Nearly every model or celebrity gracing the covers of magazines are, in some way, Photoshopped. Whether it’s to make their skin flawless, their smile brighter, or their waist slimmer, celebrities on the cover of a magazine often look pretty different than they did in the before pictures.
Typical graduation pictures can be digitally altered to remove skin blemishes or slight mishaps too, but apparently they’ve reached an entirely new level — by offering students the option to pay for slimming their image. Success Photography, a photo agency in the UK, offers an option for students to pay $10 for “advanced technology” that would slim down any “bulky and unflattering” pictures.
Angered university students tweeted about the option, lamenting that it subtly gives graduates — especially women — a complex about their bodies and appearances, and increases the pressure to lose weight in order to look good. The agency also offers “digital complexion and smile enhancement” services to make students' teeth whiter and skin clearer.
On Twitter, students are expressing their concerns over the option:
I can pay £9.95 to have my graduation pictures photoshopped to make me look thinner. :( pic.twitter.com/onsLjKEVOH
â€” Sophie Gadd (@sophie_gadd) July 15, 2014
But the photo company argues that it’s all a misunderstanding. Success Photography tweeted that “clear ‘digital slimming’ refers to reducing the appearance of the gown only, never the individual.” On its website, it states, “The traditional graduation gown is a mark of respect and achievement. However, it can be bulky and unflattering. With advanced digital technology we can reduce the gown’s appearance, making it more fitting to your shape.”
Whether or not "digital slimming" refers to the student's body and face or just their gown, it appears that students have already communicated they're not for physical alterations — especially when it comes to, or at least hints at, their weight.
Being able to select to have 'digital slimming' for my graduation photo... Hysterical!! pic.twitter.com/uNhE5FeB
â€” Naomi Bourne (@Naomi_x25) February 10, 2013