Image source: http://www.wmagazine.com/people/celebrities/2009/02/brad_pitt_ss/photos/slide/1
Whether it’s an advertisement with George Clooney selling Omega watches or Justin Bieber selling Calvin Klein underwear we see hunky men all over the web. What does this do to the self-esteem of males? How can they possibly attain the physical perfection that comes as a result of relentless training and strict eating? The answer is those advertisements that we see everywhere are the results of Photoshop amongst other things and not just working out and eating healthy as the magazines suggest.
These models and celebrities do this for a living, they’re paid to look flawless and that’s why they’re so damn good at it. In addition to their intense lifestyle to upkeep their good looks, it’s no secret that Photoshop is widely used to smooth out lumps and bumps, enhance certain features and hide others. So it seems unrealistic and unhealthy that this is what males are looking up to from a young age. However, there are exceptions to this and some well-known celebrities such Brad Pitt, who requested for there to be no retouching in his shoot with W magazine in 2011 (see photo above), are starting a movement stating that Photoshop has simply been taken too far.
Research shows that depression and eating disorders are directly linked to the way that people are portrayed in the media. It’s not very often that this is discussed, there’s a strong double standard when it comes to addressing these issues in the media. A quick Google search will reveal that when you want information on the ways that media affects body image, thousands of female related articles will appear and only very few male-oriented articles will pop up. This issue affects males just as much as it affects females, whilst men are more apprehensive about discussing their feelings at a risk of seeming un-masculine.
Upon looking closer to these men with “perfect bodies” on page 1 of a magazine you’ll see their tips on getting ripped and then on page 9 of another magazine you’ll see paparazzi photos of them on a family holiday with the words “Flabby stomach”, “Lost his charm” and “Receding hairline”. So much pressure is put on to people to look a certain way but the person in the images may not even look the way they appear in photos in real life.
This article is part of three part series in collaboration with Photoshop It Ain’t Real. To take a look the article on Photoshop It Ain’t Real click here.