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Photoshop: a root of an ever growing problem

Photoshop: the source of many young teens’ problems.

Photoshop has been gaining popularity within the entertainment industry for years. As a whole, the concept began in 1987 but became trendy in the 1990s. Although Photoshop was intended for professional photographers, social media influencers have a major impact on how editing is used today. With the use of photo altering, people have been setting unreachable beauty standards and can be a hard application for many people to use, resulting in more insecurities for the individuals who are active on platforms like social media.

Essentially, Photoshop is marketed towards a young audience which can be extremely problematic. Facetune, an app made for people to edit selfies and other pictures, is labeled 4+ and gives the idea that these are targeting younger people, explaining the app supposedly being number one in 127 different countries. When children are growing up, they are easily persuaded by the media and what they see online. Kids are still developing and creating self-images for themselves. They are still learning how to express themselves and their styles. Apps like these can distort their perception of themselves and can lead to destructive behavior, such as resistance to self-acceptance and love.

For many teenagers, social media is a platform where people can express their feelings and post pictures of themselves online. Not only that, but people can keep up with and follow their idols or different celebrities they are fans of to see them post-self-taken or professionally taken pictures that excel in complementing their features. Many young adults take into account different body shapes and trends that are currently popular within their time. This can cause major insecurities and self-depreciation whenever photos plastered on the internet are extremely edited or manipulated. It encourages a mindset that allows others to think they have to look a certain way due to the edited pictures they are looking up to.

For example, a highly desired body shape is the “hourglass” and many celebrities have photoshopped their bodies heavily to appear that way. This can give people the impression that the celebrity’s original body proportion was flawed or not attractive. If a fan sees that, they could feel embarrassed or disgusted with how they look. It also shames natural features on someone’s face, indirectly calling it bad like nose shapes, lips, acne, etc. The body they are seeing online is something they will not be able to achieve unless they photoshop themselves.

Feeling pressured in many ways, multiple teenagers have been diagnosed with mental health problems and low self-esteem due to the way models are being portrayed in a certain way. It is said that 30% of female high school students suffer from issues starting from eating disorders to depression. A licensed clinical social worker, named Jill E. Daino explains that most mental health issues are fueled by the images that are promoted on their social media timelines. Also, the perfect body can take away from the diversity and variety of appearances of people all around the world.

However, not all celebrities use photoshop, like Beyoncé, Lorde and Brad Pitt. Not only that, but campaigns like The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) had been raising awareness and protesting for different body types to be modeled and fewer touch-ups on finalized pictures. There were many petitions to help empower. Even brands, such as Dove, Aerie and Seventeen Magazine, have taken action in self-love encouragement. Aerie had even promised to not photoshop any of their photos for two years straight, giving the brand more attention.

There are also many public figures supporting body positivity and praising different sizes. This includes people like Lizzo, Serena Williams and Aly Raisman. People are growing more comfortable with the amount of awareness being spread over different media resources.

At the end of the day, it is up to one’s self to determine how societal standards affect them. Filters and adjustments are okay to explore but celebrities need to realize their platform and how much of an impact they have on their audience. Not everything you see online is what it seems.

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