Imagery in the Media

By Gabby Kase

Visual images and content that are being posted by the media and being viewed on social media sites are altering users perceptions of other individuals, society, and more. Additionally, not only is visual content being control by the media, but also by the individuals who chose to view and engage in specific types of visual images that do not encourage meaningful visual content. Media has provided us with the ability to gain exposure to things we never would have, however, because as individuals we have different ages, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds we are exposed to different types of media and we process media differently which can cause our social contexts to diverge. This divergence isn’t as important in regards to trivial things but when more serious topics come into play, divergence does matter. 

Photoshopping and False Images as an Example

Alterations of perception through visual images can be seen as an example through photoshop or false images that are posted by the media or users of social media. This type of visual content may change how we view or think of someone. 

An example can be seen in an article ritten by The Sun, a UK news company. Four women (pictured above) allowed their bodies to be digitally altered and they they attempted to guess which picture was the real version of themselves. Two out of four women guessed their image incorrectly (far left and far right). This supports the idea that photoshopping and false images in the media not only alters our perceptions of others but also an individual’s perception of their own body or self.

Additionally, the differences in backgrounds of people may also alter the visual content that we are exposed to and may also change the way we perceive a visual image. This may act as an example towards divergence that could occur in a society. An example of this is seen pictured, where one single image (pictured above) was retouched to fit 18 different countries cultural perceptions of beauty (pictured below) and every result was seen to be different. Visuality in the media is influencing and changing our perceptions on a daily basis and sometimes without us even realizing it.