Is Photoshop Destroying Our Self-Confidence?

A look at the pitfalls of photoshop

So you are scrolling through Instagram, and all you see are people with perfect bodies, flawless complexions and chiseled jawlines. How are you supposed to compete with that? Well, the bad news is that you can’t—but the good news is that neither can they. 

You and I are constantly surrounded by an unattainable standard of perfection that our culture deems as necessary for acceptance in society. Although we know not all of the narrative is realistic, we buy into it again and again. We waste our time comparing ourselves to misrepresentations of people that we will never measure up to. 

One major contributing factor to this untruth is the overuse of Photoshop. Nowadays, Photoshop is not only used to change the exposure and color tones of a photo, but also to accentuate muscle tone, slim down bodies and even out blemished skin. While it may seem like fixing our imperfections will make our insecurities disappear, it in fact only makes them greater. Photoshop is not just lowering the confidence of the viewer, but the original poster as well. Everyday, people are praised for their perfect, unblemished bodies in a Photoshopped photo, despite it not being authentic. And what is “perfect,” anyway? There is no such thing. 

I remember being in Target one day, browsing the clothes, when I looked up at a picture of a model wearing a featured bathing suit. I quickly realized that the model’s stretch marks had not been Photoshopped out. I always knew that models had flaws, but it’s hard to keep that in mind when they are always edited away. Seeing this realistic photo actually increased my confidence instead of decreasing it. We never get to see the beauty that comes out of our flaws, because Photoshop always robs us of it. I’m not saying that we need to see others’ imperfections to feel better about ourselves, but with the knowledge that no perfect or ideal body exists we can be more confident in our own. So before you get discouraged the next time you look at a Photoshopped image, just remember that perfection is overrated and embracing your flaws will, in turn, boost your confidence.

Author: Katarina Quintana | Opinions Editor

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