Impact of Photoshopped Images on Teenagers


02 Aug 2017 04 Sep 2017

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Do photoshopped images affect the way teenagers feel about themselves?

Do you ever just read through a magazine or just walk through the local Mall and see posters of men or women, young children, even infants with no flaws? Well majority of this advertisement is thanks to photoshopping. "So how does photoshopped images affect the way teens feel about themselves?" (Choices: The Award Winning Health & Life Skills Magazine for Teens,,Debate: Does "Photoshopping" images Hurt Teens? November/December 2014 Issue.)

Back in 2012 a girl started a petition against photoshopped photos in a popular teen magazine, and 84,000 signed, clearly we're tired of being fed lies!" "Use your voice through the internet and social media to demand that companies stop using photoshop for good." Everyone knows that perfection does not exist in this world. So when you open a magazine and see a model or celebrities believe me that their flawlessness is made from photoshopping the images. So don't compare yourself to today's models and celebrities because it's their job to look good by using photoshop. The biggest threat to ourselves self-esteem is ourselves. Stop comparing yourself to theirs and start recognizing how good you look.

"Three Facts about Photoshopping:" (Choices: The Award Winning Health & Life Skills Magazine for Teens, Debate: Does "Photoshopping" images Hurt Teens? November/December 2015)

  1. In 2013 Israel's "Photoshop law went into effect. It requires that digital alterations to make models appear thinner be disclosed along with the images or ads.
  2. The truth in advertising Act was introduced in congress in 2014. It passed, it would require the government to come up with a strategy to reduce the use of altered images in advertisement's.
  3. According to a 2014 survey nearly three quarters of young women edit photos of themselves before posting them to social media. More than half of men do the same. Studies have shown that women or girls who read or look at any fashion advertisement or magazines can have a negative effect on their self-esteem.

"I think that the three facts stated above are really important that they remain enforced still to this day." All companies who use photoshopping to alter any features on a person especially a teenager should make the public aware that it was done. Also they should get the permission from parents of teenagers before any photoshopping images are done and get posted to the public by any advertising on the social media. I feel like companies make it not as clearly visible or known to the public about photos that have been altered. It's usually in very fine print and hard to find on the image or ad.

It's very important to teach our young children about the truth behind the images that surround them. Letting them see behind their photo spreads and the advertisements can help control the negative effect of these images. Today's media plays a big part of today's society. The media informs us on everything that is going on in the world. Which includes the new products that are on the market. The media can also have a negative effect on society, especially on teen girls. Their struggles of body image issues, self- esteem, and acceptance is brought out the most when they look at how perfect and flawless women look in magazines, advertisements, commercials, posters, and bill boards. All of the perfect things they see in the media are photoshopped. A method that gives teen girls a perception of what they have to look like to be categorized as being beautiful in today's society. (Huffington Post, New York, NY, Oct. 2014 Issue)

A lot of teen girls today put themselves down when they look at a photoshopped ad, they feel as if they aren't beautiful. This is the main reason why photoshopping needs to be banned. Perfection doesn't exist. No matter how many photoshopped ads there are in magazines, all women and teen girls are beautiful in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Companies need to stop using photoshop and promote women for who they really are without photoshoping any of their features. I don't understand why some parents feel that they need to alter their teenage or young children's photo's. Especially if they know that their photos are being photoshopped to look better in the eyes of their parents. I think this caused low self-esteem and this is what causes a lot of teenage depression and suicides. At young ages children should be accepted for who, and what they look like not for what someone wants them to look like. Some of the alterations that can be photoshopped are anything from whitening teeth, removing braces, acne, and altering breasts on photos.

"Three of the most common mental-health problems among girls are eating disorders, depression or depressed mood/self-esteem." They are linked to the presentation of women in the media. Forty two percent of girls I grades 1-3 want to be thinner. Fifty three percent of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies. By the time they're 17, girls have seen 250,000 TV commercials telling them they should be aspired to be a sex object or have a body size they can never achieve. Seventy eight percent of 17 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies. Thirty percent of high school girls and 16 percent of high school boys suffer from disordered eating. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. (Day, Lori, Newburyport, MA, 14 April 2014)

SUMMARY: Life should be about who you are and not any type of photoshopping to make you something that you are not. I have learned from this research assignment that photoshopping can destroy teen's self-esteem, and cause major emotional breakdowns. Be comfortable with your natural body appearance.


Choices: The Award Winning Health & Life Skills Magazine for Teens. (Debate: Does "Photoshopping" images Hurt Teens?) November/December 2014 Issue

Day, Lori, Newburyport, MA: Educational Psychologist, Consultant, and Author of Her Next Chapter: (Why Photoshopping Is a Matter of Life and Death for Many Girls)

Huffington Post, New York, NY (Photoshop: The Ugly Truth About Pretty Pictures) 11/11/2014 Updated 1/11/2015

Huffington Post, New York, NY (What We Miss When We Photoshop School Pictures) 10/06/2014, Updated Aug 03, 2015

GOOGLE SEARCHS: (06 Feb. 2017 - 15 Feb. 2017)

"Do Photoshopped Images Make You Feel Bad About Your Own Looks?"

"Self Esteem Act:" US parents push for anti-Photoshop laws Daily Mail Oct. 2011 - The Self Esteem Act: Parents push for anti-Photoshop law in U.S.

"Photoshop: The Effect On Teen Girls and Why It Needs to be Banned" May 30, 2012

"Self-Esteem and Girls: The Media's Role | Building Self-Esteem" Aug 30, 2012

The photoshop effect | Feature Article 2013-12-03 - GhanaWeb Dec 3, 2013

The Ugly Truth Behind Pretty Pictures | Common Sense Media May 2014


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