Photo Retouching for school pics?!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-16-2012
Photo Retouching for school pics?!
10
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 1:38pm

I was looking ahead on the girls' school calendar and saw that fall picture day was coming up in a few weeks. When I clicked on the link to look at the packages being offered, I was stunned to see the option to have the pictures retouched. There was a "basic" option (removing blemishes) and a premium option (whitens teeth, evens skin tone, & removes blemishes/scars). 

Wow. My girls are already struggling with body image issues and self esteem which, imo, is largely due to all the "pretty" (read:smileytongue:hotoshopped) girls  they see in the magazines. Now they want to offer this option to school children, which will only further this myth. 

DH says I'm over-reacting and that he would have loved to have a little re-touching done to his school pics- he said middle school was an especially awkward age. But maybe it's just the "mom" in me, I would rather have pics of what my kids REALLY looked like, blemishes and all.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 1:59pm
Interesting. I don't think I'd ever pay for my children's pictures to be re-touched. I think it sends quite a message when they are aware that their real appearance isn't good enough and that they need to be fixed. I have boys, but they also struggle with body image issues and I just don't know how touching up their school photos would help in this area. Won't be happening in our house!
Faith

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.~ Dr Seuss

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 3:42pm
Interesting question! I'm honestly not sure, but don't see the harm in removing a few blemishes. It would totally take away the stress from some kids when they feel a pimple coming on the day before pictures. The last thing you'd want as a teen is for your school photo to capture that huge whitehead just about to burst on your chin :smileywink: I'm not sure I would consider anything beyond that, especially when it comes to scars, skin tone, etc.

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 3:51pm
We always get the basic option, and we have gotten to the point where I get the smallest package. I'd rather have pictures of my kids in their natural environment having fun. I personally thing that there isn't much wrong with basic retouching, but anything more than that I think doesn't need to be done. If you want pictures like that of your kids, take them to be done professionally. Of course I will admit that my ODD the "photographer" will retouch and edit almost all pictures she takes, I think digital medium has gotten a bit out of hand, she even insisted on wiping away all the "fly always" and stray hairs she and her sister had in the water in the finish pictures from the beach!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 11:14pm

I have to admit - I would pay for the basic retouching. I haven't so far, but ds12 is dealing with some acne, and I can see him being embarrassed by a random blemish in his picture. For the most part, it isn't bad, but an enormous blemish right before pictures would not "represent" how he normally looks. I also think I am really sensitive to this. Dd21 is absolutely gorgeous - occasionally models, size 0 (training for a half-marathon, amazing shape), etc. But she occasionally gets cystic acne and it is horrible for her when it happens (and she struggles with regular acne occasionally as well). Dd19 has beautiful, forever-clear skin and I can definitely see how stressful it is for dd21 compared to dd19 in terms of random breakouts. I never had breakouts, but dh really suffered as a teen. He has told me how horrible it was and he has been extremely empathetic to dd21 and ds12. He would have LOVED the retouching option - not over-the-top (and from what I understand, basic just kind of softens and improves, but it won't make your complexion perfect) but just enough so that your eye isn't immediately drawn to the blemish. Both my girls are, imho, very pretty now, but believe me, retouching wouldn't have erased the "awkward stage" in middle school, lol! It just would have represented them on a fairly good day in middle school.

The real issue is why I would want to pay that much for badly-taken pictures, retouching or no retouching!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 9:40am

This is totally wrong and sends the wrong message to kids. We are what we are and we need to accept each other as is. This constant need to look "perfect" is crippling people.

I disagree that covering up a blemish sends the message that one needs to be "perfect." Many, if not most, adult women I know would definitey use a little cover-up or foundation if they had a huge breakout pop up the day before a family picture. Is that "totally wrong" as well? I would NEVER tell my kids that I want their photos retouched (because I don't care), but, if they asked me to pay the $10 because they were stressed out about a last-minute breakout, I would. To me, this is about a medical condition, not their normal appearance. For that matter, would you condemn someone for visiting a dermatologist if their acne was only cosmetic and caused no medical problems whatsoever? Is that sending the message that their face is unacceptable?

I am not overly concerned with appearance - my message to my kids has always been that it's important to look neat and clean, not to look perfect. I have never once mentioned my kids' weight (nor do I diet); the emphasis has always been on healthy eating and exercise to have strong, fit bodies. I don't even wear makeup all that often. And as far as what to wear for school pictures - I don't care at all!  But in the same way that I will get an occasional cold sore and feel like everyone in the universe is noticing it (and really, I'm prone to an enormous one every year or two, that turns my lip into a black, bloody, scabby mess - and it really does draw the eye, lol!), my dd21 might get a huge, painful, red, cystic acne spot. Neither of us would be particularly thrilled with commemorating that for all time. Is that really so awful?

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 2:37pm

My son had pretty severe acne (now much improved after visits to a dermatologist) so I did have the pics retouched to remove blemishes.  He is otherwise a very cute kid and somehow I don't think he wanted to look back on those pics and focus on the bad acne--it's not like it made him look like a different person, like maybe Photoshopping to make someone thinner than they are.  I didn't think it was that bad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2008
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 5:04pm

As adults, we have our photos retouched, and we're raising our kids to become (good) adults, so why not? I like to look my best in pictures and want to take advantage of technology to do so. My kids should have the same option. I still teach them that inner beauty is more important and that you should never make fun of others. If it's ok to have your photos retouched when you're 20, why not when you're 10? If anything, it makes the awkward years more bearable and kids are going to compare their photos to those in magazines (as we adults do).