Are people looking too pretty these days? Airbrushing (a technique that hasn’t actually involved air or brushes for the past two decades) is a common practice in every magazine and advertisement. Armies of photo editors spend their days making sure models and actors look 170% perfect. Every still image you see has been altered. Even mundane items like fruit and Tom Hanks get the Photoshop treatment. But is it wrong? Is it sending a horrible message to viewers?
13-year-old Juilia Bluhm thinks so.
This week she took her anti-airbrushing campaign to the street and protested outside the office of Seventeen Magazine. She also created an online petition asking the magazine to include unedited photos in each issue. And that’s something we support. Digitally sucking out the mass of a model can send the wrong message about beauty. And unaltered photos can be just as attractive.
We here at SparkNotes congratulate Bluhm on her protest and petition.
Full disclosure: I work in the world of magazines and am (by association) part of this horrible process. Had I the power to change the way things are done, I would. But sadly, I’m just the guy who writes fart jokes. I do what I can. Plus my work is far, far, far less harmful to society than Twilight.
Airbrushing issue aside, there are a few other steps that we, as a culture, must take. Such as...
1. No more editing in YouTube clips
Stop the jump-cuts between comments in your vlog. These edits make you look much more witty and talented than you actually are. From now on, all YouTube videos must be a single, unedited shot, and you must show every “Um,” “errr,” and “Guys! Shut up! I’m making a video!”
2. No more Instagram filters
These photo filters make it appear as though you’re a hipster photog with a real sense of style and eye for design. And it’s not fair to all the real hipster photogs in the world. That’s why the hipsters are all crying in their rooms right now, listening to a band you’ve never heard of while reading a book you probably wouldn’t like because it’s “totally different.”
3. Sci-Fi shows need to address how there is gravity on the spaceships
Because we’re teaching a generation of children that in space, you can still walk on the floor normally. When our society moves to the moon, those kids will be in for a real shock when they float away on the journey.
4. No more laugh tracks on sitcoms!
Not every joke on How I Met Your Mother is worthy of a ten-second laugh break. STOP THE LIES OF LEVITY!
5. Everyone has to shave their head
It’s not fair that some people have crazy-good hairstyles. Stop editing your hair! We must all shave our heads to show our true scalps.
6. Singers can’t use studio effects and microphones
They can only use their natural voices.
7. Actors can’t use stunt doubles or CGI
And they have to do everything in one take. (See item #1)
8. We get to see every photo on your camera
You must post every photo you take. Stop only picking the “good” ones to share.
9. Magazines must come with a free coupon for skittles
Skittles are good.
10. Everyone has to wear capes
We don’t like being the only ones.
Anything else you'd like to outlaw?
Related post: Stock Photo Faceoff: Hideous Photoshopping Edition