I was on LinkedIn earlier and saw a post about a company that supposedly created a Photoshop app that removed modifications from photographs. This was designed for the fashion and beauty industry, where photos are often modified to make people (especially women) look more ideal than they could ever look in real life. So this company was trying to make a point that the industry should stop making people feel ugly and insignificant.
I don’t know if the app was real. I don’t know if the company in question really wants women to feel they are already beautiful.
But the real question is whether women want to believe they are already beautiful. I believe my wife, without makeup or Photoshop, is the most beautiful woman I know. And I’m sure most people feel this way about the person with whom they are most intimate.
So why do fashion and beauty magazines continue to thrive?
The reason is that most people allow themselves to believe that the ugliest statements or implications are the truest, and the most encouraging things said are mostly lies. The magazines perpetuate this. But regular people can stop it today if they stopped buying magazines or buying things from websites that alter photographs. They buy this garbage because they believe they are inferior.
The quality of our food, our politics, our movies and TV shows, our jobs and anything else you can think of would improve dramatically if we stopped buying the garbage they are trying to sell us.
A pride of lions looks at a herd of gazelles and sees opportunity. They see lunch. The gazelles look at the lions and see death, even though the gazelles outnumber the lions 100 to 1. But gazelles have these long pointy things on their heads. And 50 of those would easily be enough to chase away the lions. So why don’t they attack?
The same reason people buy the Photoshopped magazines.