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Friday, April 3, 2009

To Retouch or Not to Retouch is that the Question..?

The New York Times has this video regarding the issues around photo retouching in media. And how France is thinking of passing a law that magazines must disclaim that photos have been retouched because it gives the public a false idea of beauty.

Personally I don't think there has ever been a time when magazine photos were not retouched. Even the Golden Era of Hollywood depended on the retouched images of their stars by the masters like George Hurrell. I know some people also criticize cosmetic ads and the quality of the photographers light, the artistic ability of the makeup artist, or the fact that the model has developed the ability to always know how to present her self in the best possible way, for not being reality. And yes the skill of the retoucher. That's because it's not's fantasy. If all we ever saw was life as it really is where would our dreams come from, how could we be inspired to reach for the stars?

True it's sad when people don't understand that fantasy and magic are all an illusion, and that they shouldn't compare themselves to that illusion. And yes advertising uses the public's fears and insecurities to sell products, everything from a car, to a vacation, or a toothpaste.

But I don't believe self-confidence and self-worth can be developed on a mass's a very personal journey that one must go within to discover. If we had no super hero's or dreams to aspire to perhaps we would stop trying and just accept the mundane, and the easy everyday path. And that's a choice we all should be free to make. But there have always been artists and dreamers and people that want and need to create beauty and other worlds of beautiful fantasy.

Don't get me wrong. I can appreciate the beauty of nature and the natural. The simplicity of the plain or the decay and aging of life. And in this high tech digital world we live in the line between what is real and what is not has touched every part of our society and sometimes we do suffer because of it. I guess I don't know the answer to this issue, I only know that seeing and creating beauty has been one of the driving forces in my own life. And I don't feel it would be worth living without that. (Re-posted from Makeup Beat) Drawing by Antonio Lopez.

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"Being a makeup artist is not only about applying makeup. It’s about everything around you, people, places, colors, all the things that inspire and affect your life."