A popular open-sourced photo-editing and graphic design application is GIMP. Another one is Pixlr, which has a helpful web application for photo editing. I will experiment with Pixlr for now. Here are some important basic terms with photo editing.
Cropping: Crop to ensure that only one clear subject exists. You can crop to ensure the photo fits a certain aspect ratio (e.g., 150 pixels height by 350 pixels width).
Resizing: Sometimes, you’ll need to resize your photo in order to make it fit a certain area.
Image Adjustments: My favorite is Contrast, but play around with them to get the look you want to achieve, without over-doing it and changing the essence of the photo.
Just because you can edit your photos, doesn’t mean that you should. If you’re engaging in photoJOURNALISM, then you want to capture the photo in a way that does not require editing. However, if you do edit, be sure you follow good common sense and do not go past the ethical boundaries of photojournalism.
Snowy Range Photography
Post your top 5-10 Snowy Range Mountains photos and write a blog post about your experiences on yesterday’s field trip.
Media Literacy: Media & Body Image
Females, Media, and Body Image
Take a look at these magazine covers.
The average female is 5’4 and 165 lbs, yet the average female model is 5’10 and 120 lbs.
But, this ideal female body image has not been stable throughout history. There have been periods when both thinner and fuller female body shapes have been idealized. This website documents some of the various idealized female body types. What is interesting is that many idealized body types have been dictated by men (e.g., religious figures, artists, movie producers, politicians, philosophers). Keep that in mind as we go through more content below.
In modern culture, beauty is often airbrushed; Photoshop or another photo editing program are regularly used to change models’ appearances.
Males, Media, and Body Image
The average male is 5’9 and 195 lbs, yet the average male model is at least 6’0 and weighs about 175 lbs.
- Body image problems are not confined to females.
- While male “ideal” bodies differ around the world, there is still pressure to conform to some ideal. This website illustrates data that show male body image concerns have increased in recent years. Male beauty products have increased as well.
A Culture Obsessed with Appearance
Our culture places an emphasis on female empowerment through sexuality above most other qualities, such as intelligence, strength, spirituality, etc.
- Perspective on female empowerment through sexuality
- Midriffs and Mooks as a reflection of our reality or a construction of our reality? (start at 23 minutes)
Why does media perpetuate these body image ideals?
Advertisements and media imagery play on our insecurities to make money. Magazine, TV, and billboard images create a false idea of what we should look like, and this false advertising can make people feel bad if they don’t look like that. Thus, they hope to sell their products and *make money*.
If our society was completely confident and happy with how we looked, then we wouldn’t buy stuff that claims to help improve our bodies. At the same time…we live in a consumer-oriented capitalist economy and people have their own free-will to perpetuate the cycles of insecurity and spending money to fix the insecurities.
What are your thoughts and your experiences? I want to learn from YOU now!
Blog Post on Media and Body Image
Please write a blog post that discusses these questions:
- Describe some examples of media images that are problematic for girls/women and boys/men. What does the media “say” girls/women and boys/men should look like?
- To what extent is it realistic for everyone to achieve the looks of models and celebrities in the media? Imagine if everyone was the same as the ideal body image perpetuated in the media. What would that mean for our society?
- Have you or your friends ever been affected by media images? How so?
- List three things the media can do to change the promotion of an ideal body image.
- List three things that you can do to promote acceptance and appreciation of unique qualities in others.
Creating a Healthy Body Image
People differ in a wide variety of ways (e.g., eye color, weight, height, skin color, hair, likes/dislikes, abilities, interests).
Some things we can change through effort (e.g., studying, practicing), and some things we can’t change even if we want to (e.g., height, skin color).
Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses as well.
Take home points:
- Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
- We are all different in terms of our physical appearance, which makes us unique.
- Each of us should focus on staying healthy, being the best we can be, and showing respect for others and their abilities.
- There is no ideal body image. Everyone should strive to be physically, emotionally, and socially “fit” and happy.
- With maturity comes the capacity to think about how our actions toward others make them feel.
- And as we learn to think for ourselves, we are better able to cope with how we perceive others view us.
- Do not fall trap to media expectations of how you should behave. Value yourself not on your appearance; rather, value yourself based on your intelligence, kindness, empathy, friendliness, talents, etc.
- Demand that other people value you on more than just than your appearance.