Shared by the Huffington Post, 24-year old college student, Anna Hill receives absolute praise from me for taking her digital photography skills and putting them to the test for a final project in her advanced digital photography class. Her project revealed the realities of Photoshop manipulation and spins them onto the application itself, she did this by creating mock ads for Photoshop. The result is stunning, inspiring, and eye-opening.
What I like most about Anna’s project is how critical she was at taking some of the extremes that Photoshop uses to manipulate people’s bodies and using those as a vehicle to create her parody ads. These are things that many of us do not even notice are re-touched in advertisements, such as the expectation for longer legs and the realization that most advertisements show models with skin that appears to be virtually flawless and yes – shiny plastic with no pores.
When the reality is that we cannot actually make our legs and arms longer and yes, we all have pores and freckles and scars and spots on our skin. I love that Anna took these expectations created by media and Photoshop made ads out of them, it makes them seem much more ridiculous and yet revealing for those who might not realize that these messages are even being sent.
I even found myself chuckling at a few of her creations at the absurdity of what the ad was selling. Mostly because we are not used to seeing these unrealistic expectations advertised so blatantly and shoved in our face in the way that Anna revealed them – even if we do have high media literacy abilities to pick up the subtle messages in ads and challenge their underlying message – it is a whole other perspective to see them marketed in this way.
My hope is that we are moving towards a time where there are more Anna Hill’s out there to help strip down the unrealistic pressures that media puts on our bodies so that we can begin to celebrate and love the natural and unique beauty that our bodies are.