The Power Of Photoshop


Gaza Strip 001 Israellycool safeEarlier today Dave posted an advert put out by UNRWA for a new social media person. They’re only interested in Arabic and English and the lead skills they want is Photoshop.

Yesterday I wrote a slightly unusual piece for The Times of Israel talking about a big kerfuffle that’s going on over the pond. The writer of a popular American TV show, Girls, was photographed for Vogue magazine. Her name is Lena Dunham (who happens to be Jewish) and is the writer of the show. She’s definitely not unattractive but she’s not a stick and that probably caused some minor revolt in Vogue.

They photoshopped the images of her to comply, more precisely, with how they want women to look and so a feminist website, Jezebel, put out a $10,000 bounty on receiving the original, unretouched photos from the shoot. This worked and pretty quickly they got them.

Come on ladies, please, this mess is pretty much entirely created by women for women. Women (and gay men) look at Vogue. Men look at, ahem, other publications. The women in the, ahem, other publications, are distinctly more round than the ones in Vogue. We even published some (safe for work) images of what men like to look at standing (naked) on a beach in Gaza some years back. I had to do the photoshopping in this case to make the images safe for Israellycool’s family audience. She is probably not suitable for Vogue.

My piece at The Times of Israel tells the tale of my first time on a commercial fashion shoot involving a real, live, fashion model:

I was standing in a dirty alley outside the trendy loft-studio in a fashionably downmarket part of London. An unusually tall girl came up to me and asked, with broken English, to confirm the address. Her hair was a complete mess, she had a blotchy complexion and she was wearing what appeared to be a plain blanket. I couldn’t see tits, legs or shoes. Frankly, I thought she might be begging.

She did have the right address and I asked what she was here for.

“I am working here today” she said.

“What do you do?” I asked her.

“I’m a model” she said.

“Are you really a model?” I blurted out before realising just how stupid that sounded.

Damn it, my first proper conversation with the exalted class of woman known as “model” and I stuff it up so dramatically.

But ultimately, if women are going to argue endlessly about how images are manipulated to perpetuate an impossible myth of what a perfect woman looks like, they really must understand that many men are not nearly as hung up on this as they are.

Normal men regard photoshopped women in magazines as fine art: it’s unattainably expensive and created to hang in galleries and be admired, not something you take home and live with.

Read the whole piece.

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