You see beauty ads everywhere -- TV, billboards, and magazines -- but how do you know what's real and what's "photoshopped" to the extreme?
All day, everyday, we're bombarded with images of beauty.
Advertisers promote healthy skin, shiny hair and impeccable makeup. We live in a world where perfection isn't just desired, it's expected.
“Photoshopping is very prevalent, at times, over-prevalent,” said Bruce Talbot, owner of Talbot Photography.
It makes the ideal seem real -- we should all look like this, right? Wrong.
A red vein in the eye, a scar above the eye, and lines underneath the eye, and don't forget the eyebrows, the eyeliner, the lip texture, the skin texture, the facial hair and, of course, the wrinkling.
Then, just like magic... photoshopped perfection in the form of a polished image.
“You want people to identify that with using the product,” Talbot explained.
But, it's a skin care product, most likely, this model has never used. Ever considered that?
“Just recently, plastic surgeons got a hold of me for techniques they have,” Talbot told us.
Techniques like skin peels.
A plastic surgeon’s office commissioned Talbot to take a photograph promoting the procedure. The idea: get a skin peel and you, too, can look like a model! But, the finished image is altered, the results achieved from Photoshop, not the procedure.
We asked Talbot how much of the work on a plastic surgeon's website is photoshopped?
“Oh, it can go from everything to nothing,” he explained.
That’s where the Federal Trade Commission comes into play.
The agency fines companies like Nivea for claiming its skin cream helps you slim down, and they banned Lancome from using an ad featuring Julia Roberts because of “excessive alteration”.
The UK even joined the fray, lashing out at Rimmel London for using false lashes in a mascara ad. Covergirl gets away with using the same trick thanks to the tiny disclaimer in its ads.
But not everything you see is a fake. In fact, some of Talbot’s work features little image alteration. But, as a consumer, how are you supposed to know the difference?
Talbot explained, “Things that look too good to be true, too polished, especially if it's associated with the results you're supposed to achieve with the product."
He says look for truth in a photo. We found an ad featuring Cate Blanchett; you expect to see age lines on the 43-year-old actress and you do.
"Do you see texture in the skin? Are there pores? Is every hair perfectly placed all the way around?" Talbot described.
While it may not seem fair, it is reality. Well, a photoshopped reality.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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