Photoshop has become synonymous with “beautifying” photos that would otherwise have imperfections. In some cases, this is OK, and magazines and online media do this with a subject’s consent. Recently, however, a group going by the name of “Project Harpoon” (Facebook page presently shut down) has drawn criticism for photoshopping plus-sized models to appear thinner. An offshoot of ThInnerBeauty, a website and subreddit, the group aims to “inspire” its targets to lose weight.
“Here at ThInnerBeauty we provide people with visible, achievable health goals,” says the page description on Reddit. “We do this by showing how much more beautiful they could look if they made the difficult, lifelong commitment to a regimen of personal fitness. This is a place where we can manipulate photos to highlight the difference between how they are and how they could be.”
The Reddit site appears to be slightly less aggressive in its aims, as many of the photoshopped images are submitted by real users asking to be motivated.