Ever wonder who decided a skinny frame, blond hair and clear skin was the ideal image of beauty? Ever wonder what influenced why you put those clothes on this morning? Well, it all started in 1966.

Lesley Lawson, more commonly known as Twiggy, was a mid-1960s model and actress. Twiggy’s thin build, big eyes and lush lashes coined her her nickname and the title “The Face of 1966.” She is remembered as one of the first international supermodels and her body became the bar for what models in the industry should look like.

It is not only models and the fashion industry that have an effect on individuals’ perceptions of what beauty is, but the unavoidable advertisements that are constantly circulating our world.

The use of Photoshop should be regulated in advertisements not only for the mental and physical welfare of children and young adults, but for an ideal and more realistic notion of what beauty really is.

Photoshop is used for a wide range of reasons other than just advertising and most photos that we see now have been transformed in some way or another. Only after the photo has been worked and reworked is it presented to the public.

The Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and California Congresswoman Lois Capps disagree with the excessive editing and decided to take action. The pair introduced the Truth in Advertising Act to Congress in March, suggesting the Federal Trade Commission monitor the use of Photoshop in advertisements.

Yes, times have changed and Photoshop can be used by anyone who has the ability to learn the techniques of photo editing; but why would people in the advertisements want to be “corrected?” The swayed ideal image of beauty and the idea that Photoshop is a necessity to look perfect and flawless is devastating to one’s self esteem and can lead to other harmful effects, such as eating disorders.

According to National Eating Disorders, 60 percent of elementary school girls in the U.S. are concerned about their weight or becoming fat. Of the elementary school girls who read magazines, 69 percent say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape and 47 percent say that this makes them want to lose weight.

Body image and weight becomes a huge concern for children and young adults after seeing ads of beautiful women who seem to have impeccably sculpted bodies. When someone — boy, girl, woman or man — is concerned with their weight, the next thing they focus on is their food consumption.

The average American woman is 5’4” and weighs 165 pounds. The average Miss America winner is 5’7” and weighs 121 pounds.  There is something severely misconstrued in society if we are supposed to idolize an adult woman who has the weight of a teenager.

Action needs to be taken in how industries portray beauty and how this reflects onto a child’s perception of their own body. Banning Photoshop usage in advertisements would create a new, fresh meaning to beauty and give children the opportunity to develop these ideals on their own.

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Roanne Quiozon, comparative and world literature major, shows of her favorite jewerly near the Fine Arts Building at SF State on Tuesday May 12. Photo by Jenny Sokolova / Xpress
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Emilia Rosales

Emilia Rosales