The focus on Photoshop as somehow creating an artificial standard of beauty that contributes to poor self-esteem in women is very strange. I don’t believe the real discomfort comes from the artificiality but rather the unapologetic beauty.
Imagine if the practice of photo-shopping ads were banned altogether. The women in ads would still be stunningly beautiful and thin. How do I know this? I’ve seen women easily as beautiful as women in these ads around town/ at the beach/ etc. Really, really beautiful women (and men) exist naturally all over the world. The practice of Photoshop doesn’t create a beauty that can’t possibly exist in nature, it just makes the business of finding and photographing models cheaper and easier. Instead of searching for exceptionally beautiful women, they have many, many beautiful – women to choose from from around the world. Photoshop doesn’t make the impossible possible, it makes a beautiful photo easier and cheaper to create.
If you don’t believe women as beautiful as women in photographs exist, go watch a Miss America contest. You are kidding yourself if you think their beauty is just due to makeup and plastic surgery.
I think most people know this, so this leads me to believe that simply seeing beautiful women is what’s actually upsetting.