• Ellie Tyrrell

Honesty Hour: How much photoshop is OK?


A prank on my boyfriend a few weeks ago...

I recently had to write a podcast either promoting a product or an idea for the digital communications part of my PR degree. Never had I done one before, but after a considerable amount of research I realised it's pretty much what I do on here but spoken. One thing they all had in common; an opinion! (Something I'm not exactly short off). So, I spoke for two minutes about Instagram and body image as this is something I always seem to blabbing on about. I submitted it, said all the things I thought I should say, with some cheesy comments here and there, talking about how disgraceful it is for self confidence and body image.

I'm part of the Post Modern Movement; The Instagram Clan (completely made up). Obsessed with images, taking them, editing them and uploading them. It made me think, do I love it because it's creative & allows you a platform to express yourself, or do I love it for the 'fake friends' and 'fake appreciation' from likes and followers. It's difficult to distinguish, and honestly I'm not too bothered either way, I just know a lot of people are.

As I said, the social media site is a great platform to put forward your desired 'image' in the hope that people will engage with it, believe it. Now this may go one of two ways; but I'm pretty sure I use my platform to persuade people I have an 'aspiring positive mindset', when in reality my mood swings can be pretty horrendous (sorry fam nd friends xo). I've often laughed at the comments I receive, 'Shock Ellie's uploaded another photo', forgetting that there seems to be a rule book hidden somewhere on the internet on the amount you're allowed to post, followed by wether your photos are 'Instagram worthy'.

Now here comes Honesty Hour, I've edited my photos before - WOAH - and YOU probably have to! This is where my love of the app does start to cross the line a little. The amount of 'inspo' accounts does iritate me, mainly because I'm sat eating too much cheese doing nothing to work on my body, I'm jealous. Although now with the 'what I like' section on Instagram, it seems that you almost don't have a choice but to look at millions of photos of naked models on beaches, eating vegan food and lounging on their equally naked model partner, fabulous. So when these easy to use photoshop apps start appearing, it's tempting to use them, the most popular and the one I will be referring to is Facetune.

When I first discovered the app I was younger, about 15, and I was personally struggling with coming to terms with my shape and accepting who I was. At that time a lot of girls were truly blossoming, and in the meantime I remained the same. So when I discovered these apps, as sad as it is, with little tweeks here and there my waist may be a little tinier or my arms a little smaller. Not that I posted the photos necessarily, but when they are saved in your camera roll and you are constantly obsessing over your own self image, you don't even need to go on Instagram to dwell on fake images. I've obviously learnt since but I'm still not going to pretend I've never used one! If I get a massive boiler on my face, maybe I would just touch it up a tiny bit, make it less red and in your face. Controversial - but isn't that what a good filter does? (I use them too!)

I

'll leave this one open. Personally I'm against touching up your body! A) it will NOT help your mind or self confidence in the long run, B) when you forget your wardrobe looks bendy that's serious public embarrassment and C) what are you going to say when people see you in real life! I look at my sister at the age I was when I was so insecure about my body and I completely idealise her mindset. We've both struggled with curvy bodies but she's so against these apps and is really starting to embrace her figure, and her social media only inspires me!

How far can the app go? If we are looking at edited images on media outlets and magazines 24/7, is there a difference in 'non celebrities' like us doing it to our own images? In my opinion yes There's trying to aspire to a 'perfect' self image by editing your body dramatically, taking of inches that would take months of hard work in 'real life', and then trying to hide the temporary blemishes that appear on your face.

The conclusion for me is that these apps cannot really be truly beneficial. As a society so obsessed with how we look, surely the most beneficial thing would be to start appreciating how we were born, what we look like and how we are. There are so many societal pressures on how we should look, and apps like Instagram do leave you in the unknown - what is a real body?

Comment below and tell me what you think because I really am quite interested.

The Catfish - E X


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