Are We In A Post-Photoshop World? Apparently VICE is arguing that we are in the #NoMakeupSelfie era. I can see where they’re coming from. Some social media icons have absolutely posted pictures of themselves in which they are supposedly wearing no makeup or “woke up like this”. It’s even made that phrase a new thing to say, either earnestly or sarcastically.
Does this mean that we’ve moved on from the constant bombardment that our social media centered culture inflicts day in and day out? I think not. A few hopeful examples do not a new society make.
For instance, even if the people who say they are not wearing makeup really aren’t, that’s not to say they haven’t applied five filters to that same photo. There are some filter apps that airbrush you to the point where you barely look human anymore. It’s gross. I don’t even like seeing pictures of myself like that, like I’m some doll that no longer even resembles who I really am.
Why isn’t real life good enough for us anymore? Why do we have to “improve” and touch up everything, even pictures of the beautiful world we live in?
I would love to have a more optimistic view, to feel like we really are turning a new page and reversing the horrible damage we’ve done. Unfortunately, I just don’t see that happening.
It’s sad that young girls like Zendaya have to make a huge stink over Photoshopped photos in order to get a real representation of who they are released to the public. Have you seen that girl? She’s absolutely gorgeous, and she still has a young, thin, teenage body. Her un-retouched photos are beautiful.
There’s a scary message being sent to our young girls when we Photoshop someone like that. It’s that even the 2% of the women in the world who look that great need improvement. If that’s the case, what about the rest of us with our everyday flaws and imperfections? We should probably feel pretty awful about ourselves, because we’re beyond help. At least, according to these ridiculous images projected to us day in and day out.
Life is hard enough as it is. There’s no need to make it harder by telling the average human being – hey, you should feel bad about the way you look. You aren’t Heidi Klum or Gigi Hadid, so you should hate yourself.
The saddest part of all? Even those lovely women aren’t free from criticism. In a world where it’s so much easier to focus on the outside than the inside, we’ve become mean. Plain and simple.
All of it is mean. Photoshopping, in and of itself, is a vicious and ugly act. We, as consumers, accepting it and not demanding better, is also ugly. We, as people, dismissing others because they do not look “good enough”, is the ugliest act of all.
Life is supposed to be about giving, and caring, and connecting with other people. Instead we’ve created a world all about what you have, what you look like, and how high your status is in the eyes of others.
I don’t want my children growing up in a world like this. I worry, even now – how would I keep them away from social media? How would I preserve their self-esteem and confidence in a world where perspective is so twisted and warped?
I worry because I see the tendency to judge even in myself. I am so against all of it and yet my first instinct is to see the flaws when presented with them. We’re trained this way now, by what we see on a daily basis. It’s absolutely terrifying. None of it is reality – it’s all curated and airbrushed, but we see it all the time, so we start to believe in it. No wonder we feel so terrible about ourselves.
Yes, it is heartening that there are a few strong voices standing up and making themselves heard. I just find it hard to believe that those few will change the majority trend towards obsession with superficiality. I certainly hope that they do, but I’m not holding my breath. There have been some others doing the same thing over the past few years, but the obsession with perfection continues to grow.
People are beautiful. We are beautiful in our strength, our individuality, and even our weaknesses. That’s what matters, not some measure of unattainable physical beauty created with technology.
We need to get back to basics, in a big way.
Our priorities are horribly skewed.
Are We In A Post-Photoshop World? It’s Doubtful.