The Female Perspective: Photoshop & Celebs, We Want The Unobtainable

Welcome! This is a Tri-weekly blog by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

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There is a DeviantArt & Facebook artist named David who took it upon himself to photoshop some famous ladies with added weight. OK, I see what he is trying to do, he is trying to flip the idea of what makes up beauty in todays celebrity-obsessed culture. Unfortunately, when I look at these pictures, I just get annoyed.


Why do I get annoyed? Here’s why:

  1. The women have either giant bellies or are pregnant.
  2. The photoshop is done in a sloppy fashion.
  3. I am really tired of women being photoshopped for the pleasure of others.

You’d think as a curvy lady I’d appreciate his message but I don’t. Simply put, I find what he is doing to be insulting to the women he photoshops along with being so ridiculous that I can barely even look at the pictures without laughing hysterically. Not once does he put in a larger lady shape that is actually healthy looking. I also think he confuses pregnancy with being overweight and uses them interchangeably.

I don’t think that there is anything wrong with being a larger lady, I think that what matters is that you are healthy and happy. The fact is, not everyone feels that way. Many people like to fat-shame those that are larger, they choose to judge another person by their size (it’s happened to me before) and that is insanely unfair. Someone like this artist David is trying to make what could be a valid point but I’m not sure he succeeds. Because these are famous women, you know they don’t look this way and so it ends up looking like they are wearing a fat suit. I want to like what he is putting out because I think there needs to be a serious conversation about body acceptance but I just cannot get on board with his message.

The fact is, I am tired of women (and men) being photoshopped. When did we become a culture that needs perfection in every magazine or online picture? There was recently a huge uproar when photo’s of an un-Photoshopped Beyonce were leaked. Her followers went NUTS. They could not believe someone would release such “unflattering” photos of their Queen Bey!

I saw the photos, they were great. They showed us a Beyonce who isn’t “flawless”, who has pimples from the half ton of makeup she needs to wear on stage. They showed us a Beyonce who is real and maybe that’s not what her followers want to see. They don’t want to think of their “Queen” as anything but perfection. For me, it only made me appreciate her hard work and her true beauty even more.

Un-Photoshopped Beyonce: She's still pretty gorgeous if you ask me.
Un-Photoshopped Beyonce: She’s still pretty gorgeous if you ask me.

This obsession with perfection is bizarre. We aren’t perfect beings and neither are the celebrities we adore. Why do we feel the need to hold them up to a level they cannot possibly attain (except through Photoshop)? Take a look at Cindy Crawford, she recently posed for photos and they are not edited in any way. Can you say gorgeous? She is perfect in her imperfection and it honestly made me like her more.

Cindy Crawford, perfect in her imperfections.
Cindy Crawford, perfect in her imperfections.

The fact is, our culture is obsessed with perfection. We are obsessed with the unobtainable. From plastic surgery to make a young man look like Superman to Extreme Corseting to give a woman a 16-inch waist like Jessica Rabbit, we want something that nature doesn’t create. To me, there is a reason that nature doesn’t create it, because it’s not natural! Yeesh.

I am hopeful that with time, the photoshop craze will die out and we’ll get to a place where natural beauty impresses as much as perfection does. In the meantime, artists like David will continue to raise eyebrows with their attempts to bring attention to the topic of beauty and body shaming. Maybe one day body shaming won’t exist and body acceptance will be the norm. That would be awesome I think.

What do YOU think? Do you like David’s work? 

For a little chuckle, check out these 33 Photoshop Fails of 2014 and tell me we haven’t all gone a bit overboard with Photoshop.

2 thoughts on “The Female Perspective: Photoshop & Celebs, We Want The Unobtainable

  1. In a way, there is nothing wrong with PS, people have created ideal images for hundreds of years. Think about the idealized paintings of the past. However, what we need to do is understand that if someone looks a certain way or not is not all there is to that person, and, as you said, that if you are happy and healthy, your size should not be such a big topic of discussion if you don’t want it to be.

  2. I agree with you 100%! PS has happened for a long time, but it seems insane to me lately (or I’m noticing it more) and it seems like we could focus on more important things, like being healthy!

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