Little Photoshop of Horrors

We are in the midst of discussing the media and body image in Body Image class.  While I love every week in Body Image class, this one is especially fun because we spend so much time really examining images that are projected to us in the media that I feel like my students’ eyes really change overnight.  One day, they come into class buying everything they see.  They leave class with a whole new lens and become so adept at spotting media manipulations in just 30 minutes of our playing “Spot the Photoshop.”

During this media class, we also go over some essential lessons.  Such as…

#1.  We are fed unreal images BECAUSE they are unattainable and if we buy-in to the messages, then we must constantly consume to try and get there (never mind that we can’t get there because they are false images, as long as we buy-in, we are on the ride and someone can make money off of us).

#2.  If you are obsessed (with how you look), you are oppressed.

#3.  Before the media will change, we have to change.  The media gives us what we want.  Every single time we reward their messages by buying the product or watching the show, we tell them they are giving us what they want and they keep giving it to us (because we reward them with cash).

#4.  We have to make the conscious commitment to resist the messages we are sent.

#5.  You can vote with your time, dollar, and voice.  Never forget that you have the power to effect change but it takes changing to do that.

Now, for the latest round of Little Photoshop of Horrors.

This CoverGirl ad was banned in the UK because lash inserts and digital enhancing were actually what created those dynamic lashes, not just the mascara.  When that happened, the ad was pulled in the US to avoid the bad buzz.

This CoverGirl ad was banned in the UK because lash inserts and digital enhancing were actually what created those dynamic lashes, not just the mascara. When that happened, the ad was pulled in the US to avoid the bad buzz.

Lighten, brighten, publish.

Lighten, brighten, publish.


Where is the rest of Adam Levine's torso and his leg coming out of his stomach?

Where is the rest of Adam Levine’s torso and is his leg coming out of his stomach?

K Stewart Glamour Cover

Not to totally make this the K. Stew edition, but where’s the rest of her arm?

Kardashian Sears

Body parts, it seems, are terribly inconvenient in advertising. Hence, the Kardashian sisters are missing hands, arms, and legs in this Sears ad. While Khloe is significantly taller than her sisters, you’d never known that after this Gumby treatment. And finally, check out the photoshop black space between Kim and Khloe. I am not sure what is more shocking- the poor photoshopping that is put out in the media or the fact that so many of us have bought into the allusion that we don’t even notice all the clues telling us something isn’t real.

Lady Gaga

Making Gaga into just a shadow of herself.


By totally redoing faces, we lose perspective on what skin looks like and how we age, creating an unrealistic standard for everyone.


Even Penelope Cruz has smile lines. You know, because she smiles sometimes.

Taylor Lautner

As I tell my students with this one, Taylor Lautner borrowed someone else’s abs (check out the white underwear peaking out of Taylor’s jeans on the left side) and the underwear model borrowed someone’s sock or something (while likely having his one ab assist in some way).

Zooey Deschanel

Yes, even young women’s skin has texture, pores, and wrinkles. They would just like us not to know that.

What do you think of this latest round of Little Photoshop of Horrors?  What surprised you?  What are you learning about the images we are fed by the media?

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4 responses to “Little Photoshop of Horrors”

  1. Yvette

    Non of this surprises me (altho sad about Taylors abs..lmao ) . its one of the reasons I stopped buying magazines yrs ago.. the other is every one of them HAD to have something on weight lose. as teen I loved looking at all the pretty clothes and reading tips on make up.. now its If u don’t buy this (very expensive product) U’re ugly.. When the truth is its not the cream or make up that’s making these women/men look flawless, its a computer!

  2. Sarah Jones

    It is very refreshing ( and fun ) to look back at ” Jackie” magazines from the 1980s… in the UK many of us grew up with those magazines and learned about hair styles and makeup from them. Everyone in them looks so NORMAL…especially the “Photo Love ” photo stories!
    Those were the days, when fashion and beauty were FUN, not about trying to be perfect. I feel really sorry for young women nowadays.
    Go on eBay and buy some 80 s teen magazines! 🙂

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