Sebastyne - blog home


A rock fan. A thinker. A psychic empath and a channel, a Tarot reader. The lover of men, kings, and gods. An eternal romance analyser. A polyandrist. A romantic pervert. (A psycho-spiritual life coach.)


The real issue with Photoshopped celeb photos

We’ve all seen those articles that list a number of “most photoshopped” celebrity photos in a horrified tone. “How can our children live surrounded by this?!” Oh, shock and horror! What I find worrying is that it is like saying that “beautiful people do not exist, stop at once trying to eat healthily and stop exercising, because it’s not going to pay, you’re never going to look as good as these celebrities no matter what you do because they ain’t real!” The fact is however, that there are beautiful people in the world. THAT is a fact that gets forgotten in these posts. Granted, you can turn a 90-year old grand mother into a 20-year old using Photoshop, but in reality, who does that for any other purpose than to do a Photoshop tutorial or demonstration? In many ways, the photoshopping that celebs get done has the attempt to recapture the reality, the WOW factor that they do have in reality, because many of them are exceptionally beautiful people, and what the camera doesn’t capture is the soul, the GLOW they have about them. Have you ever seen someone on the street and thought for a second they’re not real because they are that gorgeous? Yeah, me too. Take a photo of them and you will notice flaws. The purpose of those images is to capture that feeling, when you don’t know if they could possibly be real. Taking a photo of one of these people and then publishing it as it is would be a lie. THAT is not reality. Sometimes, editing the photos does justice to reality, not the other way around.

If you take a look at these before and after photos, you’ll notice that the photoshopping is actually really bloody mild in most cases. If these are the 14 most photoshopped celebrity photos, then we are doing quite fine indeed if you ask me. Not one of them made me feel like I’d been sold a fake person.  Also, you have to remember, Photoshop works the other way too; you can make a beautiful person look tired and frumpy, simply by adding shadows on their face – so that they would look “ordinary” to you and boost your self-esteem, a practise a lot of gossip magazines do not shy away from.

You should also not forget that Marilyn Monroe got work done on her photos, it was a bit more difficult back then, but photo retouching has been around since forever, even normal people’s studio photos were retouched. You would not be able to tell of my mother’s graduation photo from the early 70’s that she had the worst acne you’d ever seen. Photoshop has simply made the process easier, faster and cheaper – and more public. In that particular article many photos had been underexposed to begin with, the camera used wasn’t really up to the task, and the Photoshop done simply cut the slack from the photographer’s skill set. Madonna’s photo was particularly poorly lit, and simply adjusting the colours of it would have made a huge difference, like I did in the middle photo, took me about 5 minutes to adjust. The biggest difference between the “before and after” photos is that they are two different frames from the same shoot. 😀 The angle is different and in the chosen frame she has that souldry open mouth thing going… Wowsa. Wish I could do the same. I tried it once. Destroyed the evidence. 😀 And the final point, who would opt out looking like her in the “before” picture at 56?

What is more, when you get in front of the flash lights, every pump and lump in your body and face shows up, although a lot of the lights are trying to combat that effect. The studio lights are built for that purpose, to remove all inconvenient shadows from the photos. However, when in motion, you rarely notice things like a few wrinkles, a bit too thick waist or an uneven skin, but when you look at a photo, let alone one published in a magazine, all these flaws become more obvious, and you lose that “oh wow” experience. Yet, when you bump into Madonna, you will think “oh wow she’s gorgeous” and you give not a second thought to the fact that she doesn’t look 20 anymore, because she is not 20!

What is much more harmful to a person’s psyche than going after “an impossible ideal” is to be told “you’re never going to get there”. It’s demoralising, and often a lie, with a purpose of holding back the other person: “if you go and manage to make yourself look half as good as they are, then I’m going to look like a lazy bum next to you and then I have to do something about the way I look, and I’d just rather sit here and feel superior to those people who put in effort to improve themselves (physically and mentally).” I have some people around me who pretty much attack me for the reason that I’m going to the gym because they think I can’t separate reality from magazine photos – magazines I don’t even read! I would understand if I was obsessive about it or doing something unhealthy, but I am simply maintaining (redeveloping) a routine that is helping to keep me healthier. I seriously do not need people demoralising me along the lines of “oh you’ll never achieve that ideal of yours” when I actually enjoy the gym!

Of course, I know about anorexia and bulimia, but these are extreme cases. Most people know full well the difference between a magazine cover and real life, what is possible to achieve and what is not. MOST PEOPLE understand that Barbie is a plastic doll, not a human, and that we are not supposed to look like her. MOST PEOPLE do, but then we have some who don’t. When we see these people with a real problem, let’s just help them see what they’re doing to themselves, and stop making a big deal out of something that is really quite harmless or even healthy. (By the way, you can harness the anorexic need to self-control by educating oneself about The Perfect Diet, and why even a thin person can look fat when they are not eating properly. Much healthier approach than trying to force fatty foods down their throats, just because you don’t know what else to do. Buy this instead: Body Business, and then, read everything else Donna Aston has ever written.)

To finish; what is possible to do in Photoshop is different to what is actually being done. If you are shocked by the photos in the example link however, you probably get shocked by the idea of electric light, too. (Oh my god when you turn that light on, I can actually see you better… oh my gooood that is sooo fake!”)

Discussion page


Read More (some of these are hidden from the front page):
« «
» »


I said

Do not make friends with jealous people. They will want to see you suffer as much as they can before they allow you to succeed. #LOA


Sebastyne Personal Logo (green and red variation)