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This looks shopped. I can tell by some of the pixels and from having seen a few shops in my time

Photoshop is 20. Happy Birthday, Photoshop!

From whitening teeth in billboard ads to foisting yet more lolcats on the world, its influence is enormous.

Inevitably that influence has been bad as well as good. In the right hands, image manipulation can be undetectable, but all too often Photoshop falls into the hands of the overworked, the shoddy and the idiotic.

5 replies on “This looks shopped. I can tell by some of the pixels and from having seen a few shops in my time”

Zelda-from-Terrahawks, brilliant.

The other thing with Photoshop is when ppl think its a good idea to do an 8page booklet totally in photoshop, including all the text.

marketers get rid of black people or make them look white.

I’m not convinced by the accusation of racism in either of those cases. Microsoft aren’t racist, but they’re not stupid enough to try and sell stuff to black people in Poland, for the same reason they don’t aim ads at Eskimos in South Africa. What baffled me about it was that a company with Microsoft’s budget apparently couldn’t afford to take an extra photo of three people in an office, and then, having opted to use Photoshop instead, that a company whose reputation relies on technological competence forgot to do the guy’s hand.

As for the Beyonce thing, it is a popular misconception that making women look paler is a sign of white people’s cultural imperialism. In fact, research shows that all human cultures prefer paler skin in women, including cultures that have never come into contact with European imperialism. It explains the Indian caste system and may even explain why there’s such a thing as white people in the first place. The current preference among white women for tanning is a strange historical blip that goes against millenia of human sexual preference.

There was that period in the early 20th Century where cosmetic firms advertised to black women “You too can look white, like proper people!” But it turns out that they were giving a stupid racist reason for something that black women would have done anyway for entirely different reasons.

> I’m not convinced by the accusation of racism in either of those cases.

I’m not necessarily accusing them of racism; I’m just pointing out something that’s happened and that’s caused offence. I could have done the reverse actually, the TIME magazine pic of OJ that was mysteriously darkened.

> having opted to use Photoshop instead, that a company whose reputation relies on technological competence forgot to do the guy’s hand.

Oh, absolutely. It was spectacularly cack-handed. But even the pros cock it up from time to time. That Photoshop Disasters blog is a fantastic place to spend time.

Well, you did call it “evil”. But no, I was more pointing out that research ’cause it’s dead interesting. And universally ignored. Every time a famous black woman lightens her skin (with make-up or Photoshop), articles will pop up telling her it’s because she’s ashamed of being black and this is the terrible legacy of European imperialism blah de blah blah blah. I find it interesting when a question is answered by science and it turns out no-one wants to hear the answer.

> Well, you did call it “evil”

I did. On the binary scale I’m putting things on, removing black people and making black people white is on the bad side of Photoshop, irrespective of the intention.

> I find it interesting when a question is answered by science and it turns out no-one wants to hear the answer.

Maybe because it just raises a whole bunch of other questions. So the mag photoshopping is sexist *and* racist :)

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