Magazines’ Photo Manipulations: Ethical?

Time and again professors have reinforced how important it is to present facts and photos in a way that represents the truth. When applying this principle to magazines, however, sometimes the photos displayed on the glossy front covers and inside pages fall short of reality. Individuals who admire these magazines and the celebrities that appear to be photographed with flawless skin, hair and bodies often compare themselves to these false personas. We should be informed, not fooled, ladies.

Take, for example, France’s Grazia magazineWith Megan Fox on the cover, editors must have decided that making both of her tattoos visible would complicate the cover. Then why did they print the same photo inside with the tattoo present? If they did not want it to show, they should have photographed her from a different angle or dressed her in a more full-coverage gown.

Photo manipulation can also cast individuals in a more sinister light, like TIME magazine did with this photo of OJ Simpson. By darkening his features, Simpson appears scary and suspicious which presents a bias against him. TIME should have used his original photo, untouched, to present a more accurate picture of him as a human being.

Below are more examples of photos that have been edited to fulfill the magazines’ idea of “perfection.” No wonder so many teens are being diagnosed with eating disorders and are unhappy with their bodies. Media are distorting truths and manipulating perceptions.

I, as a magazine lover and aspiring writer/editor, hold the principle of presenting truth in high regard and dislike such photo manipulation. Who else is with me?


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