TED Conversations

Xavier Belvemont

TEDCRED 30+

This conversation is closed.

Force Magazines/Newspapers to disclaim exactly how much photoshopping a picture has undergone + show unedited pictures of the editors..

In this day and age we face a substantial societal problem concerning our own body images and much of it revolves around the media/entertainment industry forcing (both men and women) into a direction of never being happy with their looks and forever attempting to reach a photoshop perfection that doesn't exist,
leading to further issues when the guaranteed failure happens.

Not only are we bombarded with endless images of 'what we should look like' and 'what is attractive', but the celebrities themselves find themselves under immense pressure to maintain an almost impossible standard incase a magazine catches them looking like a normal human and is endlessly ridiculed for it.
We aren't happy because we can't be 'perfect', the celebrities aren't happy because they can't be 'perfect' either but have to make themselves appear it without rest....But the people who are dictating all of this (The photographers and editors) are (in experience and not just lashing out..) some of the least attractive and/or average looking people among us.

So essentially the people who clearly aren't 'attractive' are dictating to everyone else as to what is attractive. Does anyone else not see the absurdity here?


I propose that we force such magazines to do two things.
1. Every front-cover picture (etc etc) must be required to detail exactly what level of photoshopping has taken place on the cover in an obvious location (such as on a scale of 1-5 in the bottom corner, 5x5cm's)
+
2. Every magazine page (etc etc) that ridicules celebrities for not looking their best have to also include clear and large, unedited drivers licence images of the editor and photographer who're making the captions and taking the pictures.

Maybe then we'll all get a little clarity and we'll all feel a little better about ourselves and alleviate much of the poor mental health that leads to a society with persistent depression, emasculation, anorexia and billion dollar industries that take advantage of it.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 14 2013: Tough question. I don't know that all celebrities look as good as they do on covers, but I'm guessing a lot of them look damn good in person. After all, that is a big part of why they become celebrities. They can't be photoshopped all the time, right? Has anybody suggested, for example, that when you see Emma Stone in a movie, every image of her has been altered? Yet she looks quite nice.

    If you agree that they look damn good, then I have mixed feelings about the standard they set. Apart from whether someone has been photoshopped, some people just look better than others. Are you going to tell beautiful people on the street to deliberately look less beautiful so the plainer ones won't feel so bad? Another approach might be to ask the beautiful ones how they achieve their beauty, and try one's best to emulate it.

    As for putting editor's pictures on the page when they criticize others' appearance, well, it would certainly be amusing, even to some editors who have a sense of humor about themselves. Magazines might not want to devote that space, as they are trying to sell, and people might not want to look at pictures of editors. Often you can see a picture of the top editor, the person who helms the magazine, towards the front of the mag. Or look them up online. I've always considered that by criticizing someone's appearance, you are indirectly flattering them, saying they could look better and you'd like to see them achieve their best. Also, to some degree celebrities are reasonable targets, they have put themselves in the public eye, and risking criticism comes with the territory. So I'm unconvinced.

    I would say your post raises another question. I've always been quite good-looking, in fact have worked on-camera in TV and movies. But I wonder how plainer people do deal with good-looking people, are they consumed with jealousy, I think some simply enjoy others' beauty in an admiring, fan-like way.
    • thumb
      Jan 14 2013: Greg, my hunch on your last question is that adults will be upset about particularly good-looking people only if it seems that looks are giving the person special opportunities for which looks should make no difference. And only a minority of adults would be greatly affected by this feeling even in this case.
      • thumb
        Jan 16 2013: Thanks for your comment, Fritz. Just to play with it, is there ever a situation where it isn't good for morale to have good-looking people around? I worked for several years in a parking garage in Los Angeles, and some of the attendants were women, quite attractive women as it happened. It seems to me it was happier to work with good-looking people.
        • thumb
          Jan 16 2013: I think it is typically good for morale to have warm, positive, diligent, "can-do" people around. Such people look good to me.

          I believe there is research to the effect that better looking people are more competitive on the job market than less attractive people, but I doubt considerations of employee morale are the explanation.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.