The XX Factor

More Thoughts on Curbing Digitally-Altered Images of Women

In response to the comments on my previous post, Curbing Digitally Altered Images of Women , I have a question for commenter mustireallyweighin , the photographer: You mention how laughable it is that there could even be a numbers-based disclaimer system applied to images of women because virtually every image that passes through the “digital darkroom” has undergone “digital surgery.” What’s your personal defense of this practice? As a photog, what’s the appeal of working in this manner?

I want to emphasize, though, that even though I am aesthetically opposed to the widespread use of “digital surgery” (and pissed for similar reasons already stated in the popular anti-photoshop Jezebel rant ), I think labeling laws on digitally-altered images would be pointless. The sweeping aesthetic change that I would like to see could not possibly be enforced by a government bureaucracy-heck, the FDA can’t even regulate the anti-wrinkle creams they themselves acknowledge are misbranded drugs! (Interesting how the mingling of fact and fiction in digitally-altered images of women likewise occurs at the beauty counter and drug store. Why are women nowadays always having to ask themselves: “Is this real?” or “How real is this?”)

Lastly, thank you commenter jack_elliot, for pointing out my “weary” error. Of course, I meant to type “wary.”