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Altering the reality of images

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Paula G.
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  1. Introduction
  2. About digital programs
  3. Photoshop
  4. Altering the reality of images
  5. Analysis
  6. Conclusion

Go to your local supermarket and walk to the magazine aisle. Pick up a magazine and study its cover. The woman on the front cover stares back at you?her eyes bright, teeth whitened complexion flawless and her waist slim. Allow me to continue to mention that her arms are small and her legs are toned. Her skin is bronzed and she is glowing on the cover, emanating some sort of radiance, no doubt. The text to the right of her reads: ?Sexy, Beautiful and Flawless at Forty!? But is she really? Real. Really. Reality. These are words that we easily use, but find sometimes find difficult to define in a certain context. Merriam-Webster defines reality as ?the quality or state of being real? (Merriam-Webster), and, in turn, defines real as ?not artificial, fraudulent, or illusory? (Merriam-Webster). We can argue that this is some form of reality because the model is similar in appearance to any other female; but we can also say that this model is the subject of an enhanced reality. She appears to be enhanced because her waist seems too trim, her teeth too white and her legs?seemingly a little too toned.

It is highly possible that this model has had her appearance altered. Now, this reins in an interesting question: are altered images an accurate portrayal, or representation, of reality? Are altered images capable of presenting any notion of reality at all? Images, when altered, present a false reality to the viewer because they can allow for verbal authority, the creation of false ?truths? and public image along with providing and showing a false representation of oneself.

[...] we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best But in the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, and she truly is, then I think that this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand? (Danzinger, via Lindsay and Lexie Kite). Beauty Redefined responded to this statement with ?It's hard to believe that anyone's ?personal best' is a fake representation of herself. They'll plaster ?body confidence!' all over the magazine and quote Kelly talking about her own real body confidence, but they refuse to show us her actual body? (Kite). [...]


[...] Works Cited: 1. Angulo-Rico, Natalia. "The Photoshop Effect." More Beautifully You a Beauty Philosophy Feb Web May Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction 1-22. Print Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking 7-33. Print Hyde, Alan. "Chapter 6 Sandwich Man; Or, The Economic And Political History of Bodily Display." Bodies of Law. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP 109-30. Print Kite, Lindsay, and Lexie Kite. [...]


[...] By making many reproductions it substitutes a plurality of copies for a unique existence? (Benjamin, 4). Again, the reality of art becomes shifted. It loses that sense of individuality?as well as the tradition that art ought to be unique. The false reality is now that plurality and assigning art a commercial value gives the image a new kind of individuality individuality as a commodity. in either case the uniqueness of the original now lies in it being the original of a reproduction. [...]

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