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A UCI student, Alice, experienced a situation in which a photograph of herself was photoshopped by a photographer. Her description of the incident and the pictures are below:

“Just last week we discussed the media and how photographers alter and photoshop women to fit this standardized idea of beauty that we have fabricated in our minds – so imagine how I felt when I received a photo back that was completely dismorphed beyond what looked like me.

My eyes were enlarged, my hair was colored, my lips were made fuller and my face was slimmed down.

The odd girl I looked at in the photo was not me at all.

The photo on the left is with a photographer that does lifestyle shoots and keeps things natural. That is what I look like. The left is the editorial shoot with a different photographer that altered my face.”

Alice

For your discussion:

1. Is it acceptable for photographer’s to use digital tools to alter their subjects’ appearance (e.g. Photoshop, filtering apps)?

1a. How is this different (or similar) to photographer’s using lighting or makeup to get the image they desire?

2. What message(s) are being conveyed by the alteration of a person’s likeness? Do you think there are similarities or differences when it comes to gender? (Are images of men altered as well, and if so, how?)

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