A new video sheds a nearly blinding light on exactly how sinister retouching photos and videos has become.
It’s a music video from Hungarian singer, Boggie. It shows the image of her singing as she is being retouched throughout the entire three minutes of the video, resulting in a transformation from beautiful woman to flawless, magazine cover-worthy seductress.
It’s pretty timely, as there’s been an awful lot of yippety-yap about Photoshopping lately.
From Lena Dunham’s retouched Vogue cover, to the debate over whether Vanity Fair lightened the skin of “12 Years A Slave” actress Lupita Nyong’o in a photo featured in the magazine.
Why are we all suddenly pretending like we didn’t know Photoshopping is a thing? It’s been going on for years, yet it seems everyone is suddenly expressing surprise over the fact that magazines do crazy things to make their photos look insanely perfect.
Opinions range from those who think that any Photoshopping is flat out wrong and we should all learn to appreciate the human form au naturel, to those who think portraying fantasy beauty within the glossy pages of those high-end magazines is as much a part of life as death and taxes.
I don’t have a problem with Photoshopping. In fact, I’ve come to expect it. It’s important to expect it, I think, so I know not to flip through a magazine and allow myself any kind of desire to attain some of the impossible physical standards portrayed therein. Or I can choose to skip Vogue and view magazines that don’t whittle the waists of waifs into non-existence. (Let me know if you know of the magazine that doesn’t Photoshop, though, because I don’t know where to find it!).
The point is, Photoshop isn’t going anywhere and is, in fact, only going to get more technologically advanced. Pretty soon, elongated limbs are going to be child’s play compared to computer-generated models being passed off as human, or far more insidious bone-chiseling subtleties some mad genius is cooking up on his or her computer somewhere as I type.
Virtually everything we see in media is a commodity of some sort, so I don’t see a problem with someone striving to make their product look as good as possible, even if that means the final product is unrealistic. I feel like it’s up to us to know the difference and educate ourselves on reality versus fantasy. That’s why the video you’re about to see is so important.
It’s up to us as parents to impart this wisdom to our impressionable children. Tell our daughters who try to emulate the women in magazines that it’s an impossible task not worth attempting. Tell our sons that these flawless women are not real and that this does not represent true beauty.
Showing them the video below is a start. As Jezebel notes, although it appears as though much of the retouching done as Boggie sings must be simulated, it still makes a statement about what’s expected from female entertainers. It also demonstrates the fine art to retouching in bold strokes. It’s easy to look at magazines or watch a movie and not be aware of all the work that has gone into the finished product, but it’s something we should all keep in the forefront of our minds when viewing these mediums. Technology has reached a point where nothing we see is as it truly is.
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