Rhea Nevgi, Staff Writer
While Adobe had different plans for commemorating the 25 years of Photoshop, fan site “The Beyoncé World” decided to celebrate the silver anniversary by leaking several unedited photos of our Queen Bey, from a 2013 L’Oréal campaign. When Beyoncé’s lack of “flawlessness” came to light Wednesday, fans and haters alike were shocked. A Twitter user decided to give his two cents on the pictures, stating, “I know ya’ll saw Beyonce’s leaked pictures without the photoshop … Bruh, she look horrible.” Another simply refused to accept the leaked photos to be true. “I have seen Beyoncé in person. What she looks like in pictures is [not] what she looks like in real life. Those ‘leaked’ pictures are fake.”
What do these reactions tell us about society? Photoshopped pictures are the new normal. Seeing a celebrity in their natural state of beauty causes viewers and readers to scratch their heads in confusion. How dare they have wrinkles? How dare they age? It is now ordinary to expect those who dawn the covers of magazines to have unachievable immaculate skin and ridiculously tiny waists. Digitally enhanced photos have become such a “norm” that even the sight of actual normalcy is a betrayal of the viewer’s trust. Photoshop has turned into a phenomenon that has caused the masses to forget that imperfections are innate.
Now, it would be unreasonable to put the sole blame on Photoshop for skewing the public’s perspective of beauty, but we must accept that the lack thereof does play a major part in eliciting the reactions mentioned before. Photoshop initially started out as a means to provide artists and web designers with a creative outlet to materialize their visual ideas, and for amateurs to have harmless fun with the program. Over the course of 25 years, Photoshop has turned into an addictive application. Its unabashed use is widespread, from magazines to billboards to the movies (via CGI).
In a generation where eating disorders are on the rise, one can’t help but connect the numbers with the increase in the manipulation of photos. It’s almost as though along with altering pictures, Photoshop is altering minds. No longer are Size 8’s considered healthy. They are labeled plus-size models. It has indoctrinated in society unrealistic standards for beauty and health and has created a social stigma against anything that remains un-airbrushed. If anything gives us hope, it is the tweet of one of Beyoncé’s die-hard fans regarding her leaked photographs: “We know Beyoncé is pretty. We know Beyoncé wears a lot of makeup. You have exposed nothing but your pettiness.” Finally, it’s up to us to decide whether Photoshop is a bane or a boon.