A Fight Against Photoshopping or Objectification in Feminist Trappings?

We’ve all seen the images… celebrities who look completely different than the pictures we see in magazines.  Here’s a few of the latest ones:

But, as well known feminist and columnist Jessica Valenti published in The Guardian, these “leaks” represent a violation of privacy, and celebrities who don’t wish to take up the fight against the narrow representation of body types in media shouldn’t be forced to do so. For example, Lena Dunham angrily responded to Jezebel’s offer to pay anyone who could obtain the original photos and publish them without her permission.  CNN’s Peggy Dexler points out that publishing Cindy Crawford’s picture without her approval to make a political point is just another form of objectification.

The publishing of pictures without approval is a violation of privacy.  Is Jezebel’s offer to pay anyone who could obtain Dunham’s pictures so far different than the hackers who broke into celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton’s personal social media accounts, stole pictures, and sold them to be published?

On the other hand, celebrities like Cindy Crawford’s pictures of her real 48-year-old’s body, with sun damage, cellulite, and a small belly, have the power to help women realize that the body type consistently shown to us in media is not real.  These doctored images have real world effects on women ranging from eating disorders to purchases of products to “fix” these issues with money that could be better spent in other ways.

What do you think?  Should these pictures have been published?  Would you share them on your social media accounts?

3 thoughts on “A Fight Against Photoshopping or Objectification in Feminist Trappings?

  1. It is weird that this topic has been brought up, but for the past couple of days I have been on Youtube watching videos of people photoshop women into being more “desirable”. I watched countless videos that took a girl without her makeup or hair done and made them look like a completely different person; and to be honest it amazes me. I believe photoshop began through performative theory, which is creating gendered identity through how we express ourselves. So all it took for the acceptable norm to develop was a few women to look/dress/act a certain way and somehow it transformed the way that gender was perceived. This is happening because the digital age is literally transforming the people we see in magazines, online, and on social media.

  2. Dr. Naomi,
    I believe these images should be published even though they might not be as accurate as possible. While I agree people who don’t want to be involved shouldn’t be, I also think publishing such photos could be beneficial in the long run. For instance, if someone wanted to do a study on the photos or attempt to compare the actual photos to the corrected photos I believe it could serve s good cause of showing people that the media blows stuff up and makes corrections.

  3. This is an interesting topic, especially in today’s fashion magazine coverage, where it is becoming more and more obvious to us, in society that these photos are not only airbrushed and touched up, but are complete distortions of what real people look like at all. All, again for the sake of fashion photography and advertisements and cover photos. Models and celebrities are slowly picking up on these distortions as unrealistic, however I think more could be done on the other side of it. Instead of models and celebrities actively making it clear to the public that these photos are more “plastic” versions of what they really look like, I think media magazine, photographers and the design team should begin to come to the realization that reality of what human beings really look like would sell in a more honest way than “plastic”-looking photos.

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