Are edited photos now becoming the norm?
Hello, lovelies. Today I want to talk about something that I feel is becoming so every day that I’m not sure we even notice it anymore, and that topic is, are edited photos now becoming the norm?
As a blogger, particularly a beauty blogger I am a total Instagram junkie. I often while away the hours scrolling through many a beautiful selfie which has a zillion likes – but whilst doing this, I have to admit it makes me a little self-conscious. I can’t be the only one, right?
I’m sure we have all been there, comparing ourselves to a total stranger on social media, and somehow, as a society, we have started to believe that the heavily edited imagery we see daily is how we should all look? Not only is this unachievable, but it also sets massively unrealistic beauty standards for young girls, particularly impressionable teenagers.
As someone in my mid-to-late thirties, I have aged, I have frown lines, I have sun damage and pigmentation, my skin no longer has the natural glow it did 10 years ago, and let’s not forget to mention the 5.30am starts 5 days a week! We can’t expect to look the same as we did when we were 20, that’s life, we age, we get tired, we live stressful lives. But does this mean we should edit our photos, erase the signs of getting older, the wisdom of age and the little quirks that make us individual? But when everyone else is doing it, we all feel the pressure, yes?
Whilst I do have to admit to using good lighting and some adjustments to my camera settings to let’s say ‘enhance the look of my skin’, I have started to stay clear of filters and editing apps. My reason being? We are all starting to look the same, but let’s face it unless you are 20 years old, it’s highly unlikely that your skin looks as good naturally as it does when enhanced digitally – but this still doesn’t sit right with me.
When thinking about the pressure this unrealistic vision of beauty can put on young girls, I also realised the impact it can have on the self-esteem of grown women. I’ve spoken to a few fellow bloggers around a similar age to myself and when asked if they have an “unedited” selfie, the answer is no and I find that quite shocking! So in this post today I wanted to show you the power of editing apps.
The photos below show a side by side comparison of me, au naturel with absolutely no camera trickery or editing, and then the same photo, but with a small number of enhancements.
As you can see in the picture on the left, I am in my thirties, my skin isn’t totally smooth and I have signs of ageing. I have also never had Botox or any kind of cosmetic enhancement, so here I am wrinkles and all.
The picture on the right is with a few quick adjustments made on an editing app (honestly, this took me about 2 minutes, that’s how easy it is). Here I have smoothed my skin, reduced my under eye circles, removed the lovely bump in my nose and brought out some highlights in my hair. Massive difference right!
Now in the world of editing, this is only slight adjustments. I see people actually changing the whole structure of their face, eye colour, nose and lip shape to the point that they are hardly recognisable.
I know everyone will have a different view on this, but my conscience said I had to speak up and show you the difference between what you see on Instagram and real life.
**update I have added some more images as a further example.
The left image is taken on my Olympus Pen E-PL8, no filter, no lighting adjustment, this one is straight out of auto. You can see every line, blemish, texture, age spot and dark circle going!
The right is then the same photo but with some skin smoothing techniques in Photoshop. Huge difference right? That perfectly flawless skin you see in the magazines -Yep, Photoshop airbrushing! I kept my radius settings low when editing as to not lose skin texture, but you can take this further and make the skin look completely flawless!
[/right]I just hope that we can remember we are all beautiful in our own way and at any age! I for one am proud of the lines I have acquired over the years, so let’s stop covering what we see as flaws whilst trying to fit into that little box society calls ‘normal’. Let’s start to embrace us!
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I hope you have enjoyed this post, and if this helps only one person reading this, then I am happy.