Photoshop reality: The normalization of body-changing apps affects every day society


Sophomores Alexis M. Anderson, Halie Hanks, Carley Dollins and Shelby Maring walk away.

Payton Berger, Staff Writer

Photoshop and Facetune have become a norm in today’s society. When you log into an app, such as Instagram or Twitter, you are immediately shown beautiful people with unrealistic features and bodies. The people on these social media platforms appear to be perfect. Social media influencers – and even people we personally know – have fallen victim to these expectations. Is it healthy to edit the shape of your face and body for social media?

The answer to that is absolutely not.

Certain features of photoshop can be helpful to improve the condition of a photo such as red eyes or blurring a blemish, but the lengths some people go to in order to make themselves seem perfect have gone too far. Apps, like Facetune, advertise themselves as a way to fix minor flaws in photos, but the truth of the matter is that they offer much more than that.

These apps give you an opportunity to change the shape of your face and body in a matter of seconds. Retouched photos can bring down self-confidence by presenting ultra-thin bodies, unblemished skin and perfect hair – none of which can truly be achieved.

One of the major downsides of photoshop is comparing yourself to something that’s completely unrealistic. When a person sees such impossible standards of beauty, it is common for them to feel individual feelings of being flawed, or even a feeling of not measuring up or not being good enough. Even if in your head you realize that the photograph has been altered it can still leave a negative effect on you.

As a result of being surrounded by photoshopped images, one can develop the desire to edit their own photos and hide their true selves.

Not only is it negative to edit yourself, but it is also something you have to keep up with. Once you start to edit certain flaws out of photo, you feel the need to have to continue doing so in every photo. If in one picture you don’t have a beauty mark, but in another you do, people will begin to realize you used an app to get rid of it. You have to keep up that standard of editing once you start.

This can be compared to telling a lie. Once you tell a lie, you then have to keep up the lie, creating feelings of guilt and negativity. Editing a photo leaves you feeling unsatisfied and guilty.

Facetune and photoshop can easily become an addiction. Every time you post a picture you may want to make it even better than the last. Small adjustments such as making your waist slimmer, whitening your teeth, or even changing your hairline can change your appearance and make you into a completely different person when all added together.

Along with addiction and keeping up an appearance, one can also be “exposed” for photoshop if done poorly. If you attempt to make your waist slimmer, the wall behind you can curve and make it obvious that the photo has been altered. People are cruel nowadays and will not hesitate to call someone out for a mistake such as this.

One could argue that photoshop helps boost self-confidence, but if anything, photoshop creates an extremely harmful self-image. Not only does seeing photoshopped images of others make you feel less of a person, less of woman, or less of a man, but it can also encourage you to try it yourself.

This ultimately leads to an overall feeling of inadequacy.  

Rather than encouraging one another to look a certain way, we should support each other’s natural beauty.

Each person has unique characteristics about themselves and we need to realize that and accept it. Social media is already a toxic app to spend time on, but with the introduction and normalization of apps like Photoshop and Facetune, it’s only gotten worse.

If we continue to make photoshopping ourselves socially acceptable, things will only go downhill. As a society, we need to appreciate every individual’s flaws and imperfections.

The normalization of these apps must be stopped, so by doing so, we need to spread more positivity to those who feel the need to morphe their true appearance.