Lorde’s tweet sparks questions about photo editing

Lorde's tweet sparks questions about photo editing

Only last year the American Medical Association (AMA) implemented a policy against “false advertising” so that advertising agencies, especially with teen target markets, do not use photo editing to project false ideals to consumers.

“It’s a very complicated and controversial topic. Every photo is edited in some way—even my wedding photos were edited! I think that is something that some people don’t understand. Photo editing is really just a way to ensure that each and every photo ever taken looks the best it possibly can,” People Magazine Style Watch Editor and alumni Kristen Cooper said.

Photo editing is even more prevalent in magazines. Editors make a variety of changes both subtle and drastic. This often blurs the line between what is physically realistic and what is simply a fake ideal.

“If a photo was taken specifically for a magazine, you can assume its been photo-shopped. Whether it’s as simple as softening a shadow or taking a wrinkle out of someone’s shirt to the most extreme where body parts are made slimmer or longer and wrinkles and dark spots are erased,” Cooper said.

Noticing her face not clearly represented in an edited concert photo, singer Lorde tweeted a photo with a caption expressing her disapproval on March 30.

“I find this curious – two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. Remember flaws are ok :-),” Lorde tweeted.

Lorde, at only 17, exemplifies a normal teen experiencing stardom. Her distorted picture may not have been unbelievably changed, but her message to her young fans flawlessly took away the societal emphasis on physical perfection.

“When someone goes as far to change someone’s identity and physique of individuals, that’s when you start challenging the humanity and honesty of everything,” senior and Yearbook Photo Editor Hannah Foldy said.

Although photo editing will likely never be eliminated from advertisements and published products, people like Lorde are only helping in the cause to eliminate false ideals in our society.  Photo editing becomes negative when consumers must question what is real and what is fake.