Year 8 Become Reporters for BBC School Report Day

On Thursday 16th March, Year 8 donned their reporter badges and got involved with BBC School Report day! They reported on what's happening around school but also in the wider world.

Two of our pupils, Ffion and Emily, decided to write their report on whether photoshopped images are appropriate for fashion and retail photos and here is their finished article...


Should Photoshop be banned?

What is beauty? Is it having a super-slim waist? Is it owning flawless skin? This all seems to become possible with one powerful piece of software - Photoshop. We have been investigating what people think of photos that have been "photoshopped" and the results are extraordinary.

We asked several pupils, sixth formers and teachers about what they thought of photoshopped images and whether they thought that it was acceptable for these images to be published. We showed them all the same photoshopped picture of a model with a considerably smaller body than the original and asked for their opinion between the original and the photoshopped version. The overall result was that girls thought that only the odd blemish should be edited. However, the majority of boys felt that it was ‘okay’ for it to be done. We found that these were predictable and stereotypical views, since we are both female. So, we then decided to ask the boys again but this time with a focus on photoshopping men. The outcome was very different, they thought this was ‘not okay’. We found this shocking.

Some of the quotes that we found from the boys were “We can’t change the idea of ‘perfect’ for agencies,”, “I don’t mind,” and “It’s not a big problem.” However the girls view on the subject were quite different with comments like “unfair and very fake”, ”sets unrealistic goals”, “this is sexist” and “I’m disgusted!”.

We also asked the girls how this photo made them feel and what it did to them mentally. 75% of them said that it was unrealistic but it unconsciously made them feel jealous. 50% of them said it made them feel like they were not good enough.

We spoke to an English teacher and she also felt it was “awful and scary that this is what the agencies who do photoshopping think perfect bodies look like.” We then spoke to an adult male teacher and he said “No, it is not acceptable.” This shows us that young people (mostly boys) need to be educated further on the topic of what beauty is.

Our aim for the future is that photoshopping will only happen with the consent of the model and if so, not to the extent that the model becomes unrecognisable. All these brands are doing is giving us unrealistic goals and making us think that they are achievable. This problem must be noticed and something has to be done to change it. We need to be educated on the matter. If not, children are going to try and change their bodies to something that is impossible.


You can view all of the video interviews done on the day by visiting the Abbey Gate College YouTube channel

Published: Friday, 17th March 2017