Faking beauty – to photoshop or not to photoshop

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There are numerous ways to enhance a picture to improve one’s appearance before uploading the picture to the internet. But should you use Photoshop and other photo enhancing tools to make yourself look better in pictures than you do in reality?

What does faking beauty entail?

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As it relates to the question of whether or not to use Photoshop, faking beauty would involve using Photoshop or other photo enhancing software to make otherwise not so outstanding pictures of you look significantly improved. You might for example use Photoshop to remove dark circles and bags from under your eyes. Or you might use it to make your skin look smoother. Or you might use it to remove blemishes, age lines and other so-called flaws. You would basically be enhancing your pictures to the extent that the enhanced pictures make you look better than you look in reality. “Better” could mean you look years younger, or you look way more attractive than people think you are when they see you in person. The question is, if you don’t in fact look as your edited pictures represent you to be, is it an act of deceit to upload your retouched pictures to the internet for other people to view?

One way or another pictures Lie

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I have been my own photographer for a number of years, and I’ve noticed that pictures don’t always reflect the truth about how a person looks. In the same photo session you can get some pictures that make you look older, some that make you look younger, some that make you look darker, some that make you look lighter, some that make you look fatter, some that make you look thinner. You can get pictures that really emphasize your flaws and pictures in which you can barely see them. You can get pictures that make you look more stunning than you ever thought you could look and pictures that make you gasp in horror to see how unattractive you’re capable of looking. Your face can go through numerous expressions from moment to moment. A subtle muscle twitch can result in a photo that has your face looking twisted and awkward. Lighting, angles and various other elements come into play so that what you see at the end of the day is not necessarily a 100% accurate reflection of how the depicted individual looks ordinarily. They can look better than they do in reality and they can likewise look worse than they do in reality.

But the lies you can tell with the help of photoshop…

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It’s true that some people go to extremes with the work they do on their pictures before they upload them to the internet. But it’s one thing to look nothing like yourself and something else altogether to look a little younger and a little prettier in your pictures than you do in reality. If you are a fashion or beauty blogger, how you look in your pictures could well determine the success or failure of your blog. We live in an image conscious society; and whatever anyone might suggest to the contrary we all know that the prettier you look the more likely you are to attract interest. So doing work on your photos to enhance your appearance is perfectly acceptable. After all it’s done for professional models and actresses. But even so, you do have to make a judgement call. How far are you willing to go? You might become popular and brands start paying you to market their products to your followers. Your followers admire you and want to look like you so they purchase these products you’re being paid to market to them. All the while you don’t look anywhere near as amazing in reality as you represent yourself in your pictures. You and the brands you represent profit from the Photoshop enhanced images that you put out there. And it is all at the expense of your followers. I suppose this is what already happens anyway. Models and actresses don’t typically look as amazing in reality as in their professional photos; but we fall for the enhanced images and buy whatever it is they are selling in the hope of looking as good as they do. At the end of the day there’s really no harm in giving yourself a bit of virtual cosmetic surgery. We all want to look beautiful and Photoshop provides those of us who aren’t beautiful in reality with the tools we need for faking beauty in virtual reality.

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Monica
Singer songwriter Adelamonica AKA Avenue Sixty editor in chief. Writing as Monica for The Monica Archives. Writing has always been one of my passions. In fact, when I was a teenager, I used to tell people they should remember my name, because I was going to become a famous author. I used to live to write and write to live--not in the sense of writing for income but writing to combat depression and to feel a sense of purpose. I've written novels, poems, articles and essays that I tried unsuccessfully to get published over many years starting in my teens. When I discovered blogging several ages ago, I turned to that avenue as a means of doing what I love without having to worry about publishers and their rejection letters. Modeling is also something I have always enjoyed and something I wanted very badly to do as a teenager. So badly that I used to lie and tell people I was a model. I would carry around a large portfolio style photo album and claim it was my modeling portfolio. But, as with my writing, the people with the power to make my modeling dreams come true saw nothing in me that made them stop me in the streets of New York to offer me a modeling contract with their agency. So when I discovered the ability to photograph my own self (before cell phones and selfies) I took up a hobby of pretend modeling at home and that hobby has remained with me throughout my life as a form of self expression and self therapy. I ask that you kindly excuse my lack of worldliness and any instances where I demonstrate lack of tact or lack of knowledge and even lack of basic intelligence in my writing and posing. I'm just here trying to have a little fun doing the things that make me happy. I'm just an average human for whom writing and posing and singing and dancing and the other things I do are ways I express myself and keep myself going on this ever challenging journey of life. I hope you will find something even remotely useful or interesting in the things I share.

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