Photoshopping women in magazines?

A lot of people complain about how much women are made to look perfect in magazines and how they're never any fat women on the covers. But I find that, well why would I want to buy a magazine and look at someone who isn't perfect looking and photoshopped? I don't want to buy a magazine and look at ugly people, I can go outside and do that. I'm just confused as to why people think it's such a big deal, I know that it gives women the wrong idea of how they're supposed to look and blah blah. But don't you know that in real life that girl is probably yes still very pretty but not perfect? And people say it causes eating disorders, but does it really? I find that usually the root cause is much bigger than that. All I know is I'm more likely to pick up a magazine and say "wow that girl is beautiful" and makes me want to actually look through it and see more. But I'm not going to think "wow that girl is average, she looks like an every day girl! Now I really want to buy what she's wearing!"


Most Helpful Guy

  • I think photoshopped women (AND MEN) is a good thing.

    Sure, it makes people feel bad, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people are better at coping with negative feelings than others. That, however, is a matter of "poor coping skills." It doesn't mean that striving for something better is bad or negative.

    As a guy, when I look at guys in magazines, I know they're photoshopped. I know these guys don't really look like that. But, I still aspire to look "close" to that. I know it's attractive. I know women like it. I know I would look better, so I strive towards better. These magazines, this artificial ideal, keeps us striving and working towards something better.

    There's research showing that people who hang around overweight family members and friends end up gaining weight and becoming overweight themselves. That's because the group dynamic (social pressure) lowers the bar on what's an "acceptable" body weight. There's also research showing that people who hang around friends or family with poor hygiene start to take less care of themselves.

    Sure, seeing pictures of people who are "better" than us makes us "feel bad" about ourselves. We automatically rank ourselves and rightfully conclude that we're "not as good" as others. Yet, people can choose to respond to that in two ways.

    1. Try to justify denying the reality and find excuses to create a social support system that prevents us from feeling bad.

    2. Accepting the reality and using it as motivation to better ourselves.

    If I see a guy on the Forbes 500 list, yes, I have to admit I'm not a billionaire. But, that bad feeling is quickly turned around into motivation to better myself financially. If I see a guy on the cover of GQ, yes, I have to admit I'm not as stylish or well-groomed or dressed. But, that bad feeling is quickly turned around into motivation to look better. If I see a guy on the cover of Muscle or Men's Fitness, yes, I have to admit I'm nowhere near as fit as him. But, that bad feeling is quickly turned around into motivation to start eating better, working out better, and building muscle better.

    That's how people with healthy coping skills deal with those negative feelings. I think it's very socially detrimental for women to foster this network of supporting each others' negative coping skills.

    These magazines just motivate people to look better.


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What Guys Said 10

  • We've been trained to expect perfection in advertising and publicity photos, so, of course, we've come to reject ordinary looking people modeling clothes or other fashions.

    But when you go to a magazine that, in fact, uses ordinary ;people (not models, but of course not grossly obese or ugly people) to show off their clothes, you quickly stop thinking that the people aren't perfect, aren't photoshopped, and you in fact think, 'I don't have to be an ultra thin or fit model to look good in these clothes! This person is fit,but they clearly aren't professionally thin models, and they look great!

  • Because it skews the senses of the impressionable, which sadly, are a big lot.

    • Well they're f***ing idiots. It pisses me off.

    • It would be better if people weren't so impressionable and are able to tell the difference between reality and what's portrayed purely for marketing purposes. But it is what it is.

    • I think we're all a little impressionable, though. Especially with the hundreds of ads we see that are filled with people who have unrealistic-looking bodies. For people with insecurities, whether minor or major, those kinds of ads enforce our beliefs that we're not smart/pretty/beautiful/sexy enough.

      Given that the Asker says she can just go outside to look at "ugly people", it doesn't sound like she has insecurities. That's good for her, but many of us do and it's difficult to NOT feel a little bad about ourselves when we're constantly being bombarded with pictures and videos of super-attractive people.

  • It's interesting, Psychology Today posted up on a study involving how thin and large models affect women's self-image. It was basically just as bad for large models as it was thin models.

    The reason was this:

    -When they see a thin model, they compare themselves to it, and are dissappointed when they don't "match up". (I wouldn't call it "matching up" per se. A lot of girls who are sexy are plenty larger than those sticks.)

    -When they see a large model, they see more similarities, and are just as disappointed, because they have similarities to someone THEY THEMSELVES consider fat.

    Combine this, with the fact that men's preferences are much more broad than what's on billboards, and you have yourself a real plot twist.

    Perhaps we should be more about women's psychology, instead of "men's plots to control them". And perhaps we should be talking less about "which is better, skinny or fat" or "everyone is beautiful" and instead try to think in terms of "you look good/bad? so what."

    We keep saying "this is beautiful" "that is beautiful", and we aren't doing anything about the constant need to BE beautiful.

  • i would disagree, these super stars and models need to be huminized and taken off the pedestal the media and people put them upon. they are humans and have flaws I thinks its ignorant to want to look at them and be like oh hey that's perfect, but in order to make them perfect and that person who they are I'm going to remove all those freckles and beauty marks oh and a little fat here and oh we gotta make this bigger. people are made the way they are for a reason. just because the people aren't altered by photoshop doesn't mean they aren't beautiful and special in their own way. half the time photoshop pics get messed up. one person is missing a limb. as far as it makes people have disorders I think that over the top and I do not agree, its your own choice to do that we all know what is right and wrong in the law and to ourselves. some people have legitimate mental issues that causes them to have disorders. you know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everyone loses it, I bet you think you are hot stuff huh? I think its attitudes and reactions to things like you that are really ugly and very unnatractive. if you want those fake "perfect" people over there than how people really are I think there is some wrong with you because its not how reality is

    • "Think I'm hot stuff" hahaha, you have no idea what I think and I didn't ask for your opinion on me. As I was reading I was happy to see a different side but you don't know who I am. Anyway, I'm not saying I think I am good looking enoug to be on the cover, but point is I don't want to see everyday average people on magazines. If people are so easily influnced by a magazine, then I don't think I'm the one who has something wrong with me.

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    • alright I like that and I will take it;. I agree to disagree on this subject. truce?

  • "I don't want to buy a magazine and look at ugly people, I can go outside and do that."

    I stopped reading there because I was laughing so gotdamned hard. LMFAO

    • Haha I guess it is funny, but I was being dead serious lol.

    • Im sure you were, gosh that line is just so weird and funny. My fcking humor is dry as a desert, it really got me haha

  • You don't really think logically about everything you see.. it takes energy to think logically. My mind could register a photoshopped photo as real beauty before I start an argument in my head about if it is photoshopped or not. What I am trying to say here is that by default.. you are under the impression of what you see.

    I want to see girls in their natural beauty. Natural figure. I want to get used to their flaws and I want to feel cellulite is as normal as hair on the head. I don't want to always see perfect silk hair. I don't want girls getting anorexic or bulimic .

    You may be fortunate to have a good self esteem but many girls don't .

    I can go on more.. but I know we won't agree.. in any case.. to each his own .

    • Hmm I kind of see where you're coming from, but at the same time people should understand that it's just a picture an it's all for marketing.

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    • I also want to say that I don't doubt that you are thinking about it rationally.. again.. you are confident.. images of attractive girls don't phase you .. but believe me .. it does have effect on many others .. if they want good marketing .. show me pictures before and after ... then the girl will saw wow and go buy the foundation or whatever.. or the cleanser... but to computer fix a shot to convince someone of the product? I call this more like cheating. :)

    • That is true about the before after part. It'd sell it to me more easily.

  • I can see your line of reasoning. I've always thought that if your self esteem is destroyed by a magazine, it really wasn't there to start with.

  • I don't want to see photoshopped women. Especially since most aren't attractive after being photoshopped.

    • This can be true, often times women looked better before. But are you saying you'd rather look at a magazine filled with women you see every day or someone like Megan Fox or whoever you fancy? (honest question)

    • well I don't see why I'd care to look at a magazine that was about appearance in the first place. But I would prefer a real woman in media than a fake one. Same with real men instead of fake ones.

      I also don't like Megan Fox at all >.> but you did say whoever I fancy. What I fancy tends to be cute girls that wear no make up and ya :P it's usually not physical.

      But ya, any magazine I look at would be science, technology, or games.

  • photoshoppping is a fraud!and I hate frauds.

  • so you tell me you want to look as fake as the people in the magazines? self esteem issues? confidence issues?

    • No. I just don't want to buy a magazine and then see ordinary people in it. I know those people in the magazines don't look nearly as perfect in person, but I don't want to pay money to see some average or ugly person who I could easily see anywhere. I don't think I'm the one with the confidence issues since I have no problem looking at beautiful people without feeling bad about myself.

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    • NO its NOT -_-

    • Well I'm going to take it as one. So thanks buddy :)

What Girls Said 14

  • Photoshopping women in magazines?

    In my opinion is probably only an issue because guys aren't photoshopped to the same or similar extent or held upon such high youth and beauty criteria.

    And people say it causes eating disorders, but does it really?

    Yes for many gals it does cause eating disorders as those photoshopped gals become the standard by which they are judged on.

    • I have has friends with eating disorders and I find that really that they have something bigger going on in their life.

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    • Most guys I know don't go around with magazines comparing the models to every girl he see. Unless the guy has never been outside I doubt he holds his standards up that high, unless he himself is extremely good looking, and in that case you probably didn't have a chance either way.

    • @why-makoto-kun

      I read a study stating that when a guy sees an extremely attractive gal then sees an attractive gal he perceives the attractive gal as less attractive than she is and she becomes average because he is comparing her to the extremely attractive gal. I'll look it up it was 2010 or something in sociology.


      Way different experiences.

  • Who are you to decide who is beautiful and who is not?

    You want to take that princess crown off of your head for a second and understand that people are more than looks, than maybe you might be smart enough to analyze that is exactly what the media uses to enforce your attitude on purchasing magazines such as that.

    If you don't want to see 'ugly people' in a magazine, then don't buy it.

    If you don't want to see 'average people' in a magazine, then don't buy it.

    Perfection is overrated, just like girls who expect the world they live in to be surrounded by beautiful people.

    • What magazine am I supposed to buy? Haha the last thing I expect is for everyone around me to be beautiful, because then no one would be. And are you seriously that stupid? I know that people are more than looks, but I don't care about the model in the magazines personality, I want to know what she's wearing, what makeup brand she uses. If I judged people on soley their looks only I wouldn't have anyone in my life. But for the sake of a magazine? I don't care if there's more to them than looks.

    • Pick up a book, kiddo! Stop caring about what she's wearing, what makeup brand she is using---and for the sake of women everywhere, no one cares about the impression a magazine has on you. It shows if your gonna ask opinions on photo shopping, where your priorities lie-----I get tired of telling girls like you to grow up. Good luck with everything though! I hope you find all the brands you desire!

    • Pick up a book. Good one! Please enlighten me on how you came to be so witty. So, I'm not allows to care about fashion, hair, or makeup? I'm a f***ing 18 year old in college. News flash, that's what most girls my age think about. If you're tired of telling "girls like me" then stop because you look like a moron. And thanks for the nice wishes, going shopping right now! ;)

  • I feel the same! It's done to sell the clothes - unfortunately ugly doesn't sell.

    I find this argument the same as the "Mcdonalds is unhealthy one." ...don't go to McDonalds if you're looking for a nutritious meal! We ARE capable of making our own decisions believe it or not... No one forces you to eat McDonalds..

    Same as photoshop - EVERYONE knows that models in magazines are excessively photoshopped. The girls should realize that instead of trying to attain it.

    So many people seem to want others to make decisions/exercise willpower for them!

  • People don't want to see average or below average

    They want and expect perfection

    The same women bitching about photoshop and airbrushing are the same women who turn around and make fun of celebs caught without makeup or with cellulite. Those are often the same women who say "real women have curves"

    I read Womens Health, Shape, Fitness, Allure and Elle and I've never felt inadequate when reading through cause I actually read the stuff. I don't stare at the pics and make myself feel bad.

    hell, I'm more likely to feel bad about myself seeing hot chicks on the beach than I am looking at a magazine! :(

  • Because photoshoping creates a twisted understanding of "perfect", you yourself said that you find unphotoshoped women are ugly.

    But women looked beautiful in magazines before photoshop as well and girls looked up at the women portrayed. At least then, the figures of women were somewhat attainable by everyone. Now however, the ideal perfect girl is unachievable, which causes girls and women to go to extreme lengths to achieve these ideals(which they fail).

    So yes, excessive photoshoping is bad.

    • Nooooo way do I did unphotoshopped women ugly! Please don't get the wrong idea. I can see how you got confused, but without photoshop no one is "perfect".

  • Yeah but I wish all models didn't have to be super skinny. Not so skinny girls can be beautiful too. But we're sending messages that girls under the size 8 are perfect. And the only celebrities that considered sexy and isn't real skinny is Serena Williams, and Marilyn Monroe(but she's old). Not that there isn't anything wrong with super skinny people. And I'm sick of seeing people with the size c bust in up in Victoria Secret and Playboy. Man thinks flat chested girls are sexy too. But I guess it because it's society idea of more feminine.

  • Hmmm. There's a point when photoshopping becomes too much. I'd rather see real looking skin, on a makeup ad, than a photoshopped, perfectly smooth 'blank' mask. I'd also prefer to see women with larger bodies, and be shown that they too, are beautiful. Why? Because without the watchful care of my family, I would've been one of the ones who became anorexic, because of the unrealistic displays of what women 'should' look like in magazines/ads.

    I'd also like to see more...odd beauty, instead of carbon copies all the time... But obviously, that's part of my aesthetic preference.

    A small amount of touch ups, say to fix a scar, or other such things, is alright, though, because you could actually achieve that in real life.

  • "All I know is I'm more likely to pick up a magazine and say "wow that girl is beautiful" and makes me want to actually look through it and see more. But I'm not going to think "wow that girl is average, she looks like an every day girl! "

    except the girls in these magazines AREN"T average to begin with, ads, magazines, whatever, they all hand pick the most beautiful women in the world to model for them, the fact you would look at them and think "average" without photoshop to remove the odd freckle and bump shows that your views on beauty have been affected by the media, even though you claim you're in touch with reality.

    • No. I'm talking average. I actually think freckles are cute on girls so I think that would only bump up attractiveness. There are plenty of girls I see every day that I think are gorgeous and of course they have flaws. I'm talking average. Like not ugly or pretty. A few zits doesn't alter whether I think someone is pretty or not. But women in magazines are trying to sell you something. That's why photoshop is used.

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    • You keep saying that I don't think anyone is beautiful without photoshop...I never said that. You just assumed for whatever reason. You don't even have a valid argument.

    • think whatever you like, I can't be bothered trying to explain this again.

  • I agree with you, it is a form to get people to buy things,

  • The media excepts them to look perfect and if they gain a few they are fat.

  • I thinks it's OK, but I don't think there is a need to photoshop people thinner when they are already a 0-2 or enlarge a breast on someone who has a good proportion for their body. You can glam anyone in a magazine. They still have the best stylist and make-up artist, and photographers, you don't need to alter the photos that much.

  • speaking from personal experience, I think they do help cause eating disorders and body image problems, at one point in my teens, I was 172cm (5'7") and starved my way down to 44 kilos (97lbs) and still thought I was disgusting, because, (big surprise) while I was as skinny as it possible to make oneself, as skinny as the girls in magazines; they all had c cup breasts and hips, while I just looked like a flat chested famine victim...

    There was no way I could change my genetics to get their curves, but I could control my weight, so I would starve myself, sometimes I would even tie ribbons tightly around my waist until they dug in and hurt all day to try and create curves.

    now that I'm a more healthy weight, I have boobs and hips now, but I still find it difficult to accept myself because I'm not quite so waif-like anymore.

    It is much harder to accept yourself for what you are and feel good about it, when you're constantly surrounded by images of perfection that are purposely associated with success, wealth, happiness and everything good in life

  • I'm fine with some editing (making their skin look flawless, dewy, bright, etc.) because yes, it's a cover, it's supposed to look nice and polished and it's expected.

    I'm not okay with how far Photoshop usually goes. Reducing women's thighs and arms to sticks, increasing their bust sizes, increasing the size of their eyes and lips... I've taken a few sociology and psychology courses on this very topic, and yes, it does affect people negatively, both women and men. While you may say, "Any person with common sense knows that picture has been Photoshopped", my question is, WHY should we accept all this photo editing as being the norm?

    I'm going to have to disagree with you on the whole perfect vs. normal thing... My favorite celebrities, the ones that grab my attention and make me want to buy things, are not the people who I look at and get sad about because I can't ever look as perfect as they do, but the people I look at and can see some of myself in. Humanizing characteristics. I want to know more about those people, so I would be more likely to pick up a magazine.

  • People feel inadequate when they see pictures like those, so they immediately attack the image to make themselves feel better. That's how the media gets people to buy obscene amounts of expensive products and breeds materialism, because people are trying to stay on par with societies standards of beauty, and just being healthy.

    People want to feel good, they want to look good, and when they don't look good, it makes them not feel good.

    Personally, I think this little psychology of feeding on peoples inward desires to " glorify " themselves and their bodies is pretty hollow and unecessary, as no one, not even the photoshopped models meet the level of " perfection," the world is putting out there. If you see one pretty model, there's about 3 billion others just as gorgeous if not more.

    Of course they don't want ugly or average people on their covers, of course they don't want fat or out of shape people. They want you to look at that magazine and do exactly what you said:

    " Wow that girl is beautiful; " I'm going to look through this magazine more.

    All they want is your attention, and that's what pretty people get is attention.

    I know for a fact that when I see pretty people on magazines, suddenly I have the urge to do my hair, dress well, and beautify my face. It's like inspirational I guess :P

    • I agree with this, whenever I see a pretty girl I am inspired to do my makeup or do my hair.

    • Yep. Sadly though, some people feel bitter because they don't think they're attractive enough to even try to look nice : /.