For years, the media has been accused of partially contributing to the esteem issues plaguing adolescents and adults. A recent study published in October 2011 by Dartmouth College’s Department of Computer Science in which retouched photos were mathematically evaluated on a scale of degree to which the photos were altered, provides a clear before/after look at the extent to which publishers present the “ideal.”
The authors of the study seek to provide a method for which publishers and advertisers reveal the degree to which a photo was altered. They present before retouching and after retouching photos as examples of their methodology.
In recent years, advertisers and magazine editors have been widely criticized for taking digital photo retouching to an extreme. Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements, and magazine covers. The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children. In response, several countries have considered legislating the labeling of retouched photos. We describe a quantitative and perceptually meaningful metric of photo retouching. Photographs are rated on the degree to which they have been digitally altered by explicitly modeling and estimating geometric and photometric changes. This metric correlates well with perceptual judgments of photo retouching and can be used to objectively judge by how much a retouched photo has strayed from reality. Abstract, A perceptual metric for photo retouching
To see the photo’s before and after examples used in the study is shocking to us. Retouching features as minor as a scar to completely changing a plus-sized model’s shape and moving Angelina Jolie’s eye are exemplified in the study’s research.
For examples of the before and after samples used in the study such as the ones below, click over to Dartmouth’s website.
And people still don’t understand the pressure put on women, men, and children to be “beautiful.”
Just think if we DIDN’T do this.
images via Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH