A woman asked her Instagram followers to Photoshop her 'beautiful' and the results were seriously disturbing
While we've all succumbed to editing our pictures from time to time - you know, by adding that filter which makes your eyes pop, and makes it look like you haven't spent the weekend living off a diet of wine and takeaway food - in the online age that we live in, it's imperative to remain conscious of the fact that our favourite celebrities and influencers are never not Photoshopped.
Certainly, paragons of perfection such as Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian have been known to use editing software to slim down their figures, and to create thigh gaps - and if such beings are feeling the pressure to conform to society's beauty ideals, then you can bet that the heat is on for us mere mortals.
With this in mind, dietician Lyndi Cohen decided to conduct an anthropological experiment by posting photos of herself to Instagram, and asking her followers to "Photoshop her beautiful".
As you could expect, the results were far from heartening.
To the 28-year-old's disappointment, in almost every Photoshop edit, her slender size 10 figure was made to look slimmer.
"I did a social experiment. I asked a bunch of strangers to photoshop images of me," Lyndi wrote on the social media platform. "And without me asking, they all made me slimmer. They removed my birthmark from my shoulder. They even made my bone structure smaller. They created an image of what they thought was beautiful and healthy - and the result worries me."
"When all we see is photoshopped images of already slim people - it’s difficult to think of beauty or health as anything else. I tell you my friends... there’s nothing wrong with my bone structure or my birthmark or my stomach or my natural body shape. The problem is that every photo we see is photoshopped, causing us to question whether the girl in this picture, with the stomach rolls is actually healthy. My stomach rolls are not the problem. Our cultures obsession with the thin ideal and photoshop is. It’s no longer radical for magazines to include a photoshop free cover or shoot in their magazines. I’d love to live in a world where our media does more and where photoshop is the exception, not the rule."
"Seeing the before and after photos side by side, you can see how much has been changed," she continued.
"Problem is - in real life - you only ever see the ‘after’ photos. And it’s easy to forget that almost EVERY photo you see in the media is photoshopped. This conditions you to believe you’re never good, pretty or thin enough - so you literally waste your life lying in bed feeling guilty for eating more than you wanted and hating yourself on holidays because you can’t stand how you look in photos. We have to stop chasing a goal that DOESN’T EVEN EXIST."
So, the next time you go to smooth over any wrinkles or stomach rolls, remember that we, unlike society, should be championing our bodies, warts and all.