Fixing celebrity photos is dangerous

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2011, 12:00am


Have you ever wondered why models and celebrities always look perfect in fashion magazines? It's because most pictures in the media are digitally enhanced, in a bid to make the subject look as good as possible.

The egos of these so-called celebrities seem to have no limit - they are keen to be altered in the media and so have become just computer-generated characters.

As we are all susceptible to the influences of fashion and peer pressure, there is a danger may resort to extreme dieting to achieve the false body shapes and sizes promoted by the media. Even worse, we may develop eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

I think the media should take some responsibility - they should disclose what changes they have made, and not make physical alterations without permission.

If the media digitally enhanced photos in a suitable and limited way, it would improve the models' look, boosting their self-esteem, but not creating unrealistic goals for 'normal' onlookers.

Koibumi Cheung Ka-lok, King Ling College

From the Editor

Thanks for your letter, Ka-lok. Luckily, news media has rules about 'enhancing' pictures, so we are not allowed to fix people's looks. But that doesn't mean pictures are not enhanced before they get to us. It is a very difficult thing to control as it really relies on a publisher's ethics.

Instead of blaming 'the media' at large, it would be a good idea to make the distinction regarding advertisers who demand that their products are made to look better. They are the ones who have the motive to make things look better than they really are, and they are the ones that do so. It seems no one can regulate this, because apparently it interferes with free enterprise and the icon of Hong Kong, a free market.

Susan, Editor