Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Plausible Reality

Namisha Rakheja

When you look at an inhumane body type on an unreasonably attractive celebrity on the cover of the most popular magazine, what's one of the first questions that come to mind?

Is it, "Why don't I look like that?"?

Before you even begin to speculate and blame Photoshop, you blame yourself for not matching up to the unrealistic body type/face that society perceives to be beautiful.

Photoshop has created such expectations from normal people to conform and resemble like the celebrities everyone looks up to.  "Who Can Improve on Nature? Magazine Editors" an article published by Christine Haughney on the New York Times highlights key issues when it comes to ethics and journalism.

Naturally the reader has been conditioned to realize that this isn't exactly what the celebrity looks like "but an image that's a heightened version of the truth" (Haughney). This realization accustoms readers to feel as if the natural way they look isn't appreciated.

Author, speaker and filmmaker Jean Kilbourne created a film titled "Killing Us Softly" in which she highlights and exposes the advertising industry in their alteration of women.

Kilbourne believes that advertising makes women feel as if their looks, sexuality and domesticity is what qualifies them. Advertising emphasis on an image that is impossible for anybody to obtain because it is photoshopped. She also details how important photo's are to the viewer. It controls how we see everything.

Source: Google

Both images displayed above have the same model in it, and no she did not gain weight for the picture on the right. Famous model Flippa Hamilton's shoot for Ralph Lauren caused major controversy. The editors of this advertisement shaved 50 pounds (fifty!!) off of an already slim model. This is the exact deception Kilbourne rants about. What kind of example are you setting for young teenage women who look at this advertisement and see an unhealthy model that their supposed to admire. Photoshop let alone just advertisements can change how the world views anything.

Our understanding, our curiosity, our world depends on photos. We read and comprehend information but process and believe it better when a picture is involved. Photojournalism is tricky because as a journalist, you want to publish that photoshopped picture of Beyonce to match her interview but is it right to make her butt larger, to mislead the audience, than it should be?

Something so powerful should not be altered to deceive its viewer. Credibility is everything to a journalist. What good is your work if no one believes you? When you have something so powerful as state of the art technology, you can't abuse the power. You, ethically, should use it for good not evil.

Similarly, Sherry Ricchiardi author of article "Distorted Picture" contends that this is truly an art, "skilled operators truly are like magicians, except they use tools like Photoshop, the leading digital imaging software, to create their illusions".

It is unacceptable to lie and mislead those who keep you in business. Journalists are ethically responsible to bring the truth to their viewers. They provide such information to the public that would otherwise not have access to it on their own so it is only right to not distort or mislead them.

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