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The Shape of Things to Come

October 13, 2009
Photoshop mess-terpiece

Photoshop mess-terpiece

Size 4 model fired for being too fat. That’s the headline on US Magazine.com that quotes the model in the above picture. For another opinion I checked out The Associated Press‘s version. It seems that the fashion industry is as nasty as everyone says it is. Let’s see–abandoning the American textile worker by manufacturing in sweat shops in Asia, abandoning fashion models when they might grow out of their size 4, abandoning the consumer by pricing clothing out of the reach of anyone but the rich. It is time to doubt the ethics of the fashion industry. I still like to watch Project Runway (actually, that’s the link to the Project Run Gay blog which is the best Runway blog going). In protest, I’m reading labels and not buying anything made in China. That way I can protest an industry’s unfair policies and a county’s colonialist, anti-minority ethics in one sweep.

Last week, in my Digital Photography class, we discussed a bill presented in the British Parliament outlining a Photoshop disclosure law for pictures of women. Advertisers and editors may be required to state how much a picture’s appearance has been digitally altered. I basically think this is a good idea, but it might put some Photoshop geniuses out of business. I started thinking about how Photoshop manipulation has slithered its way into international acceptance. Basically, it started one day in 1982 when an editor at National Geographics Magazine digitally moved a pyramid in Egypt to improve the composition of a cover. Since that moderate adjustment on the location of the Pyramids of Giza, editors and advertisers have had their way with all kinds of shapes. The human body seems to have been the most abused by the photoshopping shape shifters of editorial and advertising content. The advertiser in the above poster tried to limit the reproduction of their visual faux pas by threatening the bloggers over at Boing Boing with legal action. Boing Boing discovered the image on Photoshop Disasters, where they chronicle such manipulations almost daily. Check out this jeans ad.

Brad Pittiful

Brad Pittiful

I have traditionally been a fan of hips and I find this trend toward compressing them a bit threatening. Kristen Miller sent me this wonderful picture from Glamour which suggests that it is not too late for the world to become a better place.

Glamour PlusOf course, even the cutest of group portraits can go horribly awry with the misguided assistance of Photoshop.

Paws and Claws my Arm!

Paws and Claws-- Oh, my Arm!

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