Sick and Tired of the Photoshop

Why magazine visuals are harmful to the body


Often when looking in the mirror girls see a different perspective.

By: Sarah Kantola, Reporter

     A little girl picks up her mom’s magazine with a beautiful model on the cover, she keeps looking from the magazine to the mirror and wondering why she can’t look that thin. Later in life she resorts to trying not to eat at all just to look like this model. Sadly, this is the reality for girls of all ages. I constantly see that magazines falsely portray body image which becomes destructive to women’s mental health.

     Magazine visuals often contain models with eating disorders and models that are photoshopped. These visuals are especially harmful to the mental health of young girls who constantly see them and wonder why they can’t look like that.

     Models that appear on magazines often look inhumanly skinny because of all the dieting they undergo which usually includes undereating. In a study done by The Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness it was found that “The average model is 5”11’ and weighs 117 pounds.” According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the normal weight range for a woman that height is 133-179 pounds. When magazines use underweight models it portrays a false body image standard that girls feel obligated to live up to.

     Even with underweight models many magazines feel the need to use photoshop on their visuals to make them seem even smaller. When magazines do this it not only harms the mental health of young girls who view it but also the celebrities who appear in the visuals. Lili Reinhart was photoshopped along with her costar. She said “to see our bodies become so distorted in an editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome.” Even people in the industry of modeling are aware of the harm of photoshop used in magazines.

     Magazines treat people as if there is only one body type which is not the case. Most models used have a very small frame and girls with different body types try to look like them by working out or eating healthy. Once they can’t achieve looking like the model they become frustrated and either under eat or throw up the food they do eat.

     I know that some people do think that photoshop should be used as long as the model is okay with it but the model might not be the party that is most affected by the photoshopping. The people viewing the photo can be damaged by it and if it’s hurting other people it should be considered unethical. A regulation against using photoshop may not be possible but readers of the magazine can speak out or boycott until magazines stop.

     According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at least 30 million people in the U.S. struggle with eating disorders. Seeing a certain body standard from magazines and models that aren’t even real is very unhealthy for people and it could harm anyone. Imagine your sisters, cousins or best friends struggling with the terrible fear of food just because of photoshop.