We all know advertisements for cosmetics and clothing are unrealistic, in terms of the physical “ideal” these ads are attempting to portray. As much as we despise them and understand their fakery, they still influence how we look at one another and how we want to appear and be looked at.
I think these following links to videos showing the extremes of body shaping and “make-over” that can be done to a given image is both educational (in terms of the capabilities of Photoshop) and an eye-opener. We rely on our eyes to view our world and inherently accept most of what we see as real.
When body images are manipulated to such an extent as to barely, if even, resemble the original person, how do we interpret that? Does our belief then change to thinking everything we see in print and online is fake, or modified to some extent? I know some of my photography is thought to be manipulated when it is accomplished through a manual process. Others have told me their images have been questioned (and also their honesty) when telling viewers their images of brilliant colors or fantastic, unique, situations, are not modified.
Does that pass on to how we perceive real, flesh and bone, people? How much of that person’s body is real and how much is augmented or taken away, covered up or re-shaped? Does all this manipulation of pixels and flesh create a society that believes nothing is real? If nothing is real, what has meaning? We question ourselves (are we good enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, successful enough?) and we question others (are they real? what is their motiviation? aren’t they good enough? don’t they think highly of themselves? they’re taking advantage).
Regardless, these videos are interesting. Make up your own mind.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ0adXaY_bs&NR=1 The Magic of Photoshop – “look like a supermodel” 3:30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knEIM16NuPg&feature=related The Evolution of Beauty 1:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0u0wWOMIsE&feature=related Slob Evolution (of course the obverse is true) 1:15