Motivations Behind Altered Images: Feigned Realities
In an increasingly visual society, wherein mediated information and reality are weaved together, making it nearly impossible to distinguish what is real from what is represented, beauty may only seem skin deep.
Each day we are constantly bombarded by images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. Nearly every magazine published boasts various headlines promising fat blasting secrets or how to get flawless skin or how to get the man of your dreams. There are infomercials on nearly every channel that try to convince women to take weight loss pills. News feeds from social media sites are full of daily exercise routines. Magazine tabloids and…show more content… It is those unrealistic images that we see in the media that contribute to women’s desire to be skinny and perfectly toned, so, like the conditioned robots we are, we: perform, please, and perfect – to eventually develop a self-destructive sense of self. Altered images and the generalizations of those images in the media are, without doubt, becoming great contributors to lowering self-esteem in people
Why are these impossible standards of beauty being imposed on women, the majority of whom look nothing like the models that are being presented to them? Research indicates that the causes are solely economic: by presenting a physical ideal that is difficult to achieve and maintain, the cosmetic and diet industries are assured continual growth and profits. Since women are depicted as extremely thin in the media, self-comparison to the images they are exposed to can lead to negative consequences. “The Photoshopped woman isn’t going away,” writes Bekah Ticen, a senior in the College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University, in an op-ed for the Purdue Exponent, the university’s student newspaper. “She graces the covers of magazines. You can find her in over-sexualized advertising, her waist whittled away by the click of a mouse. We’ve all seen her, and we’ve all come to the realization of the impossibility of her existence. The Photoshopped woman is not real. So why do we insist on giving her power?”
In The New York Times’ Debating the Rules & Ethics of Digital