Op-EdI have been thinking a lot about my fellow writer Eric Burks’ article “Is it Really because it’s Photoshopped?” and feel compelled to share my opinion. While I fully respect Eric’s perspective, I have to disagree.

Photoshopping portrays FICTIONAL people. The images portrayed are not real. I don’t blame photoshopped pictures for my personal shortcomings, however I do worry that children and teens look at these pictures and think that they are representations of what real people should look like.

I fully support teaching our children to be healthy, fit, and most of all responsible for their own beauty, both inside and out, but why can’t the media give us realistic examples to strive for? Why must the media remove every blemish, wrinkle, bump or dimple? What is wrong with portraying models and actors as real people with natural differences that don’t have to be perceived as flaws?

Like Eric, I teach my children to work hard for what they want, to work hard to look and feel healthy, however, not all children are as fortunate as Eric and mine. Not all children have positive influences in their lives, teaching them to be comfortable with who they are inside and out.

I can’t speak for the young lady who started the petition, but I for one am not blaming these images for my own shortcomings, I blame them for portraying an image that is not based on reality, but rather based on fiction.

When the media and marketing agencies stop photoshopping and start portraying men, women, girls and boys in their natural form, then and only then can we start working on true self esteem issues and helping people truly look within themselves and set realistic goals for who they want to be.