• YourYG Bias

    When they make Photoshop a free program, my pictures and selcas will be resurrected from ‘fried donuts’ hell.

    Give yourself credit, Korea. You look amazing without plastic surgery and without Photoshop. 

    • Cindy

      Without plastic surgery? A third, at the very least, of all the celebrities extant in the Korean pop culture will not be here.

  • Seri Park

    Sometimes when they photoshop the photos look waaaayyyy too ridiculous… often, it is not needed…

  • http://twitter.com/MusicTeaorg MusicTea.org

    I think the term “Photoshopping” doesn’t deserve its negative connotations. The first image is an example of how photo retouching can be a good thing. Simply changing the colors and contrast gives the right photo a different mood than the left one. I’m not against retouching in that way to better convey the message you want to get across. I also think a *little* touching up, like smoothing out body lines to make the overall image look more polished, is a good thing. You do want what you’re promoting to look its best.

    More than minor changes seems unethical though. Ignoring overkill editing (like G.NA’s picture. How does it make sense to remove her calf muscle?? Poor editing is poor editing), I agree that tweaking body proportions to the extent that they become unusual or unnatural can have negative implications. There’s definitely an unfair amount of pressure on women to look perfect. Asserting an image had “no Photoshop” is still reinforcing the emphasis on appearance.

    What should we focus on instead? The artist’s talent, skill, musical work, personality, what’s “on the inside”? Don’t we all think this way? Why then is there still so much pressure to look perfect? I think this article is touching on a deeper rooted problem about what sells and what we actually want to buy. I wish I had all the answers. :/

    • http://www.michelle-chin.com/ Michelle Chin

      I agree with your notion that photo retouching, such as adjusting the sharpness, modify the contrast, and alter the saturation of a picture, is not a bad thing. As you have stated, it can make a picture pretty, which can enhance product sales. Not only that, it can help ease the job of a photographer. 

      However, I do not agree that there should be any touching up done on the human body, including smoothing out any lines. Although the changes are not major, it does affect how the person who is photographed feel about him or herself. My sister experienced this first hand when she had half-body pictures taken as part of a classical music audition. The digital retoucher actually smooth out the lines of her arms and chin because she felt that it would make her look prettier. My sister and I were really offended by that statement because both of us feel that she looks good, just the way as she is. 

      Moreover, such minor retouching, can have a negative effect. For instance, I always find that no matter how many times I get a friend to take shots of me, my body lines are never as smooth as the models in the magazine. I also know friends who do minor touch ups to their pictures and post them on their blogs. My other friends who read these blogs always tell me how they are envious of this certain blog author because she looks pretty, and how they will never look as pretty as this is. As I know the person in real life, I know that this is not the case. 

      And in regards to your statement about “unfair pressure on women to look perfect”, I beg to differ. Men are increasingly subjected to the same amount of pressure too. More and more male friends that I know, are concerned about their skin and actually well versed in men make up. Apart from that, there’s the pressure for them to appear buff or extremely waif like, thanks to the media’s heralding of these two images. 

      Although reinforcing the “no photoshop” statement does place an emphasis on appearance, at least, if used correctly, it can raise awareness (i.e.  http://gemmaruthwilson.com/2012/06/30/confessions-of-a-retoucher/). If used incorrectly -i.e. the picture is photoshopped but they say it is not – , it will, as stated by the author, reinforce our beliefs about how perfect our idols are and how we can never attain their perfection. 

       I feel that in most societies, appearance is important because it gives the other person who does not know you, the first impression. That’s why there’s this whole hoo hah about how first impression matters a lot. A flat mate of mine who worked in a HR department was once instructed to pick candidates who look pretty because they can help boost the image of a company. A few of my blog readers emailed me their concerns about acne (I wrote a huge ass post on that…), and most of them stated that if they don’t settle this widespread skin problem, they might get fired. This is the unfortunate truth. And worse is, you have to have the complete package: Good looks, good skin, good behavior, good everything. It is not peculiar that eating disorders, depression and anxiety are on the rise. With the pressure to perform, it is hard not to experience on of these three debilitating disorders. 

      Like you, I wish I had all the answers to solve this pressing issue. However, I am sure that there is a way about this. This article itself and the fact that we are discussing about this, is a way that one can gain awareness about such issues. 

      • Aaron Batker Pritzker

        It sounds to me like you’re primarily saying that misrepresenting the reality of how people look is what causes both problems with personal image and pressure to look unrealistically perfect. What if you take a different perspective though: instead of thinking of these idol advertisements as representing what real humans look like, think of them as art works. Since everything about an idol’s body is already meticulously crafted to look beautiful, isn’t Photoshop just continuing that artistry? As long as the public maintains a clear divide between artistic and realistic representations of human bodies (a big conceit, I know), where’s the harm in better-looking ads?

        Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t think unrealistically beautiful art is responsible for the pressure people feel to edit photographic representations of themselves online or in music/job auditions. There has always been pressure on people to look good; the only difference now is that regular (i.e. not super rich) people have access to new tools that can make their photographs look better than reality. It’s an unfortunate side effect of this accessible technology, not its use in art and advertising, that some people are left feeling deficient when they don’t succumb to the pressure to alter photographic representations of their looks.

        • http://www.michelle-chin.com/ Michelle Chin

          First, I never claimed that photoshopping is the sole cause for issues related to body image. I merely stated that it amplifies the problem in this primarily appearance-driven society. And by the looks of it, all this digital retouching doing a pretty good job by screwing up one’s perception of beauty. (See this account here: http://gemmaruthwilson.com/2012/06/30/confessions-of-a-retoucher/)

          Second, I do not disagree with your notion that photoshopping is itself a form of art. However, what are the ethical implications of this art work, is something we should have in our minds. I am sure that Vermeer’s The Girl with Pearl Earring will leave us most of us ooh-ing and aah-ing at the beauty of the model but the fashion editorials will leave us focusing on whether our abs and thighs are as tiny as the ones owned by the model. Also, do not be surprised that many people are not aware of photoshopping in fashion editorials. 

          Third, I agree with your statement that unrealistically beautiful art is not the sole cause for people feeling pressured to edit their own pictures. Nevertheless, I think the issue here is not primarily about editing pictures but about feeling whether you are good enough or not. While the words “let’s smooth out some lines” may be “harmless” for the digital retoucher, it can carry a different meaning for the model. Does “let’s smooth out some lines” means “I am not good enough” or does it mean “you could be better”. 

          Having said all of this, you raised some really good points! <3

          • Aaron Batker Pritzker

            Reading this response, I feel forced to admit my own lack of experience and understanding. I know that I will never look like Siwon or TOP, but I can guiltlessly marvel at their magnificence. Still I often hear horror stories like EyeConArtist’s about women – and men, albeit less frequently – feeling flawed or inadequate when they see unrealistically beautiful human art. This creates a bit of a disconnect in my mind between my own experience and what I know to be true, but I’ll do my best.

            I find it interesting that you brought up The Girl with a Pearl Earring, since Vermeer could hardly have avoided doing some “retouching” of his own to augment the model’s natural beauty. Why then is the customary response to his painting “ooh-ing and aah-ing at… beauty” instead of comparing our faces to hers and wondering why we aren’t as beautiful? It seems to me like Vermeer’s painting, as well as the ancient Greek tradition of representing perfect human forms in art, shows that exaggerated beauty alone isn’t enough to provoke or exacerbate the kinds of body image troubles to which you and EyeConArtist refer. If the main difference is that modern audiences do not know that fashion photoshoots and advertisements are altered, then an awareness campaign is certainly needed, but is this misunderstanding really so dangerous and irreparable that we should abandon the idea of human art altogether?

            One thing that isn’t quite clear to me when you say “not good enough” is “not good enough” for what? Surely most people want to look better than they do, but why should anyone expect to look as good as an idol/model whose diet, exercise regime, and entire lifestyle has been meticulously crafted for optimal looks. Of course G.NA looks prettier having been photoshopped, but even her unaltered picture looks far better than anyone I’ve met in person. A complaint I often hear about photoshopped pictures is that the beauty they show is unrealistic and unattainable. Isn’t even the unaltered beauty of an idol or model unrealistic and unattainable for someone who hasn’t spent his or her entire adult life in pursuit of perfect looks?

          • http://www.michelle-chin.com/ Michelle Chin

            I agree with your statement that back in those days, artists would enhance the beauty of their subject. This has indeed been done for many famous, notable figures i.e. Napoleon etc. However, beauty standards have clearly changed over time. It is not difficult to achieve Venus’ figure, as portrayed in The Birth of Venus, but can the same be said for the models in today’s editorials?
            Sure, we are not expected to look like models. Sure, we cannot look like our favorite idols. But, it is possible, with the proper regime and diet. With photoshop, it becomes difficult, if not impossible. It sets the bar higher than before. But, how many people are aware of this? How many have actually questioned that the ads that we are bombarded with are photoshopped? When I was 15, my naive self told me that I wanted to look like those skinny, size zero models on those glossy magazine pages. I did not know that they were photoshopped. I thought that it was possible to be like them. I wanted to be like them. It was only when I knew that the models are photoshopped ( I only knew this when I did a research article on eating disorders two years ago as part of my uni assignment ), then a realization hit me: this is not possible, this is all fake. What was I thinking?

            You are right, photoshop is not dangerous and is indeed, an extension of human art. It cannot kill an individual and certainly is not a cause of eating disorders. But for an individual who is not aware of how it is use or its existence in our daily lives, it is dangerous. The thing is, how many of us are aware of it as just art? Most people often mistake the photoshopped stuff as reality. For instance, my girlfriends were not aware that pictures of Kate Middleton in a magazine are photoshopped. My mom did not know about it too, until I told her about it today.

             If every single one of us is aware that it is just human art, then I do not see how wrong photoshop is. Having said that, even if every single one of us is aware that it is just art, will photoshopped images cease to deliver the wrong message about beauty standards? 

  • vip

    they always photoshop, always.

  • goldengluvsk2

    Photoshop used wisely can be helpful but you know photoshop is out of control when they leave someone -A.K.A. KHUN!!- without his belly button O___o its excessive!! in the end they look like “cartoon versions” like in G.Na’s picture… but i dont even know what would be the solution because the pictures without photoshop reelased to the public are not good either because agencies are showing off that the idols look skinny, tall, have perfectly skin and flawless 24/7…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    I have become utterly desensitized to photoshop or any other form of altering an image, especially when it comes to magazines.

    Who doesn’t touch up — either digitally or through airbrushing — pictures in their magazines, anymore? I’m sure there may be one or two out there that keep things natural, but those mags are more of a novelty. The name of the game is selling an image — which magazines do by editing a pic until the model therein looks almost alien in that NOBODY could ever look like that in real life (not even the model).

    The best way to see a celebrity’s true, untouched image is to get an HD tv. 

    I guarantee you’ll see more craters than Neil Armstrong ran into on the moon when you get an HD view of otherwise “flawless” stars.

    The funny thing is, photoshopping is rarely needed as much as it is used. Blemishes are what make humans fricking human. A lot of stars, like G.Na above, are gorgeous without a damn bit of photoshopping.

  • aironaz

    Appearance is everything and I hate pledis renark about AS comeback. Instead of talking about musuc they talk about their body part basically dehumanizing them whther it was photoshopped. Societys all about appearance if we werent there would be no eating disorders. Unfortunately, the media publishes standars if beauty through photoshop when realistically none f those modes look like that. I looked at video about a woman speaker giving a speech about women and photoshop. I cat remember the link but there was a part in the video about Cindy Crawford stating I wished I looked like Cindy Crawford. There was anther part if the video with Kate Winsle who was made to look skinnier and she released a statement saying she does not look like the photoshopped pictre and never will nor does she want to be. The world will be a better place without medias constant push for nrealistic standards that females feedn and get obsessed over. We all have our moments even me. am 4`11 and used to weigh 110 and people called me fat or chubby. Now I was in now way bese or anything they claim but my insecurity was already there so I exercised and now m 96 lbs. I did not diet just worked out and watched what I eat but do I feel content? sure but not 100% because I have that ideal image in my head that I shoukd have less meat and stretchmarks to be prettier. Right now its a menal tng for me and I wanna wake up without these doubts and be confiedent with who I am.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/lovetigerfist xnopex

    i retouch on the side and it’s a shit system.advertising and media are supposed to make people feel like shit about themselves so they consume products they don’t need. 

  • severely

    The Secret comparisons are ridiculous. The angle on the two pictures is completely different, and they’re bending their legs in one picture and keeping them straight in the other. They’re also wearing shorter dresses in Photoshopped one, so of course their legs look shorter when you’re taking a picture of them squatting in longer dresses from a bad angle.

    What I think is funny is when they show “no Photoshop pictures” or “comparison pictures” that are obviously Photoshopped.

  • destined2bebossy

    I don’t like when photoshop leaves them looking like characters from that Beowulf movie but I don’t mind a little of it just smoothen out their skin or hide scars.

    This reminds me of that Thats So Raven episode where Raven says “no one looks like that” and the model on the cover says “I don’t even look like that”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HIYKUBIKH3B4JJ7DD6CEMSWSWE Eli

    the entire post is asinine.

    do you not remember when Oprahs face was PSed onto an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PERSON’S BODY on a magazine cover?

    this is the annoying thing about Koreans.  they cannot wait to bend over backwards criticizing another Korean while they’re sacred shitless to criticize anyone white, black, jewish or non asian.

    yes they photoshop the crap out of ads in Korea.  but is it “the most extreme cases?” there’s absolutely no substantiation of that.  you are simply ignorant of the PS that agencies in South America, India, Russia and yes the US do, particularly with black entertainers whom they lighten as a matter of course.

    being overdramatic and overly judgmental is probably one big reason why you and the girl who posts the grand narrative blog are so unhappy about yourselves IRL

    • Paloma

      The author of The Grand Narrative is actually a guy.