Our Purpose

The purpose of this blog is to educate our viewers about the widespread use of retouching in print publications. Retouching implies making minor changes to photographs. However, modern advances in photo editing software allow photographs of individuals to be transformed into manufactured projections of reality.

Mostly commonly, retouching is used to enhance positive characteristics of an individual, although sometimes negative aspects are emphasized. Unlike a Barbie doll or animated character, these retouched images are portrayed as living, unimagined, portrayals of individuals in society. The truth is that most of the images we see in print publications, as well as online, are just as fake as cartoons. When looking at these blog posts, try to think about the effects these images have on yourself and others, especially younger generations.We are not trying to judge the rightness or wrongness of retouching; rather, we want to increase awareness about the prevalence of retouching so that media consumers are able better construct meanings from the images they encounter.

Five Steps to Media Literacy

1. Describe - Describe media product(s) by indentifying noteworthy elements or characteristics.

2. Analyze - Look for patterns that call for closer attention. Categorize those words!

3. Interpret - Try to determine meanings of patterns. What is the connection between the categories?

4. Evaluate - Make an informed judgment about media product

5. Engage - Take some action!

After viewing our blog, we hope you feel better knowing the world often being sold to us is not as perfect as it seems. We encourage you to post comments. Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Not Always Meant to Flatter

Retouched photos are no stranger to the competitive world of politics. Usually candidates or elected officials are made to look more appealing just like celebrities. However sometimes retouching can offer a different opportunity. Take a look at these before and after photos of then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

   

Notice the menacing eyes in the second picture? This rather offensive photo was quickly removed from the USA Today website after criticism and replaced with something much closer to the real thing (yet still retouched!)


13 comments:

  1. Scary!... Someone got a little crazy with photoshop!... Who looks at that second pic and thinks, "Ya...perfect...".

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  2. The stereotype of "predatory" female is alive and well. Makes a point about the Bush administration doesn't it? Or at least they'd like you to think so.

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  3. how can we look at our leaders as people if they are getting retouched. it's like this fake world has evolved and has tricked us to believe the photographs they put out. DISGUSTING

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  4. For everyone who wants retouched pictures of themselves should google for such a service online.

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