Happy Birthday, Photoshop!

It’ll be twenty-two years this month since the first version of Photoshop was packed up and sent to Adobe for approval. And oh what strides the digital editing software has helped women make!

Over the last two decades, Photoshop has become an important tool in the restructuring of the female figure, one unhindered by ribs. The anatomy once necessary for a woman to do things like stand or protect her hipbones is now irrelevant. The image landscape is post-gravity.

But, Adobe can’t take the credit. The minds behind  Redbook and RalphLauren catalogs are the real visionaries. Because of them, fifteen-year-old girls now have a hologram of a carrot they can chase as they struggle to become inhumanly toned. It’s the perfect motivational factor- they will never achieve a body that lacks a pelvic bone, and thus will never stop striving.

Or maybe they’ll get wise and learn to spot the photoshop, catching the small, insidious details that shave away at a woman’s hips or make her thighs more twig-like. They’ll hang out in each other’s rooms reading magazines, pointing out shitty arm-reduction tweaks. They’ll laugh at them but also be kind of pissed off. They’ll reject it as a way to gauge the value of their own bodies. And then they’ll share a bag of chips.