neither are society's standards of beauty
This absolutely hillarious video has been "infecting" the web for some time now (and I wanted to feature it sooner, but oh well, life and such). The first time I saw it, I was laughing so hard, because many of these things, I actually do in manips - sometimes not this quickly, but I do. And it is done daily for just about any
magazine cover or vip photo shoot that you get to see! This is the true part about this video. And it's the sad part, too.
Uncover the fake Beauty
As a photomanipulator, I am often amazed at what other non-photoshop (or any other graphics programme) users will accept as real without question. Especially younger ones will be influenced by this image they see day in day out and aspire to be like it. To be as fake and "perfect" as the cover girl. How can you achieve anything like that in real life? You can't. It's that simple.
All that is left is Photoshop - the real one. You don't need a fancy plug-in to make all that happen that the fake commercial promises. You just need to know which tools to use and it's easy! You can take a look at this Photoshop tutorial
(and the ones linked therein) to get an idea of what I'm talking about. And I encourage everyone
(and especially those who are not
Photoshop savvy) to take a look at that article!
Because, let's face it: those "beauty standards" are out there. We're confronted with them daily and most of us wouldn't know what to look for to be able to say with conviction "this one is fake, just look at xyz, you can still see the Photoshop tools they used!" - being able to spot these things is in my opinion essential to teaching others that what they're after is a fake image that cannot be achieved. Only this knowledge can help get some perspective back in place: just because we like to look at something rather than something else does not mean we should be
like that ourselves all the time. And it doesn't mean we shouldn't use Photoshop to retouch photos. It means that we need to face the fact that it was retouched to please us.
What this "something" that we rather look at is is of course a matter of debate. Personally, I cringe at the plastic look, especially the cover girl look. I don't find it pleasing. But have you tried telling that to a 14 year old girl obsessed with becoming a model? All you get back is mostly "but I
like it!". So my approach would be to show her how I can retouche a picture of her to look just like that (including all exaggerations) and ask her if she a) still thinks it's desireable and b) if she had to go to bed hungry for this picture... And if you can't actually do that, then at least you can show her that it's "some kind of magic" instead of dieting your heart out - maybe you can find a dA artist who can do it for you or you can show her the tutorial linked above or find some before/after pics (some of which, as shown in the tutorial can be downright creepy).
Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"
--> read article
CopyrightOf Copyright & Premades is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.
Know your Basics - article series:A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.
--> Know your basics - Colour Theory
--> Know your basics - Composition
--> Know your basics - Perspective
--> Know your basics - Textures