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Just say 'no' to retouching school photos

Published on: December 30, 2013

Great article in this morning's New York Times about the growing trend of retouching school photos. I've long pondered that little checkbox on the order form, but never dreamed of checking it. That is, until this morning.

School photos are meant to capture a moment in time, I've reasoned - your child, warts and all. Editing out a scab or a pimple lends a patina of unreality to the image; perfection, while apparently attainable, does not real memories make. My little boy gets incredibly chapped lips, and more than one school photo reflects this. But when I look at those photos I think of our daily lip-balm routines, our bed time moisturizing - a quiet little moment of care at the end of a day.

And what does it tell kids about self-acceptance when we retouch their photos, editing out the bumps and scrapes of childhood, and more - editing out moles and scars?

But here is another point of view, as reported by the New York Times, from Mindy Cimmino, who had her third-grade daughter's scratch edited off of her face: “My rationale was, this is not something that is part of her face...I didn’t feel like I was changing my child.”

Where do you stand on the issue?

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