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The Devastation of Our Self-Esteem Caused by Photo Retouching

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Popularity of photo editing has increased recently, particularly during the last five years or so. We may share a picture that portrays us as we want to be perceived, not necessarily as we are, thanks to the proliferation of camera phones, Instagram, and other free apps that let us change our appearance in an instant.

People start to appreciate the attention once their photo receives a lot of likes, at which point they utilize these photo-editing services and applications more regularly.

What was once just for fun developed into a murderer of self-esteem. Every time we take a photo, we use the filter button to make our eyes appear brighter or our hair appear darker. Instagram users now almost routinely automatically add a filter before sharing their photos on social media.

It seems as though the actual us is no longer sufficient.

Without those filters, we would be left wondering why we couldn’t look as nice as the photos we had filtered when we looked in the mirror at the end of the day.

A Shocking Reality

I’ll admit that I used to like photo editing only to smooth out my face or make my skin appear a little less red after spending the day in the sun. I quickly became immersed in the realm of image manipulation after just a few photos, and I little lost trust in the process.

Fortunately, I caught it early enough to push myself to stop before it worsened, but I can’t help but worry about those whose addiction has grown so bad that they have forgotten how stunning they really are.

What Exactly Is True Beauty?

This newfound urge to always look flawless is, in my opinion, partially the fault of the media. Consider whether one of your pals would ask to see a photo you were taking with a group of your friends simply to determine whether it was Facebook-worthy. Yes, that is where we are now.

What’s worst? without even realizing it, we were always competing!
We like and fall in love with misleading images rather than appreciating someone or something’s actual attractiveness.

If you’ve ever used online dating, I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures that appear to have through some sort of filter or Photoshopping. People believe that by constantly posting photos of themselves looking their finest, other people will like them even more.

This may be partially accurate, but what will happen over the long run? Do you really feel that much better about yourself in the end, or do you start to watch the years pass and lose sight of what true beauty is?


Delete the societal ideal of perfection. It’s not possible.
I am concerned for a large portion of our younger generation because they are supporting a false way of life.

Instead of seeing a beautiful reflection of themselves in the mirror, they are contemplating how they may angle their head or lean into the light a little bit more.

In exchange, they receive an instant high as their news feeds flood with compliments about how great they look. However, these compliments eventually start to fade, and the high from all the attention fades away.

Once that focus wanes, the need to feel special and beautiful intensifies, and the person turns to picture editing to create a second image that is just as good as or even better than the first. Without ever coming to an end, the cycle continues.

You start with a selfie and get 12 likes, then post a photo with an Instagram filter and get 20 likes, then you continue to apply the filter because more people are noticing it. It’s almost like an addiction of sorts.

Our self-esteem is being destroyed by others as much as by ourselves. Take a look at all the many advertising we encounter every day.
Did you realize that throughout the day, we are exposed to around 2,000 advertisements? thousands, that’s correct!

None of the models we see have crow’s feet, their arms and legs seem toned, and their smiles are as bright as they possibly can be. All of it is a spectacle.

Avoid Over-Retouching Your Photos

You’ve surely heard about the Target Photoshop blunder that happened not too long ago. This is only one of many instances of improper photo manipulation. If a model needs to be adjusted with a few mouse clicks here and there, that should demonstrate that we all have flaws.

Please don’t consider these flaws to be negative. Instead, think of them as something that only you and your beauty possess.

I’ll tell you a secret: After having gallbladder surgery, I felt utterly unsatisfactory, and I gave in to the pressure to change my lifestyle in order to feel better about myself.

I found that I was emptier than I had ever been. I’m not sure how I finally snapped out of it, but over time I started to view my scars as a story rather than a flaw. They stand for strength and overcoming illness, thus today I am not ashamed of them. In fact, every time I look at them, I am reminded of my hopes and objectives and how nothing could stop me from accomplishing them, or at least from trying.

Since then, I’ve occasionally filtered photographs, but I refuse to make it a habit since I know it would be bad for my self-esteem and I’m hoping you can decide if it would be bad for you, too.

I could go on and on about the several adjustments I wish I could make to some images, like improving the appearance of my brows, making my eyes a little greener, and making my complexion a little clearer. All of that is now irrelevant. Because that’s how I was intended to be built, I’m not embarrassed to show photos of myself online nowadays. The people who love me think I’m a wonderful person, and you are too!

Photoshop Collage
Make some adjustments
What should you do if you’re addicted to Instagram and often practice photo editing?
First, tell yourself that you are attractive and that you were created for a reason every morning as you stand in front of the mirror.

Second, cut back on your use of social media. You won’t have as much of a want to stand out from the crowd if you aren’t constantly comparing yourself to other individuals (through likes, comments, and whatever else you can do on social media these days).

Finally, until you can gain control of your situation, you might need to remove all those apps. Although it might be the trickiest and least welcoming of the six, this one might just work.

Be mindful of your surroundings if you’re not addicted to taking selfies, editing photos, or publishing updates on social media.
Don’t let commercials trick you into believing that being tall, slender, blue-eyed, and well-groomed all the time equates to beauty.

Additionally, if one of your friends seems to be posting selfies all the time, you might want to think about inviting them to dinner or an activity so they can get some positive attention. While you’re out, compliment them and generally take pleasure in your time together.

In the end, it’s all about going back to the fundamentals and staying true to you, your friends, and your circle. Discover what makes you happy, bolster your self-confidence with supportive people and things, and accept the fact that, to someone, somewhere, you are completely perfect!

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