Year 9 Students Challenge Beauty Standards Using Photoshop

The Year 9 Digital Media & Photography students have spent time investigating the beauty industry and the negative impact that social media and photo retouching applications have on beauty standards and the self-esteem of teenage girls. Students have taken an in-depth look into how beauty is represented differently throughout various cultures worldwide and how this has evolved.

The students have spent the past three weeks putting their Adobe Photoshop skills to good use by designing a “Beauty Campaign” poster that promotes positive body image and celebrates women of all ages and cultures. This project allowed students to think critically and creatively as they examined the extent to which the industry distorts our notion of beauty and identified what beauty means within different social and cultural contexts.  

The final component of the task involved students sourcing a portrait photograph of their choice for their beauty campaign poster. The girls were tasked with editing the same picture twice to reflect what beauty means within two different social or cultural contexts. These two photographs were then stitched together in Adobe Photoshop to form an A3 beauty campaign poster, with an accompanying caption that portrays a positive message for women of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

Photography students Charlie and Abigail share some of their thoughts about the project and what they learned: 

“Fake beauty isn’t something that people should base their self-worth off, as everyone is beautiful and unique in their own way.” Charlie Adair

“This task has opened my eyes to the twisted views of beauty in Western culture. We think that beauty is a perfect body, but a person is more than just the skin they live in. This task has taught me that you can change someone’s face in 1, 2, 3 clicks, and almost everything you see in the media is fake. It’s almost like beauty doesn’t even exist because what we label as beauty is entirely different to some else’s views.” Abigail Marra

To celebrate the students’ work and positive message, their A3 printed posters have been put up on noticeboards around the College. 

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