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.



  • Although, there is truth in what Eric wrote and believe me, him and I debated a bit over this topic, I agree with you as well, Jen. Being a mom of six, I TOTALLY get what you’re saying. Yes, as parents, it is our job to raise our children to be healthy and be content with who they are, BUT I also see your side as well. I think it is very true, if you have a young girl who isn’t say, fortunate enough to have parents as Eric, yourself and I, to educate her, etc….that when she’s looking at these photo shopped pics in her “Seventeen” magazine, etc….it in her mind, “portrays” what she SHOULD look like. It’s really tricky. It seems when I asked others about this topic, that the men, agreed with Eric and the women felt more like you and I. It goes both ways. I guess as parents, we do need to do the best to raise our children in believing in themselves and knowing that every being is built differently and should love themselves for how they are. But unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Even us adults do that. Good points from both Eric and you. Thanks to you both.

  • Hi Jen, I get your point and fully understand what you are saying. I guess the point that I was trying to get across is for more parents, teachers and guardians of children need to be accountable. And as cliche as it might sound “children” are our future and it is our job as parents, teachers, and guardians to make sure that they are secure with themselves as individuals. We need to show them what a proper role model is.
    Removing photoshop is just a bandaid. Some people will still be more beautiful, more fit and more financially well off. What do we do then..stop taking pictures?