Wow .. I just saw the image that Target had on their site.. I cannot begin to tell you how grossly misleading and wrong that is. The state of our society depends on what viewers see namely Teens. They are so defenseless against those ads that depict girls/woman who are not remotely what a "Real" Teen or woman is. I don't know where or when we went wrong. I dream of the days where a size 14 is beautiful again. Where curves are Perfection.
I do have to say I am grateful that the job was so poorly done it raised awareness. People need to know that this is not real. Its not even very likely for a girl to look like that. Unless she is very underweight and unhealthy. But now perhaps people will see it for what it is. FAKE FAKE FAKE!
That being said. Many people will disagree with the use of photoshop to fix imperfections. A woman or man should look the way they look and photoshop should never be used. I personally have to disagree. I will say this however, if you do indeed photoshop someone it should be done with careful discretion. Removing a few blemishes is okay but removing everything in ones face until they are no longer recognizable , yah thats a completely different story.
The reason I disagree with complete avoidance of photoshop as a form of removing imperfections is simply this. Todays cameras are High Definition. Which in terms of an image means that you are going to see things on camera that even the naked eye in Real life people do not see. I cannot tell you how many times I have taken a selfie with my DSLR only to see all the wrinkles and large pours that are never visible when I look into the mirror. Which also means that the things you do notice with the naked eye are even more eye Popping.. Lets not forget that the camera also puts on a few lbs and if the angle isn't just right it is going to catch you looking a whopping 10-15lbs heavier than you normally are.
My point is ... I believe there is nothing wrong with putting people to the condition that they would normally see themselves or others would see them.. If their freckles are barely noticeable to the naked eye but on camera are popping out.. Sure dim them down a bit.. If the squatting position a person is makes their but look unnaturally big sure minimize it a bit.. to look natural . Its really not about making them unrealistic as it is making them look realistic. And that should always be your point.
There are times for instance when I have a client who has acne.. That is not who they are.. Its not how they want to see themselves . Its just something temporary that perhaps even in a few weeks will go away. There is no reason why that needs to stay.. Unless of course the client asks for it to stay.. ( Which probably would never happen) If they have really bad acne you might not want to to remove it so much that they look unnatural. Remember we are trying to keep it natural. And to me .. Acne although is a natural occurrence isn't who they are normally.. So maybe its about Natural occurrence.. Another great example, Photoshoot day and baby falls and gets a terrible bruise, not natural occurrence! You shouldn't remove moles or freckles or natural birth marks unless it has been requested by a client. You should not just start slimming every client down to the size you feel is normal.. No one should ever look at a person and say my goodness they look photoshoped. Unless its something that really sticks out as abnormal you should really stay away from making things perfect.. A little imperfection goes a long way.!
As with anything there are always people who will use wonderful tools to create controversy and ruin it for the rest of us.. Photoshop has become a bad word. And it does not need to . Photoshop can do amazing things and is a wonderful tool.