Whatever, I like taco bell.
The wrinkle smoothing thing is cool though, it looks good!
I love youdidnoteatthat too! (And GOMI’s bad fashion photo thread. There’s a lot of awkward photos and Photoshopping fails there too.) And I’m with you, Taco Bell is too tasty to give up. ;)
This makes me sad. (not your photoshopping!) Firstly, the fact that women are doing this to themselves makes me sad. I’ve always adamantly disagreed with the way the media and major publications alter fashion photos. I think it sets a bad and dangerous example for not only young women, but older women too. Secondly, it breaks my heart that so many women fall for it by thinking they need to go to these lengths to appear a certain way.
That being said, ironing out some wrinkles or removing a monster zit from an otherwise fab photo is something I think is totally normal. There are extremes to everything though.
Interesting post Jenn!
Thanks V! It makes me sad too. I feel sad for the bloggers who feel they NEED to do this for whatever reason, and that our media perpetuates it by the way in which Photoshop and other tools are used in the fashion industry.
I’m right there with ya girl. I do alter my photos but for the same reasons you said, wrinkles, low exposure, etc. I am the size I am and I won’t hide that from the internet. Of course that’s not to say I won’t choose to show the photos I find most flattering but hey I’m only human haha
Haha, of course! We all take less than flattering photos sometimes… I mean, some of my outfit shots are pretty darn terrifying. :P
I’m the same as you when it comes to “shopping” pictures. I mess with lighting and saturation and maybe even a blemish or wrinkles, but NEVER my size. I’m a larger and curvy girl and I’m not ashamed of my size.
I’m glad you share my sentiments, Amanda! I sure hope some of these bloggers realize that no one would think any less of them if they didn’t Photoshop themselves to look different. :(
Downsizing? Wow, I thought that was just something magazines did, not bloggers!
I use filters on my photos, but I don’t mess with anything else. I mean, I’m uncomfortable with my size, but I certainly wouldn’t photoshop my images to make me look the size I want to be. That’s what hard work and dedication is for! X
I know right? I hadn’t realized it was such a big thing until I saw that new Instagram acocount. It seems like so much extra work to live a lie in photographs for your blog!
The only thing I noticed that changed in the before and after photos are the wrinkles on your shirt. Other than those, I don’t know what else was edited in the photo. I do use Photoshop, but not to the extent of changing the images altogether. The only time I use it for “beautification” is when I need to remove some blemishes such as acne scars on the face (just like what Cat mentioned). Text overlays on my photos are done here or with Illustrator. That’s just about it.
The only other thing I really did was brighten up my face using the Dodge tool. I find it’s really helpful in brightening up darker areas like around the eyes and nose areas, especially when lighting is harsh on one side of the face.
I’ve also removed a blemish or two, I figure they’re temporary and no one needs to see that ;)
The number of bloggers who photoshop (and photoshop badly!) is insane….I have edited my pics once or twice as if they are too dark I try to brighten them up, but other than cropping them I don’t touch them. I figure if someone wants to see a flawless model in a perfectly styled crease-free outfit they can go pick up a magazine, haha!
Much better to be real – saves time and effort fiddling around on photoshop. Like you said, if you photoshop yourself to look smaller or different…what do you do if someone sees you in real life? Makes no sense to me.
Haha, great point – I agree, flawless models are for magazines or editorial shoots. If the wrinkles didn’t bug me so much on a personal level, I wouldn’t have bothered. ;)
Honestly, it took me a good three minutes to even figure out what you had photoshopped, Jenn! I usually don’t ‘shop at all, only because I never give myself enough time to go through everything and do so! But a little de-wrinkling never hurt nobody. You’re right though…people who take off parts of their body and then try to sell the clothes they’re wearing in the process are doing a disservice to their readers! But also to themselves – they’re beautiful just the way they are, and they’re not giving themselves that credit by appearing differently to the world!
I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence, I feel sad that people believe they need to alter their apperance. Many of them look better without the alterations anyways! :)
Every single one of the photos on my blog is photo shopped, but never to alter my appearance. I shoot in RAW so there’s a lot of lighting, saturation, and contrast editing.
When I started using Photoshop I made a point not to learn the techniques used to make a person look thinner, because I know my own insecurities and I know I’d be tempted. Starting to do style photos and actually loving the way I look in them (knowing I haven’t made myself look smaller) has been really great for my self image.
Agreed about self image improving with taking photos! It’s funny, I’d always heard the old adage about the camera “adding 10 pounds” but I’ve never felt like the camera makes me look any different. If anything, I find it’s more forgiving than I am to myself. I also shoot RAW, and do all my post-process in Photoshop. ;)
It took me about 20 seconds of staring at that photo to even notice the difference. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with the editing a photo to improve the overall quality. I mean, I use an app on my phone to brighten almost every picture of one of my dogs because her face is very dark, but her body is very light. So, she ends up with a black hole face. It just makes the picture clearer.
Taking out the wrinkles is actually kind of brilliant. I would never called that deceptive.
I completely agree with your assessment about photoshopping yourself to make yourself look smaller. Not only does it reinforce poor body images, it is a sad symptom of the poor body image that those bloggers have. It would be nice if they all had someone sensible in their lives to tell them that they are fine the way they are and that being healthy is better than being small. One of the reasons I love your blog is that you are a real person who wears real clothes. You enjoy fashion, dogs, and reading. Being a multifaceted and interesting person is more important than clothing sizes!
Haha, well I’m glad it’s not very noticeable! Sometimes outdoor lighting isn’t the most flattering, and so I usually will go in and brighten certain spots of my face, and sometimes will brighten up shadows on Rigby’s face in certain shots too.
Thanks Sarah! I agree, I like reading and following bloggers who are similar to me – have similar interests and similar enough body types that I can imagine their outfits on myself!
I’m so glad that you made a post about this because so many bloggers use photoshop the wrong way. Isn’t it enough that we have magazines lying to us about the way people should look. The way you used it in your example photo is the PERFECT way to use photoshop: so little, that it’s not even noticeable that you altered it.
Thanks Ruya! I totally agree – the thing I love about reading blogs is that it’s realisitc, unlike editorial photoshoots in fashion magazines!
I use photoshop all of the time, just because I want to present an image of myself that fully represents me. I have removed blemishes, wrinkles, or the occasional shirt stain, but I’ve never felt the need to make myself look skinnier–my curves aren’t going anywhere. I’ve seen Photoshopped being overused or used in a way that just makes me cringe, and I wish that people didn’t feel the pressure to edit their pictures in that way.
That linkup totally sounds like a great idea, I’ll be participating!
Totally agreed – nothing wrong with removing a few minor things that affect an outfit or photo, but changing the way your body looks just seems crazy to me! Glad you’re linking up with us too! :)
I’ve been reading about the photoshopping debate for a while now with quite some interest. I’m mostly in the same boat as you – I think small touch ups that just bring further integrity and aesthetic appeal to the picture are okay because that’s in the root of photography. It takes away from my appeal of looking at clothes when they’re so overly shopped that your legs are see through. The fact that these are the BIG name bloggers with thousands of fans and it just goes on without being acknowledged. It makes me sad that they’re the ones getting opportunities when it’s completely disingenuous. Plus I know one of those bloggers who has gotten caught with multiple big screw ups on that Instagram has mainly teenage and pre-teen fans that comment on her photos daily “I want to be as skinny as you!” or “You make me feel fat with how beautiful you are!” and it’s all fake and it just makes me sad.
That’s exactly what gets me upset, all the young, impressionable girls who idolize these people who basically lie about it. It’s disingenuous and it’s sending a terrible message to their fans!