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Left to right: increasing levels of photo editing (image courtesy of the New York Times)

Quick story. Every time, and I do mean every time, I show my hubby a picture from one of my fashion mags, our convo goes like this:

Hub: “No one looks like that.” (looking at me like, You’re a smart girl; how can you be so unrealistic?)

Me: (adamantly tapping page in question, because I know I’m right) “SHE does!”

Hub: “No, she doesn’t.” (calmly going back to what he was doing before I showed him the picture, because apparently the conversation is over)

Original image courtesy of Vogue China; Image above courtesy of Photoshop Disasters

There’s no doubt that fashion magazines are chock full of digitally enhanced photographs, with alterations ranging from eliminating skin imperfections and “ironing” wrinkles from clothing to visually removing a model’s leg (as pictured above). More extreme editing – we’ve all seen it: the images that look almost cartoonish, and even when the picture is of a well-known celebrity, you’re like, “Now who is that again?” – leads me to wonder whether it’s actually a photograph or an artistic representation of a photograph.

Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB) recently posted a very thought-provoking article discussing whether or not bloggers, who typically represent the “real woman” side of style and fashion, should use editing software like Photoshop to improve aspects of blog images. On one hand, personal style blogs provide a self-publishing platform for those that might not fit the narrow standards of beauty and what’s hot according to the fashion industry. On the other, however, it seems like the most successful, most visible fashion blogs are those that present an aspirational quality and near perfect images.

Where do YOU stand on the photoshop issue? Does it depend on the level of photo editing, or should bloggers only present the real, real? Let me know in the comments section or on Twitter @JoySunshineBlog

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