www.whyville.net Dec 15, 2013 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

A Pretty Little Lie

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The use of digital editing in our society has become more prevalent today than ever before. Between magazine covers of stick thin celebrities with perfect porcelain skin and funny online photos of a centipede dog, trying to distinguish between the real and the remastered can be a little overwhelming. "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson, relating to the agitation over Photoshop, made an Instagram post that's been sparking interest all across the internet. The post? An overly retouched picture of the latest "Pretty Little Liars" ad with a very disapproving caption.

She wrote, "Saw this floating around. . . Hope it's not the poster. Our faces in this were from 4 years ago and we all look ridiculous. Way too much Photoshop. We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It's not attractive".

Ashley later commented on the fan response she'd been getting, saying "Love you guys so much. The constant support and love I get from all of you makes me so happy. . . Remember, you are ALL beautiful. Please don't ever try and look like the people you see in magazines or posters because it's fake. It only causes an unhealthy mind about how you see yourself. You are perfect the way you are."

After seeing a couple articles about the situation, I've got to admit I'm a little confused. I don't watch the show, but I see plenty of "Pretty Little Liars" ads in magazines and on TV, and their latest poster doesn't surprise me in the least. As a matter of fact, it's perfectly in keeping with what I feel I've been seeing and would expect from them, so I'm a little curious as to why one of the stars found it so surprising.

Even still, why should it matter? This is a promotional advertisement depicting 4 fictional girls from a fictional TV show. Of course that's not how real people look; it's not meant to be reality. I find it rare that people are upset about the equally unnatural look of the characters from "The Hobbit", whose appearances are altered with costumes, make-up, and digital editing just like the "Pretty Little Liars" actresses.

As I was reading through the comments on a Yahoo article made about Ashley Benson's post, I saw a lot of opinions based on the idea that "teenage girls watching that show just don't know better" and personally, I find that a little insulting. I think most of us here can and SHOULD recognize that the characters we see on television and movie posters aren't meant to be what a person looks like in real life.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't agree with trying to pass of an edited image as something real, like magazine covers flaunting that "So-and-so lost 50 pounds, get the look here!" when they used a computer to shave off 75, or McDonald's commercials with pictures of gourmet sandwiches when they're selling a one inch piece of frozen plastic. But movies and TV shows are for entertainment, and the characters are only concepts of a surreal, fictional universe created in an author's mind.

So don't let the fake Hollywood Barbie dolls, the McDonald's burgers, or the centipede dogs get you down! You, as a real person, are infinitely more beautiful than anything Photoshop could ever create.

Author's Note: Sources: http://mathiascompsci.wikispaces.com/file/view/centipede-dog.jpg/253894440/centipede-dog.jpg


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