Are We Contributing to Digital Manipulation in Social Media?
Before the creation of social media and image-hosting sites like Facebook (launched in 2004), Instagram (launched in 2010), and Flickr (launched in 2004), edited images primarily belonged to print texts such as newspapers and magazines. In a society that sought entertainment primarily through traditional mass media, many individuals became disappointed with their bodies after viewing images of thin and seemingly flawless women. Despite more viewers questioning the authenticity of these images in media, the practice of airbrushing became more widespread. Eventually this lead to the claim that mass media produced “unrealistic expectations of beauty in society.”
Research studying the effects on men and women who are exposed to images demonstrating the thin ideal has found that more often than not these pressures imposed by mass media are toxic, essentially leading young men and women to respond with insecurity. Other research, however, finds that sometimes these enhanced images promote motivation. Regardless, the practice of airbrushing continues as an example of artistic freedom on behalf of professionals and amateurs alike...
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