Photoshopping is nothing new, we are almost immune to its lies and subtle lessons of loathing. We’re used to seeing virtual versions of celebrities promoting products, looking like a distant relative of themselves. The software works hard, the magic trickery commences and someone who doesn’t actually exist is spat out the other end. It’s like a starlet version Mr. Potato Head’s Funny Face game.
So let’s imagine a world where airbrushing was a thing of the past. The graphic designers stop clicking, cutting and cropping. The photograph is honest.
Or is it?
We know that strategic makeup and restricted diets are the basis of many a good photo shoot. But PsychGuides.com, a resource for learning about mental health issues including body dysmorphia, have shed some light on the tricks of the trade.
You know those gym ads where Eugene loses three stone in two weeks and now looks like a very ripped Rob Kearney? Or the diet feature showcasing the secret snake oil that helped Bridie drop two dress sizes in four days?
IT’S ALL LIES!
It’s a shining example of giving 'em the old razzle dazzle.
Now I know that the sporty types featured here have the muscles to take them from lumped to pumped in no time at all. But to focus on that is to miss the point.
What this graphic illustrates beautifully is that, in certain industries, nothing is really as it seems.
I suspect we live in a world that is controlled by David Blaine and Keith Barry. And if that doesn’t terrify you, I can exclusively reveal that they report to the Overlord of Illusion, David Copperfield.
Hairstyles, clothing colour, grooming and posing tips are all key to creating the desired image. So next time you look at that glossy promotional feature, don't be tempted to compare yourself to the image. Think of that unholy wizardy trinity of illusion.
And remember their secret - if the camera is clicking and razzle is dazzling, how can we hear the truth above the roar?
It’s just jazz hands all round.