In 2011 a Julia Roberts ad for Lancome was banned in the UK for excessive use of photoshop by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). While this seems like a big step in the right direction for extinguishing excessive use of photo manipulation in media, I for one feel it hasn’t changed much. The outcry from the public about this obvious extreme use of photoshop was loud, but ad companies are still using the same tactics. The US needs something like the UK’s ASA to regulate ads because the phenomenon of photoshopping to the point that you cannot recognize the celebrity is getting old.
Lady Gaga was featured on the December issue of Glamour magazine for their Woman of the Year award. She took the opportunity in accepting the award to voice her concerns about photoshop in the media. She comment on the fact that her face and hair were obviously retouched and stated “I do not look like this when I wake up in the morning.”
So far there exists a lot of controversy in regard to photoshop and how to regulate it, especially towards the unrealistic body images that it promotes. I would like to propose my idea of how photoshop should be used, which will make most people happy. I say most and not all, because it is absolutely impossible to make everyone happy. I have posted a link, that shows 35 amazing advertisements made of photoshop. If to look closely, not one of those ads depicts beauty or promotes any beauty/ body related products. All of those advertisements are focusing mainly on what the product is about and what message is trying to be delivered by that brand. My proposal: there should be limit and or regulation of how much photoshop can be used in advertisements promoting body images and beauty. Advertisements that are promoting products that do not involve body image and beauty should have the freedom to use photoshop to a greater extent than the beauty/body image ads, because the focus of these ads is to promote the product and or message rather than an idealism of the human body. In these ads, one does not have to question what is “real” and look deeply into detail to tell if the ad has been altered in any way, because one can obviously see that there is absolutely nothing “real” about the advertisements because they have been generated using only photoshop.
I discovered quite an interesting article in the New York Times that talks about the whole problem with photoshop and what to do with it. It addresses the law that was recently passed in France in regards to displaying information about whether an image was photoshopped. The article talks about the problems that we are experiencing here in the U.S. and the many reasons why photoshop should be if not eliminated, then regulated. Dr. Hany Farid, a computer technology professor at Dartmouth University has proposed a tool which can measure on a scale of 1-5, how much an image has been photoshopped. The main purpose is to again address how overly photoshopped images show an unrealistic idealism of the human body. I found this article to be quite interesting because it explains that realistically, photoshop can not be eliminated, and if it can’t be eliminated, then why not regulate it.
I found an interesting article that talks about the various tricks that are used to make the food advertisements and commercials look so good and realistic, with out actually using any photoshop. It’s quite interesting how what we are viewers see to be delicious and appealing, is actually the opposite of what is used in actual commercials. Products range from glue, which serves the role of milk in cereal ads, to tweezers that add in little, tiny, details to foods to make them look absolutely perfect.
Cover Girl, has let out a series of make up advertisements for their new mascara called Magnum. In their ads, they feature pictures of models with excessively long eyelashes, appearing to result from the use of their product. Of course, they are over dramatizing the effects of their product. If to observe Cover Girl’s advertisements closely, especially the one’s that are from the early 2000’s, one can see where the natural lashes of the model exist, and where the strip of fake adhesive lashes is glued on. On the one hand, the company is trying to emphasize how beneficial their product is, but on the other, the provide does not provide results such as the one’s that are being shown in the ad. It’s obvious that everyone has different lash types, so it could not be possible that just from using the Cover Girl mascara, their lashes would become longer or fuller in length or volume. I’m not saying that what their product does is a complete lie. Mascara contains collagen, a protein that is quite durable. It does coat the lashes and provide some length, but not to the extent that the advertisement is showing. The length of the original lashes serves as the limiting factor in the use of the product. No matter how much one puts on, it still won’t produce the perfect results that the advertisement is showing. If this is true, should Cover Girl consider adding words like, “results may vary”, or something along those lines, to their products?
I’ve seen the Bosley commercials countless times on tv, and it always bothered me how the before and after pictures were presented. They are selling a hair transplant procedure, and the images they use in their advertisements seem strange to me. Often times, the before picture is shot with the subjects head turned at an angle so that part or most of their face is obscured. Most of the before picture seem very old in comparison to the after photos, and some before and after images seem to be different people. Some of the images are shown below, and personally they do not sit well with me.