Photoshop and Body Image in the Blogging World

Photoshop and Body Image in the Blogging World
By now I think we all know how heavily photoshopped images are on magazines, advertisements, and major online publications, that's one of the many reasons why the blogging world exploded in recent years. And I can definitely see the appeal of bloggers because like many of you reading this, I'm also someone who spends a lot of time reading and following bloggers. One of the things that is becoming more and more apparent in the blogging community is the desperate need to be skinny and perfect, which isn't anything new but this is coming from people often get seen as "normal" women. Not only are bloggers using photoshop to alter their bodies, but some of them will even turn to phone apps like FaceTune to get the appearance of unrealistically smooth skin which no one has. In this post I'm going to be voicing my opinion about photoshop in the blogging world, as well as talking about body image. Little known fact, the blogging world is very much like going back to high school.

I recently spoke about photoshop on my Snapchat and after I was done recording a few 10 second clips, I realized how little it makes sense to alter your body. Honestly, it just doesn't make any sense to me. Not only would you deceiving your audience into thinking that you have a thigh gap, bigger breasts, or thin arms but you would also be deceiving yourself. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you would be seeing a woman who looks nothing like the image that you put out in the world.
Photoshop and Body Image in the Blogging World
Now I know that I'm not thin, I see myself in the mirror everyday so I know this fact. I also have some not so lovely strangers trying to point out the fact that I'm not thin to me on my YouTube videos and social media. Just because I don't look like the skinny bloggers that you see parading around on Instagram, that doesn't mean that I'm morbidly obese or incredibly unhealthy. A size 8 or medium sized woman should not feel ashamed about her body, and to be completely honest no woman should feel ashamed about her body. So what if I have a muffin top and bigger arms? Who cares. If I were to make those areas of my body look thinner by using a phone app, the "problem" areas will still remain. The only way to truly alter your body and health is through exercise and healthy eating, not by swiping your finger on your phone's screen to magically create the illusion that you were born with a model's body. Personally I couldn't lie to myself and my audience that way, it just doesn't feel right to me. I looked to the blogging world to see the portrayal of the average woman, not to see deformed backgrounds because people are simply warping the image to alter their bodies (see example here).
Photoshop and Body Image in the Blogging World
The other way bloggers have been deceiving their audiences into thinking that they're perfect is by creating the illusion that their skin is unrealistically smooth. By now I think most of you have heard about FaceTune, the infamous app that will give you plastic like skin. I personally find the popular tools in the FaceTune app completely ridiculous, especially the smoothing feature which is everywhere on Instagram. No matter how many peels or skincare products you use, no one's skin will be as smooth as a plastic doll. It's just not going to happen! Skin will have a little texture, fine lines, wrinkles, freckles, blemishes, and pores. Sometimes I will go and use the healing tool on big or red pimples if they're too distracting from the image, but the fines lines and texture will remain the same. I also make sure to leave some of my blemishes in the pictures because 1) I can't be bothered to virtually heal everything and 2) it's just not realistic.

I will advise you to take the images you see on social media with a grain of salt because some of them will be just as photoshopped as the images you see on the magazines. Some bloggers certainly believe in the "fake it till you make it" phrase and they're not ashamed about it. I've been to blogger conventions where "popular" bloggers flat out tell the smaller bloggers that they use FaceTune to alter their skin and body. Yes, these are the type of things they consider as valuable tips. Personally if you want to lie to yourself and your audience that way, then that's completely up to you.

I've always been a very honest person, so I could never present myself in such a fake way. I know I'm not perfect, nor would I want to be. And I do have my days when I'm not completely happy with the way I look, but I've been down that self-loathing road and let me tell you- it's not very pretty. I've come to learn to appreciate myself when at any size, it doesn't matter whether I'm on the slimmer side or rocking a few extra pounds. There's no point in me sitting around and crying over my muffin top, that's not going to solve anything. Instead of focusing my energy on wishing I could be thinner, I just focus that energy into having fun with my outfits. When you start having fun and dressing for yourself, that's when you come to learn to appreciate your body at any size (at least that's how it happened to me).

I will continue altering the lighting and colors of my pictures, because the raw photos are most often than not very dark and muted. I'm also quite a bit of an obsessive nerd when it comes to editing those things (don't ask me why), but I won't be editing my Instagram or blog photos to alter my body or give myself plastic looking skin.

What do you think about photoshopping in the blogging and social media community? Sound off in the comments, I would love to hear what you think of this issue.

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