Racial Photoshopping

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Photoshop

The media continues to intentionally deceive its audience by the use of photo editing in almost every medium. We’re aware of the editing of models and for advertisements but did we ever think racial photo shopping would be added to the list? In our society, some believe that African Americans are only beautiful if they have lighter skin. Therefore, our media has used photo shop to lighten the color of the African American individuals that they include in their advertising.

There was a controversy on August 26, 2009 where the Microsoft company got caught replacing a black man’s face with a white man’s in one of their advertisements. The black business man appears to be in a office with two other white individuals in the original photo. After the picture was photo shopped, a white mans face was placed on the black mans body. The company’s “racial swap” was almost instantly released in the media when the company failed to change the skin color of the gentleman’s hand in the picture as well. “What I like the most about the contrast between the two images is the blatant contradictions in marketing.  The first promotes the diversity of the market place by utilizing imagery from three different minorities: Women, Asian Americans, and African Americans.  The casting was clearly intentional and such overt attention to diversity is prevalent in marketing these days” (Dean).

Such acts of photo editing are meant to target those of a young age because they are the easiest to influence. Our society has this mind set that there is only one way to look in order to be attractive. The pressures of the being skinny versus over weight, being beautiful instead of ugly, and now being white instead of the numerous other ethnicities that exist.


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