Your Guide To Great Health & Better Living

Are Magazine Covers Eating Into Your Self-Esteem?

“No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions,
it will not look ugly.” — Oscar Wilde

Most celebrities look good in real life, but on a fashion cover, their good looks have been transformed into near-perfection by Photoshop. This photo editing software, gets rid of perceivable flaws that great lighting and hair and make up can’t fix. However, a constant dose of such heavily edited photos is not healthy. In fact, research has shown that many women can’t bear the Photoshopped images they see in magazines.

Photoshop Pensiveness

A Stanford Study surveyed 75 women about women’s magazines and recorded their responses. They reported feeling worse about themselves and their bodies after looking at magazines. One woman said, “I usually feel terrible after going through a woman’s magazine. On every page you are faced with pictures, articles or advertisements that point out your inadequacies.” The results of the study presented to the American Psychological Association revealed,

“Nearly half of the respondents said their feelings of self-esteem and confidence were undermined by seeing the photographs, and 68% reported feeling worse about their looks and bodies.”

The Photoshop Effect: Part 1

Another recent study further proposed the idea that people who are unhappy with their physical appearance feel even more dissatisfied when they are shown photos of models who have “ideal” bodies. Who is to blame? Media? Glossy Magazines? Fashion icons? The media is saturated with images of idealized body shapes, which make viewers and readers aspire to achieve the same. But mostly, it is a losing battle. Women are motivated by these fitness and beauty magazines to try to attain these supposedly perfect bodies, and may even get a short-term body image boost when they start dieting. However, research shows that most diets fail and they’re eventually going to be back being unsatisfied with their bodies.

To attain that Photoshopped beauty
Another study from Ohio State University took college-age women and had them look at magazines that only included images of women with thin, idealized body types for 5 straight days, and found their own body satisfaction improved. But there’s a dark side to the results; the women with the most improved body satisfaction were more likely than other participants to report unhealthy dieting, such as skipping meals and cutting carbohydrates, during the course of the study.

Media Photoshop Mayhem

Since long, the magazine industry has been caught in the wave of Photoshopping celebrities to make them look thinner, taller, fairer, near-perfection. Agreed, a bad-hair day, or the accidental pimple on the cheek can be airbrushed, but to diminish the concept of aging and insisting on plastic skin for everyone is not taking women’s psyche anywhere but down.

The list of magazines, Photoshopping perfectly simple things, is very very long (Even U.S. President Obama and Kate Middleton were not spared):
Kate Middleton photoshopped by ‘Grazia’?
a president has been erased from a family snapshot
Redbook and Faith Hill
iWanex Studio >> Portfolio
Photoshop of horrors
Why do magazines hate reality so much? Why do they want to erase the fine lines and our age along with it? The media communicates with the us, the women, and influences their perceptions, and so it is no surprise that magazine photos weigh heavily on a woman’s mind.

The only cure for this Photoshop envy is to keep the sham firmly in mind. Instead of trying to struggle to be as thin and attractive as the models in the photographs and feeling bad for not being able to do so, it is far healthier for a woman to strive to be better versions of herselves. Loving yourself for who you are is not the same as saying there is no room for improvement. Most of us could use a little more sunshine, exercise, fresh foods, rest and peace of mind; without that, it shows on the outside in fat, flabby muscles, dry skin and hair, bags under the eyes, frowns and general lack of vitality. Confidence is just an attitude and the cheap fix is to fake it until you believe it too. Smile into every mirror. It works, really.


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