Are You Photoshopping Your Ideal Conception Of A Woman?

Riley Adam Voth
Riley Adam Voth

It’s not often that I/we would post something from Buzzfeed anywhere at anytime that we’d recommend you watch. Yet from time to time they can produce something that really strikes home in a culturally relevant, truth-is-truth, sort of way.

Ya know, wisdom belongs to God no matter where you find it…

This video, though a bit older now, is still making it’s way around the internet, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth a watch.

It grants you a bit of a perspective while begging some necessary questions. It contains quite an underlying sobriety (and sorrow?) to it.

Photoshopping Real Women Into Cover Models

I don’t know… perhaps it’s just me though. Maybe I’m just a tad more affected by the messages and questions in this than many would be, given my past and experiences… and now, wife.

I’ve alluded to (and fairly clearly spoken of) my sketchy past with the consumption of and obsession with female beauty, and now as a married man I see the effects of our cultural white-washing of female beauty all the more. I see it through the lens of both my life and my wife’s.

“White washing”? Yea… white washing.

To gloss over and cover up. To re-shape, re-size, and re-imagine what we see and perceive. We inundate our selves and society with it until our brains think it’s real, expect it, and want it.

This is only speaking of outwardly appearance – I’m not even going to get into how our minds fashion a perfect persona, always smiling and without problems, to match the photoshopped image we see.

When I watch this above video I get mad at myself and sad for my wife and my sister. Shoot, I even get sad for my mother.

I get sad for our sisters, but I also get sad for you, my brother. I have spent perhaps half of my life completely inundated with photoshopped versions of females in media all around me. Anyone born in the last decade or so will spend their entire lives, ever increasingly, surrounded by it. Most of it, fake.

Sadly, it’s so prevalent that even our sisters (1 Tim 5:1-2) feel they must “touch-up” (read often: completely reform) themselves before they post a photo of themselves. Yet, they must post photos of themselves, because they must gain value in the way we demand it.

The both of us breed a vicious cycle of unattainable satisfaction and continual discontentment.

It’s all so sneaky that we often don’t even detect it within ourselves.

Our Consumption Of The False Ideal

I’m not sure whether the greatest heartache lies in the fact that so many people feel they must “improve” people to market an unattainable image in order to drive desires and profits, or whether so many women then feel they must try to attain it because they’ve been inundated with it and don’t know (and aren’t allowed to believe) it’s fake.

Or yet, whether it’s more sad that so many men, including us brothers who should know better, are slaves to false, egotistical, ultimately self-worshipping, uncaring, unloving, unfulfilling and earthly lies and desires that we actively feed ourselves and demand of our women.

It’s captivating. We all love beauty and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. It’s a reflection in our souls of our perfect creator.

Yet when we insist on constructing and consuming these photoshopped, white-washed, unreal versions of flawless women we not only shackle our own souls to a self-serving, ultimately disappointing ideal, but we shackle our sisters, friends, and wives as well.

We shackle our culture and society.

It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone. 

So I’d encourage you to think about this:

Are you “consuming” the photoshopped versions of the women you see in media?

Do you realize these are so rarely real in any way?

Are you guarding your heart and mind or are you chasing a false ideal of some photoshopped dream woman in your soul?

Are you chasing a fake “ideal” that you’ve constructed and harming your present or future satisfaction with your wife and other appreciate and value of ladies around you?

Are you lovingly guarding and protecting the hearts and minds of the females around you and within our society as well as you can by not glorifying these false ideals?

How can you share and help your fellow brothers to better think through and act out guarding their hearts and minds with these matters? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

And lastly, are you a woman who struggles with these sorts of images and ideals? Please share your thoughts in the comments below for us to learn how this affect you and your thoughts as well.

We are your brothers, friends, husbands, and fellow heirs in the Kingdom of God who want to help each other and help you, our fellow “brides” of the one true King, to worship the one who is most beautiful and worthy of our obessions and to appreciate the goodness he has created and the redemption he has enacted upon our fallen, and flawed, state of existence.

Remember, Jesus is the only one who can, has, and does truly make all things new, and good, and flawless. (2Cor 4:16, 2Cor 5:17) One day we’ll see and know as he does! (1Cor 13:12)

One day we’ll be completed and all live within our full glory, with God, the most glorious, where we will be fully satisfied.


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