Zits. Wrinkles. Errant hairs. Chipped manicures.
These impurities and imperfections are all a part of our lives, and ones we’d often like to hide from the world if we could. And through the magic of Photoshop, we often can and do.
The debate of the use of Photoshop to digitally alter womens’ appearances for the sake of editorial and advertising content is one of the most hotly debated issues in media at the moment – especially in the fashion industry.
Teen magazines Teen Vogue and Seventeen are currently in the spotlight and under scrutiny by SPARK Movement, a girl-activist group that’s petitioning the magazines to feature images of unaltered models that haven’t been retouched. The group has staged demonstrations outside both magazines’ offices, drummed up enthusiasm from young girls everywhere, and prompted Seventeen‘s Editor In Chief to publish a “Body Peace Treaty.”
Issues with altered and retouched images in fashion media have been around nearly as long as fashion media itself. It seems like these days you can hardly open up Fashionista or Jezebel without encountering a story of another botched magazine cover or a missing limb on a model. We’ve put seemingly every publication under the microscope, but where to style bloggers factor into this debate?
We all understand that magazines and brands are always selling something – an ideal, a lifestyle, a $20,000 handbag or a $7 mascara. The thing is, many of us bloggers are selling something too, whether or not we come right out and say it. We want more readers, to have our images pinned and repinned, to work on projects with brands and to potentially make a commission from selling items through affiliate programs.
There really may be no right or wrong answer, and there aren’t any concrete rules to follow when it comes to bloggers and altered images. The images on your blog are not about being perfect or pretending to be perfect – they’re about presenting the best version of yourself. So is it okay to use a clone stamp to hide a blemish or “iron out” a garment’s wrinkle? If blogging is all about the democratization of fashion – are we negating our own cause by adapting to industry standards?