Daily Beast Columnist Right That Photoshopped Magazine Pictures Not All Bad
1:30 pm, July 8th | by Laura Donovan
I was ecstatic to learn that tenacious Maine teenager Julia Bluhm was successful in her campaign to get Seventeen magazine to tone down its retouching of pictures. The publication has pledged to “not alter the body size or face shape of the girls and models in the magazine and to feature a diverse range of beauty in its pages,” and while this could do a lot for those who may be in a vulnerable place or uncomfortable with their looks, Daily Beast columnist Jim Warren has a point that we could learn something from altered mag photos.
In a new column for Tina Brown’s brainchild, Warren argues that keeping unaltered snapshots in media has the potential to instill skepticism in young readers:
“So what to do about all these millions of girls staring at those perfect images in magazines? Well, maybe we can teach them to be justly distrustful of photography in general. In the same way, we can teach our children, ‘Hey, it’s only a movie,’ when they’re taking on-screen events too seriously, we can teach them, ‘Hey, it’s only a photograph.’”
Teen Vogue and other mags targeted at young girls could follow Seventeen’s lead (which actually sounds like it could be one step forward and two steps back), but where do we draw the line? Perhaps the little ladies will see fewer artificial looking models in the glossy pages, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be exposed to fewer “flawless” women in film, online, or on television. As long as Hollywood dominates our culture, celebrities will more often than not be forced to project an unrealistic image. Maybe readers will come to terms with their own appearances by accepting that the camera lens is deceptive.