Beauty Over Photoshop

By: Sora Kim

Live long or live pretty?

Since when did blue eyes, blonde hair, thin waists, and skinny limbs become “pretty”? Everywhere in media- whether it be ads, on TV, or even with famous people- the expectations in appearance has risen significantly. From makeup to plastic surgery, many boys and girls are working themselves toward artificial beauty at a young age. So many people are oblivious to the harmful effects of these expectations. Teens are going through extreme measures to change their appearance. There are,a few solutions that could help change people’s expectations on beauty, like body positive campaigns and models with more diverse body types. Some of these movements are going on right now, to uncover how much technology is used for photoshop in the media. Beauty expectations in media are harmful to society.


Interpretations of beauty in media are harmful to the audience. Many people who see these ads compare themselves to the people in them. This leads to a “sense of inadequacy on young women’s self-concepts” (saeedalmchairi Article 4). They experience lowered self-esteem, and feel the need to change their appearance to match the expectations. This is not limited to women, either. Ads encourage impossibly built bodies in men, and because of them, “teenage boys put themselves through compulsive exercising, bulimia, binge eating, steroid abuse and diet aid abuse, and anorexia” (saeedalmchairi Article 4). Boys like to make sure they are keeping up with the latest trends, and appearance has become one of them. These unrealistic standards are making teens strive harder to reach them, even making them force harmful things on their body to meet the expectations.


There are some solutions that could help change encourage body positivity. Encouraging the diversity in body types is one way the media can help. One campaign that is going on right now in media, is the #ChooseBeautiful Dove Campaign. Not only have they made heartwarming commercials with many different body types, but they are researching about the effects of having a positive versus a negative body image. This campaign encourages women to see their body diversity as a positive difference. Another active body positive trend is the #LessIsMore petition. This movement was created by an eating disorder survivor, Erin Treloar. She is working to expose the amount of photoshop used in fashion magazines, and to encourage depending less on technology to change someone’s appearance. She is also the founder of RAW Beauty Talks, which is a program that helps girls build confidence in their bodies. By encouraging self-positivity, teens learn that the photoshopped people in media is not something they should look up to. There are many other campaigns promoting positive body image, and they are gradually changing the views on beauty standards.


Although media is helpful sometimes, it actually has a lot more negative effects than people realize. It has driven teens to extreme measures, just so they can feel good about themselves. The media is not completely negative, either. There are many movements on the media, encouraging body positivity. In the end, people are using media to fix the problems made by… well, the media. Fighting fire with fire may work out in the end, after all.

Work Cited

Saeedalmchairi. "Impact of TV Advertisements on Teens." (n.d.): n. pag. Print.