Kit Steinkellner
February 19, 2015 11:03 am

Photoshop is 25 years old today. Happy birthday, girl. You’ve been a killer tool for super-cool acts of creativity and a lethal weapon regularly used against reality, racking up an impressive body count when it comes to the self-esteem of Planet Earth. You’ve accomplished a LOT, both good and bad, in your quarter-century on Earth. So let’s take a look back at some of your recent notable moments and give you props for your wins while also calling you to the floor for some of your epic fails.

Best moment: The girl who Photoshopped herself into her mom’s childhood photographs.

25 year-old art director Danielle Delph always wondered if she would have been friends with her mother growing up, and so, as the Huffington Post reported last year, she put together a photo series in which she Photoshopped herself into photos of her mother’s childhood and young adulthood.

“My mom really loved the project,” Delph told Today. “She said it made her cry, and she visits it everyday. She thinks we really would have been friends had we grown up together.”

Worst moment: When US Weekly Photoshopped Prince George.

It’s bad enough that we’re Photoshopping adults to conform to beauty standards, but babies? BABIES? Leave the royal baby (and also ALL babies) alone.

Best moment: When a plus-sized woman asked Photoshoppers around the world to play with her picture and most people left her weight alone.

“I must admit that when embarking on this experiment, I pretty much assumed that the majority of the editors would quite drastically change my bone structure and weight,” Maria Southard Ospina wrote on Bustle, where she published the project. “However, out of the 21, only three really made me look visibly thinner — and drastically so (Ukraine, Mexico and Latvia). Weirdly enough, there wasn’t much of a middle ground. Some used quite a lot of airbrushing (India and Sri Lanka, for instance) to create an overall softer, less angled feel. And as a result, that made my face look less double-chinny and more calcimined. But for the most part, I was actually pretty surprised to see how much I still look like myself in the vast majority of these photos.”

Worst moment: When someone Photoshopped ribs onto Lady Gaga to make her look underweight.

Our editor-in-chief Jennifer Romolini knocked it out of the park with this piece that really drives home the dangers of Photoshopping a celebrity to make her look like she has an eating disorder. Sadly this happens far too often with Photoshop.

Best moment: The two brothers who hilariously Photoshopped their adult faces into their childhood photographs.

Was it CONVINCING Photoshop? Hells to the no. Was it AMAZING Photoshop. All the yes.

Worst moment: When Target Photoshopped a rectangular thigh gap onto a bathing suit model.

This section could just be called “Every Photoshopped thigh gap ever.” But of all the Photoshopped thigh gaps, Target’s “Rectanglegate” was probably the worst. Because . . . crotches . . . don’t . . . do . . . that.

Best moment: When Photoshop gave Audrey Hepburn tattoos

We didn’t even KNOW we wanted this until we saw it (thank you Tumblr ShoppedTattoos!!!) and now we want to see every black and white movie star Photoshopped with tatt sleeves.

Worst moment: That YouTube video that made a 100-year old woman “beautiful again.”

Old does not equal ugly. Old equals SO MUCH LIFE EXPERIENCE. Don’t Photoshop away someone’s life, Internet, there’s no Cinderella story in taking away all that a person has done with her life by taking away her wrinkles.

Best moment: When Modcloth took the anti-Photoshopping pledge,

Modcloth officially became the first retailer to sign the anti-Photoshopping pledge presented by the Truth in Advertising Act. Rock on with your unretouched bad self, Modcloth. And thanks for trailblazing. While Photoshop has its problems, it’s also forced us to look at the way we altar images for better or worse, and opened the door to the conversation about beauty standards in the media. So cheers to that.

Happy birthday Photoshop. It’s been quite a 25 years.

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