Most of us are familiar with print media’s excessive use of Photoshop, but what do we make of self-editing? Model Sarah Stage is being accused of photo-shopping her recent post-baby body selfies on Instagram and honestly, I am a little disappointed at the shade being thrown her way. While she may (or may not — Stage has yet to comment) have Photoshopped her body in her pics, most of us are no strangers to photo editing. Odds are you've edited a photo of yours here or there as well.
Unless you are an Instagram user whose archive is a compilation of #nofilter images, once you choose a photo to upload, you find yourself on a photo-editing playground. Instagram, along with dozens other separate applications specifically for editing images, provides us with a variety of tools from filters to contrast options to cropping. The list goes on. Should we also, then, be scrutinized for our Walden-filtered photo? For making our pale skin just a bit tanner? For defining our bumps? Is Sarah Stage being criticized for her Photoshop because she is already in the spotlight?
Loving your body exactly the way it is at this moment is incredibly important, and is not emphasized enough A world where women feel no pressure at all to edit or tone their selfies to achieve a "better" image is ideal. But my point isn't whether the possible Photoshopping is right or wrong, but more to ask whether it's fair to accuse Stage of editing the image when essentially every image we post is altered in some small (or large) way?
Stage's Photoshop accusations have sparked an important conversation in terms of image touch-ups. It's one thing to encourage each other to love our current bodies just the way they are; that's important. But it's another thing entirely to attack a new mother when it's, at least to me, completely unclear whether she altered the photo in the first place or not. Before you pass judgment, think of your own insecurities and times you've edited or altered photos to make yourself look somehow different or "better." We need to find ways to lift each other up and encourage each other to love our bodies in a positive way, rather than attacking strangers in a comment section of social media. So did she edit the photo? Didn't she? Who knows? And my big question: Who really cares?