The world of beauty and glamor isn’t perfect, yet every model should be. Brands have established a certain standard of beauty that models/influencers are expected to follow. And if they don’t, they often don’t get the mission. Perhaps that’s why many are turning to retouching and editing their photos to meet these standards. But it sets a precedent where viewers are tricked into believing that these models or influencers also look “perfect” in reality. In an effort to break away from it, New York advertising agency Ogilvy recently announced that it will no longer work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces for brand campaigns in an effort to combat ” systemic damage to mental health” from social media. .
In a city with many social media influencers, what if brands start enforcing this rule? Will the Indian market be open to it? It may not always work, say industry insiders. Vitiligo model Prarthana Jagan had her share of post-production editing. She says: “Big stars like the Kardashians are often criticized for photos they don’t feel safe in and edit photos before posting. So, I don’t blame anyone for using filters, but as long as they’re open about it, it will help others overcome their insecurities.
Jagan remembers a time when his photos were heavily edited. “One of the photographers I worked with won a contest using my photo, but he touched up my face and covered up my vitiligo patches,” she says. Major brand campaigns also use heavily edited photography. “Some brands highlight parts of your body to make their product stand out – unfortunately, that’s how the industry works,” adds Jagan.
Unlike agency models, influencers have the freedom to set their own rules, but it takes time to get established, says fashion and lifestyle influencer Nandita Swaminathan. “When I started posting on social media in 2015, I was very anxious and often edited my photos. I felt that was what the industry wanted to see, what people wanted to see. Now , I don’t edit my photos anymore before publishing them,” she says. She now works with photographers and brands that don’t require a lot of post-production work.
Makeup artist Carol Menezes points out that new-age Indian beauty brands are slowly opting for natural models. “A lot of makeup photos you see online are heavily retouched. It’s impractical to replicate it in real life because factors like lighting and editing tools enhance the final product,” she says. , adding that a small touch-up is essential but not enough to completely change it.
However, with the number of influencers, the market is tough and everyone is trying to get their paycheck at the end of the day. Photographer Soham Shoney says: “Unless the brands themselves realize it, the post-production world will continue to work its ‘magic’ and maintain the beauty standards of the so-called industry. at a high level. »