Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Samantha Schilder

"When I grow up I want to look just like her." Through social media, magazines, advertising and the beauty of photography our perception of beauty has changed. We are surrounded in a world where we are just not good enough, our natural beauty is con-caved by the perfection in photography. Caught in the generation of photo shop and filters, perfection is simply something that technology creates. Before we stare at the cover of the next Vogue magazine and beat ourselves up for not looking "picture perfect" lets stop and think about the world of photo shop.

In spring 2014 Aeire brand released Intimate collection; Aeire Real. Aerie announced that the ads are "challenging supermodel standards by featuring unretouched models in their latest collection of bras, undies and apparel." The slogan "The real you is sexy" is refreshing to see in a world of "no" stretch marks, cellulite or wrinkles in sight. Aerie believes there is no reason for retouching because the real you is beautiful.

Photo shopping scandals are a wide spread problem along all media outlets. The standards for photo journalist intertwines with one of the most important qualities for a journalist: accuracy and trust. Seeking the truth in written articles is just as important as believing what you are seeing. In an effort to create a realistic image the Aeire Real campaign goes beyond the untouched photos, it shows trust in their brand. The target market for Aeire is young women who have grown up in a world of plastic surgery and snap chat filters. Seeing their peers strip down and bare their flaws is empowering to the life they live, they feel trust to embrace their own beauty instead of striving to be something that is unattainable. Times of Marilyn Monroe curves are in the past, the pressure to be supermodel skinny is one reason for lack of confidence found in women today.

As discussed in the article Distorted Picture, John Long, chairman of the ethics and standards committee of the National Press Photographers Association says "The public is losing faith in us. Without credibility, we have nothing; we cannot survive." The lack of credibility found in photojournalist today is due to the easy access of photo shop. Photo shopping has gone beyond the beauty of supermodels and cover photos on magazines, the usage has grown to editing newsworthy photos.

Through the use of photography and journalism, I can't help but think back to my middle school days of reading. Just out of elementary, stuck on books filled with pictures, I trusted those books they gave me a visual image and concept of reality. On to middle school and they hand me books filled with words on words, no images, nothing to grow with besides my own creativity. We can read tweets, blogs, articles, news papers, but we don't trust it until we see that picture. Today as a Junior in college, my comprehension depends on photographs.

 "A picture is worth a thousand words." So next time you pull up your photo shop app, think to yourself; Would you write a thousand words of false information?


  1. Now almost every photo is photoshopped. Celebrities even photoshop their Instagram photos. But I agree, people are done with it, especially women. Photoshopped images are losing credibility. I remember when that Aerie campaign was launched and it was such a big deal, which is crazy because that's the way it's supposed to be! Still so many businesses use photoshop and I hope that changes and we can instead respect natural beauty!