Photoshop and the fashion industry in many ways, go hand in hand. Though the photo editing software is great for professional basics like lighting adjustments, filters, and airbrushing stray hairs, there is a dark side to it when it comes to over use. This excessive use of Photoshophas unrealistic portrayals of beauty standards for the everyday woman. This overuse of digital alteration software can be very damaging, as most women do not know what lengths that advertisements are manipulated and will make self deprecating comparisons based off these heavily enhanced photos. Now, more and more brands are embracing an era with no photoshop.
One of the first big brands to do this was Aerie, the underwear brand of American Eagle. Aerie had announced in January of 2014 that they would not be photoshopping their models and most audiences embraced this new mindset. Using the hashtag #AerieReal, Aerie wanted their female consumers to know that “the real you is beautiful”.
Since then, Lane Bryant has joined the body positive movement by featuring model Denise Bidot in their Cacique swimwear campaign. Bidot boasts an inspiring message that “there is no wrong way to be a woman”, showing women that they can embrace their appearance and be confident in themselves.
Now, Target has recently jumped on the “No Photoshop” bandwagon, announcing that their latest ads for their swim suit line are photoshop free. This is a great move on their part considering the controversial overuse of Photoshop of March 2014 in creating fake and unnatural thigh gaps on their models. Since then, Target has learned the error of its ways as their new line features models, athletes and activists sporting their new swim line.
Each of these ads represent a diverse group of people from age, weight, and ethnicity. This is so important because if people identify with the models on a relatable level, they are less likely to make unhealthy comparisons about themselves. And knowing that they haven’t been altered by Photoshop offers comfort as normal body attributes are showcased and no shamed.
Sometimes all we need is to see someone like us, whether we see that similarity with the model’s weight or body shape. Featuring these models with real freckles, dimples, and curves will help make all the difference.