Teens search for perfection through photo editing

Miranda Tanenbaum, Staff Writer

The fashion industry has always molded society’s ideas about what perfect women and perfect men should look like.  In order to fit in, people try their hardest to keep up with fashionable ideals. However, it is often an unrealistic standard.  Today, most companies’ female models are unhealthily skinny, and in advertisements they are edited to a point where they look absolutely flawless.  The male models have six pack abs and any natural amount of fat is replaced with muscle.

In our age of electronics social media dominates everything. Many people post posed pictures of themselves for all of their “friends” or “followers” to see.  However, many of these posts are inspired by famous people who conform to the fashion marketing world’s unrealistic expectations.

Unfortunately, people who do not look the way they think they should are left with a growing number of insecurities. As a result, they often purchase photo editing apps to change what they look like in photos.

These apps can make them look skinnier, whiten their teeth, and fix their blemishes.  In fact, picture editing has become so common that on the rare occasion that someone does not edit their picture, they feel the need to include #nofilter.

“People can enhance their natural beauty with these apps, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” says sophomore Jessica Hyland.  “However, sometimes people use it to cover their flaws when they don’t have to.”

It has become lodged in the public’s mind that if you are not the skinniest or the prettiest, you aren’t good enough.  Therefore, people think their pictures need to be adjusted using editing software.

As if the fashion industry’s destruction of self image is not harmful enough, the overuse of Photoshop to alter a person’s image obliterates not only your self-confidence, but also other people’s self-confidence.

For the people who cannot live up to “perfect” body, pressures from within and from the world around them can be overwhelming.  Often, these stressors can lead to eating disorders and other mental health issues.

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, almost 70% of girls in fifth to twelth grade form their notion of the ideal woman from magazine photos.

These aforementioned disorders are more common in women, but men experience them as well.  “The average American woman is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds,” says authors, Mary-Signe Chojnacki, Christina Grant, Kathryn Maguire, Katie Regan, from the University of Wisconsin according to www.ssc.wisc.edu.

“While the average American model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.”  The authors continue.

Despite this fact, people still seem to think that they need to have the body that models have.

In the past, people thought Marilyn Monroe had the perfect body, and she wore a size 14.  Today, women with perfect bodies fit into much smaller sizes.  People wreck their bodies, starve themselves, and spend thousands of dollars on surgery just to achieve this “perfect” look.

The fashion industry is not terrible in all respects, but it does have a significantly negative effect on the way people view themselves.

Hired models have a huge impact on people’s self image, making people feel like they need to edit their pictures and change the way they look both on social media and in real life.It’s important to remember that the models are significantly enhanced and are edited to appear as though they are all six feet tall with no body fat and perfect skin.