Digital Photo Alteration: A Controversy Surrounding Photographic Enhancement

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Digital modification of photos present in magazines or advertisements has become a habitual practice of 21st century photographers. The present work's purpose is to present an ambivalent account of the existing controversy surrounding photographic enhancement, by focusing on the artful or inspiring aspects together with analyzing its potentially harmful and dishonest nature. Critics of digital photo alteration base their vocal disapproval in arguments derived from medical evidence, social global standards, and professional ethical guidelines, and thereby profess that use of Photoshop for entertaining an impossibly unrealistic cultural standard for beauty can pose a psychological risk for consumers at large, misguides the scope of socially acceptable preconceptions about beauty, and is decisively unethical on a professional level. Last year, Johnathan Purtle of Philly.com's Health section decried the plethora of slimming techniques visible in the media, based on existing medical research. In this sense, he cites a recent study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which appears to indicate that approximately 50 percent of girls and young women are not content with their own bodies. Yet another study from the same source concluded that "exposure to thin-ideal media images may contribute to the development of eating disorders by causing body dissatisfaction, negative moods, and low self-esteem" (Purtle, 2012). Therefore, it can be stated that young

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