Jennifer uses her image profile to change how her friends see her. Photographs of her are instantly retouched - no matter who takes them, or where they are uploaded. Jennifer has fixed her hair, makeup, color of her eyes, length of her neck and removed blemishes. When a technical problem erases her profile, her friendships end, along with her self-confidence. Is her profile an accurate picture?
Portrait of a Young Girl explores the ethics of photo manipulation, retouching and body image.
Recently thrust into the headlines by the June, 2011 AMA policy regarding body image and advertising to youth, this story follows Jennifer, a high school student that uses a slightly futuristic technology to alter the way she appears in photographs, videos and even specialized advertising.
Her friendships and self-image are anchored to her use of this technology - and are crushed when it is lost due to a technical glitch. She develops an alternative online persona, and explores the world without image retouching - giving her the choice of rejoining her previous retouched life - or continuing without.
Set in the near future, this is a quick read, (11,000 words) and sets up a world where a Jennifer's digital image is more important than her real appearance - a reasonable concept, considering how important social media has become.
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About the Author
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