Hayley Atwell is our real-life Photoshop fighting superhero
Hayley Atwell, who you MIGHT recognize as the badass Peggy Carter from Agent Carter, Age of Ultron, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has a bone to pick about her latest cover for a German TV magazine (in the most awesome way possible, of course). The photo itself is gorgeous — Atwell’s sunset-orange highlights stand out, and the actress looks flawless. But there’s just one not-so tiny-tiny thing: The magazine allegedly chose to heavily airbrush Atwell’s face and add a little bit more cleavage. While this isn’t anything new — magazines Photoshop and digitally alter models and celebrities more often than not — it’s still an issue. And it’s continuously problematic and something we need to address.
So Atwell took it upon herself to call out the magazine, after a fan paid her a compliment and revealed the cover on Twitter. Here’s how it went down.
The simple, rhetorical question perfectly called out the mag for digitally enhancing her body and it also addressed a more deeply rooted problem: the normalization of Photoshop and its reflection of our unrealistic beauty standards.
The Hollywood Reporter smartly pointed out, “The English actress’ response perfectly called out the German mag’s elaborate retouching while also bringing attention to the much-maligned fact that there is sadly still a significant amount of Photoshopped imagery being touted as real.”
And that’s not OK.
While Atwell addressed her Photoshopped image in light-hearted manner, we need to keep in mind how damaging Photoshop culture is for men and women. While seeing a human with enhanced breasts, smile, hair, or arms may not seem super alarming, according to Nationaleatingdisorders.org, correlations between media depictions of bodies and our body image have been made. The site claims, “Experimental studies have linked exposure to the thin ideal in mass media to body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and disordered eating among women.” And it’s affected millions. ANAD reports, “69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.”
Atwell’s question, “Why am I so [P]hotoshopped?” is not just a smart response to a fan on Twitter —it’s an important message. A message that calls much-needed attention to the way we’re still unauthentically representing real human people on magazines.
So, bravo Peggy Carter, I mean, Hayley Atwell. For bringing up such a crucial question, and for being so fearless about it.
(Images via Twitter)