Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?

I have to say, I have to so a mental double take when I look at billboards and advertisements. I have already shared the head trip that the H&M bikini ad put me through! clearly it effects me here is what Dr. Vivan Diller had to say

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by Vivian Diller, Ph.D. Psychologist, author of “Face It,” speaker on issues about beauty and aging.

Has Photoshop gone too far? Kate Winslet and Brad Pitt are among several public figures who think so and the American Medical Association (AMA) is now backing them up.

Winslet was one of the first to break ground when she took action against GQ magazine for digitally altering her body in its photographs — making her unrealistically thin. Pitt requested that there be no retouching on his W magazine cover, personally selecting, Chuck Close to shoot it, a photographer known for his extremely detailed portraits that expose skin flaws. While most people dream of magically removing their pounds and wrinkles — and some celebs demand it — more and more are seeing Photoshop as dangerous terrain.

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently announced it was taking a stand against image manipulation in advertising, stating that alterations made through processes like Photoshop can contribute to unrealistic body image expectations, eating disorders and other emotional problems. Surprisingly, professional and public reactions are mixed.

One eating disorder specialist, Carrie Arnold, reacted with “show me the evidence.” In her piece, “What’s Photoshop Got to Do With It,” she quotes the AMA as saying “a large body of literature” exists linking media exposure to eating disorders, but after Arnold did her research, she found little scientific evidence to support the statement. The studies AMA cited just don’t connect Photoshop to diagnosable eating disorders, as spelled out by the DSM-IV. She writes, “We don’t think ads for disinfectant somehow promote OCD. We also don’t think that those Bluetooth headsets promote schizophrenia because it looks like you’re talking to yourself.” Condemning Photohop may make for a good media story, but Arnold questions its validity.

In a post here entitled “Photoshop Isn’t Evil,” Elizabeth Perle wrote that her “knee jerk reaction to hearing this news was a long, exaggerated eye roll.” The AMA’s statement against Photoshop, she believes is “too little too late,” adding it “frankly might make it worse for models, actresses, singers and other performers, for whom the pressures to alter their bodies will only be heightened.”

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