Manipulation Of Images In Media Texts Media Essay

There are many arguments and concepts towards manipulation of images in media texts. The manipulation of images is seen every day by everybody who picks up any kind of media text from newspapers and magazines to internet articles, retouching photos is happening. Whether it’s changing how a person looks, changing the dominant characters surroundings or deleting parts of the image this all adds to the audience’s perception of the text which the media has given them. There is no right or wrong answer unto whether the manipulation of media texts is actually something that should happen and should carry on happening throughout texts, some people think it is wrong to change the way people look, however some people believe that the changing and manipulation of media texts is all part of the media process.

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There are more arguments throughout the world of media which say the retouching their images is misleading for young people and manipulates them to believe ‘this is how you should look’. “I want to see regular girls that look like me in a magazine that’s supposed to be for me. For the sake of all the struggling girls all over America, who read Seventeen and think these fake images are what they should be, I’m stepping up” (Bluhm, 2012) Julia Bluhm is a 14 year old American teenager who understood the manipulation of texts and how the retouching and development of photos will influence teenage girls lifestyles and make them change the way they look at themselves because of the ‘fake images’ portrayed by the media. For young girls like Julia photo manipulation could potentially make them change the ways they look at themselves due to the retouched images, young girls tend to idolize celebrities and icons in magazines. The retouched photos which may lead them to believe their own imperfections are abnormal influencing them to even turn to anorexia and body issues. Many people believe that the manipulation of images in media texts also leads to many people having low self-esteem issues which may also cause self obsessions and body issues within one’s self. ‘There’s no end of studies that show that consistently seeing airbrushed images makes women feel worse about themselves.’ (Crisell, 2010) There have been many articles written to show how the retouching of images affects the lifestyles and health of people, especially women. Many psychologists have studied the effects of the manipulation of media texts and how it reflects on a person’s health; many say we are more likely to compare ourselves to these images due to the excessive exposure we have to them. We live in a current society which consists of a high percentage of people living with high body dissatisfaction and manipulation of images in media texts could potentially increase this percentage.

Some people may disagree and believe that the retouching of images in media is a normal thing to do and is all part of the media process. ‘No longer is it about just taking pictures.  Editing is involved.’ (Boutwell, 2012) Today, many photographers and people involved in the media believe there is a lot more behind an image and it isn’t about just taking a photo anymore, editing is used in the images in media to enhanced the beauty of the image and to potentially get the most out of it. ‘My opinion is that Photoshop is a major reason why photographers make so much money.’ (Boutwell, 2012) From getting the most out of the image that is possible some people say, like Allison Boutwell, that this is how photographers and the media make more money and sell more which is a process that every worldwide business want to do and this is just the way the media achieve this. Every business and company wants to make a profit, and by selling the manipulated images is the way the media do this. Arguments can show that the manipulation of images in media texts is just the way the media are trying to ‘earn a living’ so to say. The retouched images seem to show more public interest than the non retouched images due to the public wanting to see the eye catching beautiful celebrities on the cover of their favourite magazines. ‘Beauty-retouching is a quite deceptive art.’ (Metzmacher, 2008) Like Metzmacher some people disagree that the manipulation of images is wrong due to the idea that retouching images is only enhancing beauty of people and is seen as an art form.

Today, 23 percent of women ages 25 to 29 now retouch their own personal photo and even more concerning, 41 percent among those ages 18 to 24 now retouch their photos too. Figure like this now may begin to suggest that women now begin to feel compelled to retouch their own photos due to manipulation of media images in order to fix their own personal self-esteem problems that the media have persuaded them into. Research shows that many women globally have all started editing their own photos in order to try and fit their own personal needs. Although only 43 percent of women agree with retouching photos, higher figure show that women edit their own photos. The media assist in this process subconsciously to the public, but it may lead to potential problems in the future like women becoming too obsessive with having the perfect figure and generating the perfect photo to feel they are meeting the need of the media also.

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Overall, the manipulation of images in media texts and be misconstrued in both directions, there are many positive and negative aspects to retouching photos. In my opinion, i do think that redevelopment of images can be seen as an art form and is only trying to enhance the beauty of the image in order to grab the audience’s attention. I think that the media have in somewhat gone too far with the retouching of photos and can convey ideas to young girls and change the way they look at themselves to try and can potentially cause them problems like anorexia and low self-esteem because of the fake images which are too perfect to even be real.



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