Photoshop of horrors, Friend or Foe?

When it comes to an interpretation of a certain media outlet such as an advertisement, we as an audience (and young uni students) should take the many considerations that involve our effectiveness. Let’s discuss the connotation of “body image”. What is it about these words that make us all secretly queeze inside our stomach’s?

Examples are as followed: social make-up, exercise/and health, genetics, beliefs/religion, socio economic background; just to name a few. These all are factors in which we interpret the many ways in which the media represent things. With this, positive and negative effects are created. An example of the negative impacts the media has portrayed are one of the issues of social anxieties we face today as a modern day society; ‘body image’. For both young men and women, throughout their pubescent phase of teen hood, there would be endless times where all of you have had at least one day where you would face the fact that you’re just not ‘body perfect’ yet. Especially in the western culture, talks of the “summer body” or “leg day” are common in an average person’s life where the need to perfect ones body is necessary to be accepted into the ‘norm’ that the media has shaped.  Where’s the Proof, you wonder?

I guarantee you my fellow peers, go into any store where magazines and even newspapers are sold and don’t worry, at least 5 advertisements will pop up in your baffled face with buffed up men and healthy women posing for the camera to promote their photoshopped “healthy”, ” happy”, “day-to-day” living style. Examples of ‘inspirational’ culprits are Vogue vogue lady gaga

and Calvin klein Can-We-Stop-Body-Shaming-Justin-Bieber-Now-Site-Retracts-Unretouched-Calvin-Klein-Shots-665x385

Why do we think it’s acceptable to advertise an unrealistic body? Why do we need to constantly better ourselves? What’s makes them so desirable?

As I mentioned before, factors come into play. What we see may intrigue our senses. For women, in the vogue photo, it’s simple. Vogue- the label says it all. Women want their clothes, they want to be desirable as lady Gaga looks with that altered curves of hers. It appears that the French-revolution-period styled hair symbolises her “Authority” and “Royal” appearance. Undoubtably giving the audience a sense of influential need to consume this look she’s taken up. Looking at the definitional jawline of them both provoke a healthy looking feature in both a man and woman’s appearance, the thinness and her frailness structure also is commonly desirable for woman s it has been since the 1970’s, with the evolutionary “swingin sixties” idolising thin bodie’s. Women want to look like that. To make themselves wanted or outstanding amongst the crowd. These are whats called the signifiers. They are the singular effects that impact our way of thinking. Vectors, salient colours, healthy looking skin, big muscles, thin body. These are are examples.

On the other hand, these signifiers essentially provoke the audiences moral of the intention created by the media. Now I chose these images for a singular reason. The before and after effects of photoshop. Now certain views may be tossed into the air and spat out by others. What’s yours?!

One view I see as a educated young female, is how the finishing edits of the images are sculpted into something so unrealistic (particularly the vogue advertisement) that it saddens me that women can be blinded by what is considered beauty. As for the men, I could imagine their exhaustion too, if I had to basically dedicate my days at the gym, style my hair, ink myself till there’s no skin left to achieve the socially acceptable sense of what it means to be a man.

These highly known labels are telling us ‘lies’ in this interpretation.

Other views, could see these two images as a positive outcome. As we all know, ‘pretty people’ sell. Money comes from selling products such as these magazines, or clothing brands. Yes, they may be distorted to make themselves and the clothing outstanding but  let’s be honest. It wouldn’t be such a controversial topic if we all looked like them, so of course it’ll make audiences (particularly youth) to consider.. well maybe i have to look like that to achieve what Justin beiber has. Hmmm, let’s see: Lady Gaga’s sex symbol, her powerful voice which she has gained millions of ‘monsters’ as followers, who wouldn’t want to wear the clothes she’s wearing. I would love to be her body size. She’s “perfect”.$200 million net worth based on endless tour around the world, Youtube sensation, sponsorship, sales, etc etc Justin bieber certainly knows how to enjoy his easy-going lifestyle. I would certainly like $200 million dollars thanks. Maybe if I look like him, I could achieve what he has?  People’s mind’s are full of thoughts that could drive them into the crazy world of the social anxieties the media portrays. But in this case, it’s a positive outcome for encoder’s such as vogue and Clavien klein.  These Idols- celebritised context help the encoder’s to achieve sales and production. A positive outcome for them no matter what their before and after shots.

These arguments of whether these images are positive or negative may truly be so controversial that the encoder does this so that the audience can create discussion. To gain more and more followers without them even knowing it. Whether we like it or not, we as a western society are dragged into the media’s creations, via social networking, peers, and anything that has internet connection. In the end, you’re simply not ‘up-to-date’ with the latest craze, like kim kardashian’s blonde hair (sh%^, I want platinum blonde hair now… mum, where’s the hair bleach?!) It’s basically evil at the thought that we are so gullible to the media’s portrayal of these advertisements that. The more we conversate about it, the more trapped we are in the social world. It’s a never ending cycle of debate, which then makes the creators happy to have made such a dint of the world’s views.

The semiotic of the presented images are clear. You either love or loathe the change. Their signifiers are their unrealistic after edits, with Lady G’s Curves What do you think?
Chat to me on your opinions of these two controversial portrayal of influential media.

Bibliography thanks to these guys:



Blog 1:


I really appreciated the fact that, she managed to look beneath the message that I first originally interpreted myself. I thought it was something to do with being careful with the way you drive, or get banned doing it at all. By the use of the gun shaped as keys. I assumed that it was because fire weapons are banned, then you will be too. Reading her analysed deconstruction of the advertisement, I was opened to another spectrum of view. It’s signified concept in this particular image is the fact that driving in dangerous ways that may end yours or someone else life is equally or worse then a fire arm such as the gun. They both take away lives, one is feared, and the other isnt. It’s time to face the law’s and take driving seriously. Her simple format, and easily typed words made it helpful to understand. With this is mind I would rate her blog as an effective piece of creation 🙂

Thanks Maddison.

Blog two:

Her blog, is no doubt colloquial. This is one of the few reasons why I personally like this blog. As you know by now, complicated words can be off-putting and intimidating. In this blog, I found not only the topic (similar to mine) very interesting structurally but how she came about to create her opinionated  view on “body image” like my own. Powerful statements like “your body does not define your worth” really stood out to me. Being a young woman myself, listening to other’s views helps even me to be morally encouraged, TO BE HAPPY WITH MY OWN BODY. Let’s face it, I’m not victoria secret model. Reading this blog just made me overall: happy to know that her opinions back up my own.

Blog three:

First thing that captured my eye was the image at the top. It’s message of “Who’d i’d rather see live” was good enough to make me never buy retailed clothes again.  As referenced in my ‘About me section’  I personally found this blogger’s piece quite heart-breaking as I am an animal lover deep down. Yes, the advertisement certainly divides rooms into debate. But for me, I loved how MMELDIPUGLIA, expresses her own opinions in a more formal way. With that being said, it was appropriate in the sense that it was also a seriously matter. Drawing me (the audience) to really broaden my perspective of animal testing for clothes.


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