Editors note: Be advised, the video below contains some strong language that might not be to the liking of all our readers.
There have been a lot of viral attacks on the retouching industry lately — from these striking ads created by a student to this funny tongue-in-cheek version of another viral anti-retouching video — but the cherry on top of the Photoshop-hate sundae came in the form of the South Park Season 17 finale.
Full disclosure is warranted here: I’m a big South Park fan. Though they’re sometimes crude to a fault, Trey Parker and Matt Stone know how to tickle my funny bone, so you can imagine my reaction when I pulled up my DVR’d copy of last week’s season finale to see that an episode entitled “The Hobbit” was actually making fun of Photoshop and the retouching industry as a whole.
We won’t go into specifics since you can view the whole episode here if you so wish, but the general idea is that, when Wendy points out how a person can be made to look “hot” entirely in Photoshop, all of the girls in school begin to Photoshop themselves and believe that that is really how they look.
In an attempt to spread awareness about the perils of Photoshop, she accidentally does the exact opposite until, at the end of the episode, a tearful Wendy gives up the good fight and Photoshops herself.
If you like this sort of humor, the whole episode is worth checking out. But even if you don’t, and you’re just the kind of person who advocates for no more Photoshop on magazine covers, this should be a good sign. South Park is, on some level, a great mirror of what is most important in pop culture at the moment; if enough people are putting pressure on the retouching industry, it might just start getting better… whatever ‘better’ means for you.