Well, not so at this Reddit commenter's all-girls high school.
Yesterday, she explains, everyone was issued a new student ID. And after staring at her image, she thought something was… off. She realized the face staring back at her wasn't really hers at all — it had been retouched to make her look thinner.
"I have a round face that I have grown to love and now I get my photo back with a different face," she writes. "The new photo no longer even looks like me but rather a prettier twin sister."
Not just some autocorrect filter either. Here's what she says was done to her photo: face smoothing, skin recoloring, lip recoloring, eyebrow smoothing and reshaping and face thinning.
Here's a comparison of the two images.
What makes it all the more troubling is that the girls are told when the pics are snapped that blemishes will be retouched. But face thinning? Eyebrow smoothing? Is that really necessary? For a high school ID photo?
"Going to an all girls school we are constantly reminded about positive body image and accepting ourselves for who we are," she writes on the post. "Having these changes made to make me appear thinner makes me wonder how [much] our school practices what they preach."
Can we please just lay off our girls for a second? Can we please just let them know their value isn't defined by how many people want to have sexual relations with them? Can we please give them just a little breathing room to become people before they have to grapple with being judged every second on how luscious their butts are or whether their mouth forms the perfect pout? Can we work a little harder to protect our girls from becoming public property to be sized up and consumed on every walk down the street?
And it's happening to our girls at ever younger ages.
One commenter makes the point that touching up yearbook photos and senior portraits is common practice and is often done pre-emptively because so many people ask to be retouched that it just saves time to give everyone the "Glamor Shots" treatment. And perhaps that makes sense for a formal portrait, but an ID mug shot?
One bright spot is that this girl is appropriately pissed about it. So maybe her school isn't doing such a terrible job of teaching these girls to love themselves after all?
This whole thing makes me think about the latest gossip about Kylie Jenner and whether she recently had her breasts augmented. She's 17. And I looked at the pics. I looked at this child with her nipples showing through her shirt and wondered about her private parts. Disgusting. But it's so common that it takes a second for it to register just how gross that is. Sure, it's her family business, but I don't have to participate. Neither do you. And a high school for girls damn sure shouldn't be participating in distorting girls' images of themselves or telling them that the imperfect, glorious beauties they are isn't good enough.
Our girls deserve to be protected from all of that for just a little bit longer.
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