So this week a man got photoshopped. Well, Justin Bieber got photoshopped to look like a man. No wait, Biebs got enlarged. Ugh, I actually don’t even know what this is except that it’s the biggest social media outcry over photoshopping EVER because we are so accustomed to this where women are concerned but shocked when a male is changed to suit the marketer of the image. This is because people aren’t people in media, they are idealogies designed to sell products, and the problem with humans is that our realities get in the way of our fantasy so we are edited to fix our realities and taught to hate them. Another reason for this outcry is that we actually noticed it. Our eyes and brains are not yet brainwashed to ignore these edits in men, yet we are in women. We’re so brainwashed by the image of a female that we actually criticize real women for not matching their pretend image in real life. ‘Stars without make up’, an entire magazine culture fuelled by insulting the reality of women without photoshop in order to sell us products. While this is somewhat being repeated in this image, the details which magazines and brands choose to edit become real life human insecurities. You’ll notice the stereotypical expectations of man – big package, thighs and arms and no neck. The image really hasn’t had that much editing compared to an ad of a female peer, shown in the overlay gif animation below.
The discourse around this image is interesting … yes, it has some similarities to the self worth criticism aimed daily at women. But no, it is not equality. Equality would be if you hadn’t noticed this, in the same way you don’t notice it every day when it happens to women and girls.