Humans are known to be vain. Most of us are also interested in presenting our best version to anyone around us, both digitally and physically. In the era of "social media", the toxic undercurrents of much lower body confidence which is often enhanced by the digital thinning applications are presented frequently as one of the millennial problems.
But it has been around for a long time. Doctoring images has been in existence just as long as portraits have. Historically it was once the preserve for this that exercised influence, wealth, and power. So technology has changed this in a significant way since altering images is now completely accessible to any person that owns a smartphone. And that is just about all of us!
The Image Of Dorian Gray
Just put in the term "thin" when searching on the Appstore and you will find countless apps that offer a way to virtually dice and slice your body in whichever way you like. With a few simple clicks, you can easily change your bust, skin tone, hips, and thighs to come up with an image that you feel is aspirational. It is exactly how you would like to look. So what is the problem? Well, just like Dorian Gray, to eternalize this youthful image of yourself, you are trading a part of your essence or your soul.
You Cannot Unsee This
The issue is that regardless of how you know your Instagram feed has been retouched, these images will remain. They will reinforce your insecurities in a subtle way, and the way many people deal with this is to carry on doctoring their own images. This is how the cycle starts to perpetuate.
The Camera Will Never Lie
Even though you know these images are not real, when you start watching those likes increase, you might feel moments of delight and exhilaration. But at the end of the day, you are very aware of the type of filters you were using to create that perfect image. This cannot be good for your self-worth. Even worse, some people start to believe in their own hype. When you are no longer able to comprehend your true self-image you start detaching from your well-being and health.
Images have been doctored for the longest time, especially when it comes to women. Anne of Cleves was fortunate enough to maintain her head when she was engaged to be married to Henry VIII when Holbein's made a portrait of her. When photography was introduced, images were viewed as definitive when it came to their representations.
However, even in the earliest days, exposure methods in dark rooms could change body image. The rise of Photoshop eased the process for the glossy magazines released in the 80s and '90s where the impossible body image of females was created.
Warts And All
So what is the solution? It is not much wrong with wanting to present the best version of yourself. This isn't where the issue lies. The danger comes in with skewed perceptions of "normality" when it comes to digital thinning. To make your hips more shapely on an evening out with the girls, don't use a digital knife when it comes to your photos. Instead, rather use shaping shorts or control briefs. You will look great on both your phone and the dancefloor.
A Picture Can Paint A Thousand Words
The main difference here has to do with confidence. The ethos that surrounds shapewear has nothing to do with illusion, but rather about the way these garments make women feel. Think back to Bridget Jones wearing her big pants. This is a character that embraced womankind by just being real. Yes, she used a girdle to tone down her tummy, but she was a lot more attractive when you compare this image to an Instagrammed Kardashian.