Pixel Perfect? Or Obsessive Perfection?
One great thing about blogging and the web overall is that well-written content can continue being read and discussed long after it originally appeared in print or was first published online. The New Yorker’s Innovation issue is a case in point, especially the profile of Pascal Dangin, the master of retouching fashion photos, entitled Pixel Perfect.
One thing that writer Lauren Collins did very well in the article was objectively describe Mr. Dangin’s successful career in building his digital photo retouching company, Box Studios, and how his many fashion magazine and photographer clients have become – one could say – “addicted” to his services in making fashion models look absolutely perfect. But after reading the article, I wondered have we gone too far in making these models, especially women, look unattainably “beautiful”? Also, does Mr. Dangin’s photo retouching fuel women’s desire to look thinner, albeit more “perfect,” and men’s desire to date more model-like women? Or, does it simply reflect what women want? Why have fashion editors, photographers and readers become so focused on producing and consuming such images? Or, are these are questions best left for Carrie Bradshaw to answer.
What’s really a shame is that TheNewYorker.com does not allow commenting on its site. It would be very interesting to see what its readers would say about this subject and how writer Lauren Collins and perhaps even Mr. Dangin would respond. With that in mind, it then becomes the responsibility of bloggers to pick up where the story left off and ask those questions.
Thoughts or comments anyone?
In closing, here is Mr. Dangin’s final comment in the article about these very questions. “I think it’s probably a natural reaction to what we do in magazines,” he said. “The world needs almost, like, pills against it. It’s a natural reaction to have to the sort of plastering of perfection out there. But this world is not reality—it’s about drawing people toward an ideal vision, if we’re talking about fashion photography. You have to think that celebrities are playing roles the same way they do in movies.”