The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

My quest to learn the musical instrument struck a chord much greater than the beautiful sound of a perfect stroke.
I decided to learn the guitar, but I walked away learning more about life
Bella Edmondson, Staff Editor • June 19, 2024




Last year, a friend commissioned me to colorize a computergraphic that was used on a set of T-shirts for a collegefellowship’s winter retreat.

Okay, that sounded too technical.

In English, he sent me a black and white doodle via e-mail tosee what I could do as far as adding color and any bells andwhistles if the spirit moved me.

Through this little project, I discovered the wonders of theAdobe Photoshop 7.0 program. After much trial and error I learnednot only how to color but also how to use filters. The stream ofknowledge continued with how to add effects, play with layers,masking and a plethora of other tasks.

It didn’t stop there. I later found Adobe Illustrator 10on my dad’s computer. The possibilities were endless.

In this process of discovery, I learned how easy it was to takeany image and make it something completely different. A bald mancould have hair again. A woman with dark complexion could be white.I could make a hamster eat Tokyo.

I learned that it’s easy, with just a few clicks of themouse, to make something that was simply not true.

Recently, my ethics class looked at women’s roles inmagazine advertisements.

In the documentary film Killing Us Softly, Jean Kilbournecites a make-up ad featuring Michelle Pfeiffer. The ad was for a”natural” foundation that would give that flawless yetnatural look. What the ad didn’t feature was the bill fromthe graphic arts company that cleared up any of Pfeiffer’slines and blemishes that the make-up didn’t cover beforepublication.

Another advertisement featured the body of one model, the eyesof another model and the nose and mouth of another. The flawlesscreature on the glossy page never existed.

I’m sure that the creators of Photoshop and Illustratornever had the intention to ultimately make women feel even moreinsecure about our appearances. Photoshop makes writing captions,brightening dark spots, darkening light spots and other effectsmuch easier than working for hours in the dark room.

However, using graphics programs to erase, enhance, or alter thecontent of any photograph or photo illustration is an assault tothe integrity of photography.

According to the documentary, most women featured inadvertisements have the body type that only about 5 percent of allwomen have. And even then, some women in advertisements don’teven exist.

And it’s not just beauty magazines. Many of the import carmagazines on the rack have scantily dressed show girls posing withthe latest Type-S. Some models are like that even in ads for floormats and rims. Yes, floor mats and rims!

Then I hear about these reality television shows like “TheSwan.” I only had to see one clip to know how sad it reallyis.

It’s sad that somewhere along the way, someone decided totell us we were too short, too tall, too fat, too dark, too light,too unhealthy, too easy and many other things just to make abuck.

So what do we do? The ads and the reality television shows areoperating well within the protective boundaries of the FirstAmendment. So I suggest a perspective shift.

I’m not sure about everyone else, but that phrase”beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” doesn’tcut it for me. I have to turn to scripture: “For You createdmy inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. Ipraise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your worksare wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalms 139: 13-14NIV).

Appearance is important to some degree, but it should never takepriority. We will never be able to please everyone, and weshouldn’t feel compelled to. I believe at least that Someonetook the time to bring us here, exactly as we are, to fulfill aspecific purpose.

So, while that sinks in, I’m going to see if I can usePhotoshop to make a new spiffy wallpaper for my desktop.


Christine Dao is a columnist for The Daily Campus. She may bereached at [email protected].

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