The debate over “photoshopped” models and celebrities has raged for years in the media. Glossy magazines are emblazoned with pictures of celebrities that somehow appear 20 lbs lighter, tattoo-free, and without a line in sight on their 40 year old face. Are they just genetically blessed or are we being deceived by technology? While no one is willing to offer a straight-forward answer, students at Dartmouth might have found a way to get answers. They’ve created a software program that can detect whether an image has been altered and to what degree. (Read the research here)
Personally, I’m okay with adding a “soften” filter to an image that’s being printed, editing out a scar that distracts from the pictures impact, or erasing a few pimples. However, I’m NOT okay with much of the dramatic altering that’s taking place. I’m not alone on this. Celebrities themselves are taking offense. Jennifer Hudson recently spoke out about being completely shocked at the sight of her heavily photo-retouched 2008 album cover. See for yourself below:
Jennifer shared her disappointment on NBC’s Dateline,
“It’s like, ‘Where’s the rest of me?’ They Photoshopped me probably to the size I am now on that cover, when we all know I was nowhere near that. “
She adds, “It did not send out a good message. And it did not represent me well…” to her January 2012 interview. (Read the story in the NY Daily News here)
I give tremendous credit to Jennifer for expressing her outrage. The album cover was obviously not just a “touch up” and went way over the line of what’s acceptable- by anyone’s standards. I can only hope more celebrities like her stand up and voice their opinion. Our girls need to hear these confessions and realize these distortions are NOT examples of physical beauty to aspire to. They are nothing more than computer generated images-a far cry from the perfection God created in each one of us.
I’m excited about the progress the students at Dartmouth have made and I think its important that we share these images with our young girls. Sure we can tell them “those girls aren’t really that perfect”, but teenage girls don’t necessarily have a reputation for listening to their mothers. In this situation, a picture is really worth a thousand words. If you’re looking for an entertaining, yet informative way to discuss this with your girls, just press play below!