Photoshopping – Is the media controlling your body image?

Photoshopping – Is the media controlling your body image?

Most of us are well aware of the fact that the media and the fashion and cosmetics industries regularly photoshop and airbrush images of models in advertising material.

How has the media influenced our body image?

  • Do we have women and men striving to look like models that do not even exist in reality?
  • Do we have a growing plastic surgery industry which is now being accessed by youth?
  • Do we have celebrities allowing themselves to be photoshopped, not standing up and using their platform to promote their real appearance and role modelling healthy behaviours to the public?
  • Do we have too much of a focus on the outside of our bodies and not the inside?
  • Do we have a growing number of cases of body dysmorphic disorder, anorexia and bulimia in both women and men?

Has the media shifted our image of what it is to be beautiful to what the media, cosmetic and fashion companies decide is beautiful – Could we look like that photoshopped image if we just buy their products? Photoshopping - Is the media controlling your body image?

Particularly vulnerable are our younger generation of women and girls who are still learning about themselves and what kind of women they want to become.

So when is enough enough?

When do we (as the public and consumers) say – ‘we don’t like your images being photoshopped. We don’t want to see this rubbish anymore. We want to see real people, real role models.’

Money, money, money

It appears that the cosmetic and fashion companies assume that these photoshopped images are what the public want to see and what will encourage us to our spend money. If these  companies and media stop photoshopping, will they still make money? Perhaps even more than their competition because they will have a unique point of difference – they do not use photoshopped images of models to sell products.

But what is the real cost to our society?

It does have a financial impact on our health and mental health system with eating disorders and mental health issues with self-esteem, self-confidence, depression and anxiety. But is also has a very high emotional cost for individuals and families raising teens and tweens.

Should the government step in?

Will this be when they realise the dollar value of what it costs their health/mental health system is more than they can afford? May be it is time to crunch the numbers now?

‘A new bill recently introduced to United States Congress would exercise some control over the use of Photoshop in advertising. Two Congresswomen, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) and Representative Lois Capps (D), of Florida and California, respectively, have introduced a bill titled H.R. 4341: Truth in Advertising Act of 2014. If passed, the bill would provide corporations with strategies for reducing their use of altered images, as well as guidelines for the appropriate uses of Photoshop.’

Let’s keep the conversation going….what do you think about photoshopping and the media?

We know that the conversation has started but let’s keep it going. We would love to know what you think. Please share your comments with us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Article Title: Photoshopping – Is the media controlling your body image?
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology, Perth Western Australia
Web Address:
Published: 28/04/2014
White Sidell, M. (2014), “Is this the end of excessive Photoshopping? The new bill that plans to monitor  use of airbrushing in advertising”, (Daily Mail), Available: (Accessed: 2014, April 27).

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