"I want my son to be able to look back over all his school photos and see how he has changed," she said.
In the era of social media, a lot of individuals modify their appearance using editing software like Photoshop. An eight-year-old boy whose school photo was altered to make it appear as though he had a full set of teeth is the subject of the most viral Photoshop story. After discovering that their school photo firm had retouched her 8-year-old son's missing teeth into his mouth, the mother was incensed. "Surely we have lost the plot when we start photoshopping an 8-year-old’s gappy grin," Australian mom Angela Pickett wrote in a viral blog post about the incident.
When Pickett opened her son's photo packet, she confesses that her initial impression was, "I didn't realize he still had teeth when the photos were taken." "But then I looked at the family photo and his class photo — and there he was," Pickett wrote. "Gappy McGapster (as he currently calls himself) in all his glory." Teaching her son about body image, Pickett said, didn't seem like an urgent issue at this time. "At first, I thought they’d given us last year’s photo — but then I looked closer. Nope. His mouth had been photoshopped with what looked like last year’s baby teeth swapped in." The business, which Pickett declined to name, had already apologized and offered to reproduce the images showing her son's genuine smile, Pickett told TODAY.
Pickett addressed a private email to resolve the issue rather than publicly criticizing the photo firm for its error. She eventually got the unmodified picture of her son and an apology. "I want my son to be able to look back over all his school photos and see how he has changed," she said, as per Insider. "Accepting the Photoshopped photo says to him that we think there is something wrong with how he looks. I still wanted to write about it because it's a reflection on the world we live in — where photoshopping is no longer just done by magazines, but any of us can touch up our images," Pickett told TODAY in an email.
So how widespread is picture editing in school images of children? Dean Stewart Photography, a U.S.-based business with offices in Melbourne, Florida, with a focus on school photography, is led by vice president Luke Stewart. Only approximately 5-10% of parents of elementary school children choose to alter their children's pictures, according to Stewart, despite his firm giving them the choice to do so. According to Stewart, only approximately 30% of middle school and high school kids ask for retouching. However, Stewart did note that the firm does offer basic retouching services as standard for senior photographs. "These images are intended to be at a higher level than standard school pictures," explained Stewart. "We also retouch all faculty images at no charge 100 percent of time," said Stewart. "No complaints from any of them yet."
Cover Image Source: Twitter | Angela Pickett