Photo Editing: A Danger to Self Perception
We all feel physically inadequate. Whether it’s our short kinky hair, big eyes, the colour that’s just a little bit off, height, weight, or the nose we wish was just a bit smaller, there comes a time in our life when we feel we’re not good enough.
Unfortunately, most of those feelings are psychological, achieved from society’s ideal of beauty while in the real sense, there’s no such thing. Yes, even the people who are considered perfect still feel inadequate – The Ariana Grandes and David Beckhams of the world.
The Rise of Digitally-Altered Photos on Social Media
That’s what gave rise to photo editing and digital thinning. If there’s anything that digital media has shown, it’s that human beings are incredibly vain. Not that I blame them — it’s basic human nature to be competitive. We all subconsciously want to raise our status whether it’s beauty, intelligence, or wealth.
And the truth is that what we’re seeing in this millennial age of social media has always been the case, even off-camera. In the past, doctoring images was a thing of those with influence, riches, and power. But now that nearly everyone has a smartphone, we can edit our images however we desire.
We want to showcase the best, be the best and rise above everyone else. Consequently, digital thinning apps are now a serious concern. It has led to the toxic undercurrent of poor body confidence.
Digital Thinning: The Picture of Dorian Gray
So what if your hips are wider? The world doesn’t have to see that! Simply type ‘thin’ into your Appstore to find a plethora of apps that allow you to virtually slice and dice your own body to your heart’s desire. Bust, thighs, skin tone, hips, you can change anything. It’s all about who you want to be.
So, what exactly is the issue here? — Refer back to the famous philosophical story of Dorian Gray. Every time you alter who you are, you sell a small part of your soul. There are many shops that have digital thinned images of models in the advertisements however one company I know that doesn’t is Elle Courbee a plus-sized shapewear ecommerce store.
So the Insecurities Are Reinforced
No matter how much you know you’ve edited your images, they remain. And every time you scroll through your Instagram feed, you see who you wish you could be. You quietly reinforce your insecurities and the outcome of this is even more editing, And so the cycle continues.
The Camera Never Lies
Even though you know with utmost conviction that the images aren’t real, you can feel a rush of excitement and happiness as the likes pour in. But, at the end of the day, you can lie to others but never yourself.
So your self-esteem keeps deteriorating. You start to believe your own marketing hype. In due time, you lose touch with who you are. You let go of your self-perception, along with your sense of well-being and mental health.
A Brief History of Photo Editing
The doctoring of photographs, particularly those of women, has a long history. Holbein’s flattering portrait of Anne of Cleves, for example, enabled her to keep her head when she was betrothed to Henry VIII.
Originally, images depicted reality but once people realized that images could be altered, the game changed. And with the advent of Photoshop, glossy magazines of the 1980s and 1990s were able to construct an increasingly unattainable female body ideal.
So, what’s the answer? There is nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward — It’s an instinct. The problem comes in when people have a distorted illusion of normalcy thanks to digital thinning.
Instead of editing your hips, how about pants that shape your hips out better? Your photos will look great, and in reality, that’s still you.
Confidence Is the Fundamental Difference Here
Shapewear alters how you look, but it makes you feel more confident. You can deal with your ‘inadequacies’ by opting for clothes that flatter your body. It makes you feel confident, other than insufficient. Unlike photo editing which is nothing other than deception, this solution is real – and you will love who you are.
Look at Bridget Jones’s big pants for example. Because of her realness, she was welcomed by a large portion of the female population. Yes, she wore a girdle to tone her stomach, but she was far more lovely than an Instagrammed Kardashian! It’s all about you and your self-perception!