This collection of resources explores the use of digital image editing software in the mass media. We explore popular images of beauty and the use of digital imagery in news media. I developed this material for students learning digital image manipulation techniques in a computer science class but it could easily be adapted to a wide range of courses.


  • Arts > General
  • Arts > Film
  • Arts > Photography
  • Arts > Popular Culture
  • Arts > Technology
  • Arts > Visual Arts
  • Career & Technical Education > General
  • Career & Technical Education > Technology
  • Health > General
  • Social Studies > General
  • Social Studies > Anthropology
  • Social Studies > Civics
  • Social Studies > Current Events
  • Social Studies > Global Awareness
  • Social Studies > Psychology
  • Social Studies > Sociology
  • Social Studies > Technology

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


computerscience compsci cs computer science photoshop design collage project digital imaging media literacy popular culture celebrity popculture news mass beauty advertising manipulation retouching photos



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2008-10-04.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This resource contains some excellent links highlighting image manipulation and the distortion of beauty in the media. The first link, a video by Dove, shows the process by which a very plain looking woman is transformed into a billboard beauty. The second link highlights the retouching accomplishments of a studio (click "portfolio" from the main site). Another link from Dartmouth University gives a history of manipulated photographs. All of the above will foster important discussion among adolescents. A lesson structure is suggested and example student comments are included. It is important to note the contributor’s caution that many of these manipulated images come with “politically biased writing” and may require some preparation or debriefing. Teachers of many educational levels and subjects can find parts of this lesson to be adaptable and useful in their own classrooms, however it is especially well suited for a computer or advisory-type class.
Andie andie
April 12, 2010
Great lesson! I learned a couple small tricks even as a professional in the multimedia world! As soon as I get my own classroom, I hope to do lesson's like…
Trent Jensen
July 31, 2009
This is an excellent lesson plan full of resources and topics of discussion. It begins with an excellent video by Dove that shows in graphic detail the amount of manipulation…
Christine Mytko
July 30, 2009
My middle school students were very impressed by this activity. They still bring it up months later.

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