Photoshopping Our Lives

by Karen

Back in October 2010, Messy Nessy Chic blogged about the extensive and offensive retouch kool-aid that seems to have taken over the print media. The use of ‘Photoshop’ as a verb is part of the celebrity-obsessed culture. Photoshop is a wonderful design tool and necessary for any graphic designer. But it is also a dangerous tool when used inappropriately. And unfortunately, the disastrous results of Photoshop abuse are ever present. In fact, there are many websites, such as Photoshop Disasters, that point out the laughable offenses.


Same girl. Her name is Filipia Hamilton and she is a size 4, as seen on the picture on the left. She claims she was fired from Ralph Lauren because the company was dissatisfied with her body. As you can see, Ralph Lauren did something about it and made her look like a lollipop for a print ad. Yes, as is the case with Photoshop disasters, the results are often hilarious. But they’re also sad. Millions of girls will look at the photo on the right and accept it as reality. “I am supposed to be this thin.”  There is nothing wrong with being thin. However, the proportions in the picture above are not attainable and are not natural. The human body is such a beautiful piece of art. Why some companies feel the need to distort it beyond recognition completely baffles me.


I have to wonder if we’re Photoshopping too much of our lives on the Internet. There is nothing wrong with only blogging, tweeting, or Facebook-ing positive aspects of our lives. And there is nothing wrong with only posting pictures taken from that magic angle that immediately sheds 10 pounds. But in my opinion, there is something wrong with presenting altered information under the notion of keepin’ it real.  We have all come across this type of person – in our real lives and on the Internet. And for whatever reason, they feel the need to present themselves caked in false perceptions and dripping with unreal scenarios. Lord help me if I ever become like that.

This past weekend, we attempted to take some family pictures in the Wildlife Refuge. By ourselves. With a dog, toddler, and tripod. What were we thinking? Needless to say, it didn’t go so well. I fully admit that I go into Christmas-Card-Nazi mode when trying to get the perfect picture. I think the above picture best illustrates the experience. A screaming toddler, a dog butt, and a husband smiling despite watching his wife dive deeper and deeper into madness.

So I did what any sane woman would do – crudely photoshopped a picture! It is a little too fake for my taste so it won’t be entered into the Christmas Card running but it is good for a laugh. Sometimes it is nice to have a little reminder that perfect isn’t always what it seems. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the first picture – it is a more accurate representation of us, dog butt and all.

I finally posted over a A Lease to Decorate, check it out!