Psychology, Self Esteem, and Photoshop

Photo via People Magazine

Do you recognize this celebrity?  I didn’t, even though she’s one of my favorites.  Believe it or not, it’s Taylor Swift.  She’s not retouched in this photo, and is sans makeup as well.  Still cute as a button, but certainly not the image we’re used to seeing.

Every few months a new story pops up about the absurdly doctored photographs of celebs and models that show up in magazines and on-line.  For some reason this article on Shine really caught my attention.  The images of Princess Kate and Britney Spears are particularly ridiculous.

It’s important we, as adults, see these photos.  But it’s perhaps even more important that we show them to the young girls in our lives.  Super thin arms, legs, and torsos balancing buoyant breasts and bums just isn’t natural – or biologically possible – for anyone but Barbie.  And even though we might “know” this intellectually, it is helpful to have a reminder every once in a while that even the most glamorous, sexy women have cellulite and blemished skin.

Appreciating what we have, downplaying what we don’t, and working towards achievable goals are all important aspects of mental health.  By understanding that many media photos are simply fantastical images born on the screen of a Photoshop-wielding graphic design intern, we can all feel a little more confident in our own skin.