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The Ethics and Effects of Digitally Altered Images in Advertising and Journalism

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Caroline Terry

on 8 April 2011

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Transcript of The Ethics and Effects of Digitally Altered Images in Advertising and Journalism

The Ethics and the Effects of Digitally Altered Photos
in Advertising "These photos can lead people to believe in realities that, very often, do not exist...” “When teenagers and women look at these pictures in magazines, they end up feeling unhappy with themselves...” “I have never yet seen, and you probably never will see, a fashion or beauty picture that hasn’t been retouched...” http://www.dovemovement.com/movement/about Humans are extremely impressionable creatures. Our self-esteems are very vulnerable to the omnipresent advertisements that exist in our society. In addition, the effects that digitally altered advertisements have on the human mind, especially the minds of girls, are greater than we could ever imagine. Although the primary purpose of digitally altered photographs in advertisements is to make a product or service more appealing to the consumer, it seems to be having the opposite effect. Falsified images of supermodels and actresses distort the concept of women’s beauty and impress upon girls the idea of unattainable beauty. The Effects on Girls:
Annorexia and other eating disorders
Low self-esteem
Distorted body images
Increased anxiety
Increase in smoking
Increase in cosmetic surgery
A Thin Ideal
-A typical model weights 23% less than an average female
-One study showed that 69% of girls said that models influence their ideas of the perfect body type
-75% of “normal weight” women think that they are overweight
-68% of women said they feel worse after looking through a women’s magazine
-50% of American women are currently dieting "…the media perpetuates a market for frustration and disappointment..." The Dove Movement
To encourage women and girls to feel confident in their own beauty
To boost self-esteem
To educate the next generation to build a positive relationship with beauty http://www.msethjones.com/rollovers/ Before and After Photoshops Model Filippa Hamilton fired from Ralph Lauren for being "too fat" How photography lost its innocence…
- First photograph taken in 1914
- Even painted portraits were being manipulated before film cameras were even invented
- Quantel computers created “Paintbox” in 1980
- Silicon Graphics created “Barco Creator” which became available in the late 1980s
- “Adobe Photoshop” gave anyone the ability to manipulate photos First documented instance of
image manipulation. Abraham
Lincoln's head was painted on top of John Calhoun's body circa 1860. This photo of Candian prime minister,
Queen Elizabeth and King George VI
was digitally altered to remove King George
from the photograph all together. The prime
minister thought that a photograph with just him
and the queen would make him seem more
powerful. After Before Digitally altered images in journalism and advertisements has become such a common occurence that now it is difficult to tell which photos have been retouched and which ones haven't. In fact, manipulating images or "photoshopping" has become sort of a new art form. The entire principle behind corporate advertising is to convince the general public to buy a service or product. Unfortunately advertisers have learned how to manipulate their consumers into buying their products. Through advertising, we as a society are taught that being thin and beautiful is the ultimate goal and if we buy a specific soap brand we are guaranteed be happy and successful for the rest of our lives. We strive for the majority of our lives in order to achieve the looks of unrealistic, nonhuman models. The images of models that appear in magazines or billboards are almost always digitally altered. Freckles, moles and beauty marks are covered up by perfect airbrushed skin, cellulite magically disappears and body parts are either stretched, removed or meshed together with body parts from other models in order to create the ideal photo, or in other words, a person who does not exist. Most advertising leads women, and teenage girls in particular, striving to change their bodies in order to become a person who is not real, but rather several people meshed together and then photo shopped.
We are manipulated into thinking that if we buy a certain product we can look like the literally picture-perfect model on the magazine cover. The problem that occurs from these digitally altered photographs is that teenage girls soon realize that they cannot achieve the looks that they see in magazines and on billboards. However, it is not because they are conscious of the fact that it is not possible for girls to look but rather they believe that they are not pretty enough or skinny enough to look like what advertising considers “perfect.” They blame themselves for failing to achieve these looks rather than the advertisers. The reason why teenage girls blame themselves for failing to look “perfect” is due to the fact that they have a fictitious idea of what it is to look beautiful. Advertisements tell them that if they don’t look like the girls on the magazines, then they are ugly. Their self-esteems are dramatically lowered, which in turn, leads to physical and mental problems. It has become normal for women to hate their bodies. Policies for the ethical uses of manipulated photos:
Brightness/contrast control
Burning & dodging to control tonal range
Color correction
Cropping a frame to fit the layout
Retouching of dust & scratches
Not Ethically Allowed:
Adding, moving, or removing objects within the frame
Color change other than to restore what the subject looked like
Cropping a frame in order to alter its meaning
Flopping a photograph (left/right reversal)
Printing a photograph in other than "true" orientation Should these photos be allowed to be in advertisements? Or are advertisers just expressing their freedom of expression? Recently the French Parliament has made it necessary for altered photos to come with a "warning label," just as foods are required to come with a label containing the ingredients. Digitally altered images have become extremely
prominant in the advertising business. The ethical
questions that exist make it difficult to determine
whether or not manipulated images should be banned.
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