Has Photoshop lost its touch with the real world?

Photoshop is a provider of many image editing features that enables image creation and alterations. But has it lost its touch with the real world, real bodies and real lifestyles?


Photoshop has been the industry’s standard image editing program for so long that its name is also used as a verb.  It is used by many, ranging from photographers and designers to artists and advertising designers.  You can access the software for a monthly fee which can start at around at £10 depending on the number of feature requirements.


Whether it be in magazines, posters, newspapers, television or online. Originally, it was designed to enhance or improve the quality of a piece of work however sadly it is now often abused particularly in the fashion and beauty industry.

It has become the social norm to be bombarded with images of digitally enhanced models. But are these unrealistic standards created by Photoshop finally losing their touch and simply driving away customers?


The authorities in France have recently introduced a new rule that Photoshopped images of models must carry a warning label to state that the photos have been digitally altered with the aim to tackle eating disorders. They hope this will discourage young people from trying to imitate these unobtainable physiques.

Following this ban, Getty Images have also decided to ban images of Photoshopped images in a pledge to promote positive self-esteem.

As well as this, companies like ASOS have stopped airbrushing out their model’s stretch marks, which has received a positive response from customers and followers on social media and been described as ‘empowering’.

Celebrities such as Kendrick Lamar have said they are sick of seeing unnatural and unrealistic images of women. ‘Show me something natural, like ass with some stretch mark’, the rapper declared in his song ‘Humble’.


Zendaya called out a magazine for doctoring her hips and torso in an image that she had featured in:

‘Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19-year-old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have’.


Lorde also tweeted about two images of her on stage, with one that was unedited, and the other that had been edited to make her skin look flawless, and said that ‘Remember flaws are okay’.

The irony is that airbrushing was originally used to lure customers in so that they aspired to look like the ‘flawless’ models in the images, but now people are sick of being bombarded with ‘perfection’ and would rather see something natural that they can relate to.


Missguided were recently accused of attempting to add stretchmarks onto one of their models showcasing a bikini, even though they have denied the allegations.


The problem is, Photoshop is accessible to anyone nowadays, so even images that haven’t been digitally edited are now being accused of being edited. And if it’s not Photoshop then it’s an Instagram or Snapchat filter. It has completely distorted people’s perception of what is real and what isn’t real.

In October, Actress Mandy Moore was faced with a backlash of comments insinuating she had Photoshopped her photos, after uploading three of them to Instagram. Body-shamers accused her of digitally shrinking her waist in the images, but she denies the claims.

It has come to the point where it’s not uncommon for celebrities to upload photos to their Instagram and be faced with a backlash of hate comments suggesting they’ve been tampered with.

So, what’s the future for Photoshop?

It is clear that Photoshop is damaging not only to its audience but also harmful to those who are victims of being modified by it. Evidentially consumers don’t want ridiculously airbrushed pictures and are even more likely to just be discouraged from purchasing from brands that airbrush excessively. However, it is clear that with the rise of Snapchat filters and phone companies like Samsung creating a default airbrush setting on their front facing the camera, that individuals are very still very conscious of making themselves appear attractive to the online world. Besides… we’re all guilty using a filter, right?

Text: Chloe Humphries

Images: Complex.com, Redbook Magazine, Flare Magazine, Asos, Missguided

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 Irina Gorskaia

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