I'm a huge fan of photoshop as a creative medium; it's a fantastic way to put together digital designs or edit the lighting or focus of a photo. But so frequently the media abuses this awesome tool to alter the appearance of women to promote a physically unattainable standard. It's one thing to adjust the lighting or focus of a photograph, but quite another to completely change the appearance of the person in question. Though I love fashion magazines, they are often the culprit behind these nipped waists and smoothed skin-tones, and I find myself constantly upset by many of the images they publish. At what point did we begin to think it makes sense to make already beautiful people look more like this "beauty ideal"? Comedian and Girl Code contributor Jessimae Peluso put it well when she pointed out that these celebrities and models don't even look like the final image! Oftentimes, in the worst of photoshop errors, they fail to look even human in the final, edited photograph.
What we need now in order to counteract this effect of altering the portrayal of women's bodies in the media is this influence (no matter if it's through major statements or minor tweets) of people in this spotlight, the very women whose bodies are being changed before they are shown to the world. Women like Lorde and Adele, Lena Dunham and Zooey Deschanel are making such a difference by pointing out failures in the presentation of women in the media. With encouraging words and brave actions, women like these, the very victims of these crazy photoshop incidents, are helping to bring to light the effects of such digital alterations. We need to listen to these voices and encourage the contribution of others, because it's true, the girl in the magazine doesn't look like the girl in the magazine and what's more important is that you should look like you, not anyone else.