All posts by Nichole Learman


The media shows a great deal of false body images. This is all due to photoshop and retouching to give an almost impossible beauty standard for both men and women.

“The unrealistic body image in the media distorts reality and leads people to believe they are abnormally heavy when they really aren’t”

(Body Image in the Media – Mirror. Mirror)
Regular photo (left) Photoshopped photo (right)

Photoshop is becoming a dangerous tool in the media industry. Most of the time, it is doing more harm than good. Photoshop should be used to touch up or enhance a photo. However, some advertisements are doing more than just “touching up,” for they are manipulating the photo completely so the person looks nothing like they did before (as seen in photo above and video below). This can be dangerous for an audience because it can create a false idea towards a body type that isn’t even possible to exist in real life which can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and poor body image. In fact,

 “78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies… 30% of high-school girls and 16% of high-school boys have an eating disorder. Teenage girls are reportedly “more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents, or nuclear war.

(Vaynshteyn, G., 2014)

Body image is essentially one’s idea of their individual body and how it looks. The media is good with making an individual consider that since their body has normal flaws that practically everybody has, they should view their body image negatively. This results in giving the individual a poor body image. This causes a person to want to strive towards the near impossible and do anything to achieve the unrealistic body image. The media does not essentially attack an individual with words by calling them ugly or fat, but they display it through advertisements and photos that are retouched and photo shopped making people believe that the body they are displaying is what the public views as beautiful and if someone does not have this “look,” they are seen almost as lower class than the retouched photoshopped model in the photo the individual is looking at.

“I believe Photoshop is being used more as a weapon that a tool these days. I don’t expect it to disappear quickly, but something needs to change because how it’s being used now is just plain irresponsible,” said body positive blogger Melanie Gentile.

There is a debate whether or not Photoshop is completely to blame for the amount of negative body image there is out there. It is to be believed that people shouldn’t place their confidence at the “mercy” of a magazine cover. In fact, according to Stephanie Murray from Verily, confidence is found from discovering our self worth not coming from our physical appearances, and getting rid of Photoshop isn’t going to give us any more confidence than we already have with its existence (Murray, S., 2015).

“I truly believe all the blame shouldn’t be put on Photoshop, but should be placed on the people using it for the wrong reasons. It can be a helpful tool to enhance photos and create different graphic designs, but I personally have never used Photoshop to manipulate someone’s body. That just seems wrong,” said Graphic Design Major Lauren Nicholson.

Tattoos and “imperfections” are left alone and not touched by any editing software. Everything in these advertisements are 100% real and unedited.
Aerie also includes women with disabilities to make sure everyone feels included in their campaign.

Even though it is believed removing Photoshop won’t do any good with improving people’s confidence, you have to wonder if a business would able to strive without it and if Photoshop is really a necessary tool in the media. Aerie is the perfect example of a business that is thriving for being known not to use Photoshop or retouch any of their photos. In fact, Aerie has past it’s competitor Victoria’s Secret in sales and is expected to open about 200 more store locations by 2023 while more Victoria’s Secret locations are shutting down (Mahoney, S., 2021).

“I really don’t see any harm with stopping the use of Photoshop in advertisements. People like to see what is real and will have trust in the company more if they know they aren’t being manipulated by a fake image. I say get rid of Photoshop, or at least the tools from it that are used to manipulate a person to look completely different,” said Advertising Major Claire Jennings.

Photoshop may not be the main reason of people having negative body images, but it definitely isn’t helping the situation either. The media can easily turn this negative situation around by having more campaigns like “Aerie,” and having more realistic body images with a more variety of body types in their advertisements. This can easily change someone’s view of their body and help show individuals how normal it is to have things such as stretch marks, cellulite and a little jiggle. Media has such a big influence on its audience and should be using its power for good.

Sources Used:

Body Image in the Media – Mirror. Mirror. (2020, June 11).

Mahoney, S. (2021, January 21). AEO Thinks Aerie Can Soar To $2B In Sales. Retrieved January 25, 2021, from thinks-aerie-can-soar-to-2b-in-sales.html

Murray, S. (2015, June 29). Yes Photoshop Is Bad, But Getting Rid of It Won’t Solve Our Self-Esteem Issues. Verily.

Vaynshteyn, G. (2014, April 16). Why Photoshop is More Deadly Than You Thought. HelloGiggles.

How to stay less stress during finals week

Finals week is right around the corner and it’s a stressful time for everyone, especially during these times. Here’s some tips on having a less stressful time during finals week.

  1. TAKE STUDY BREAKS: Don’t try to cram all the information you need to know all at once. It is important to give yourself a break to give your brain time to comprehend what you just read. If you try to cram everything in at once, nothing is going to stick.
  2. GET YOUR REST: Sleep is super important. Being tired will make it harder to concentrate, multitask and remember information
  3. DON’T DRINK TOO MUCH CAFFEINE: Drinking too much coffee can cause anxiety to rise and make it harder to focus while studying and taking your finals. A little is okay to get yourself moving, but don’t drink too much.
  4. REWARD YOURSELF: Whether it’s self care, getting your favorite food or watching an episode of your favorite show, remember to reward yourself, you’re working hard and deserve to treat yourself.
  5. DON’T PUT TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF: Finals are a stressful time, and it is important to do well, but don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you start feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, just remember this is only a few days or a week of your life. It isn’t the most important thing you’ll do in your entire life. It will pass and you will get through this!


Weekly motivation

As a college student myself, I understand that we’re all at the point in the semester where we just want it to be done. We’re tired, burnt out and the finish line seems so far away. We’re almost there and we will get our winter break soon.

Tell this to yourself:

“I will pass my tests”

“I will pass my classes”

“I will not be defeated”

“I will finish strong”

Whenever you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel for the semester, repeat those words to yourself. Talk to yourself and encourage yourself to get out of bed and finish this semester strong, we’re almost there

We just have finish out a little while longer (less than a month). You’ve already put in so much work and have dealt with so much this semester, don’t let that go to waste and finish strong.

Photo: ( )

Fun workouts for students with a tight schedule

You don’t have to plan an hour at the gym of running and heavy lifting to consider yourself healthy and keep yourself in shape. Working out should be fun and should not be considered a chore!

It is always hard to find the motivation to workout, but it makes it easier if you make it fun and what if I told you it was only 15 minutes? You read that right, 15 minutes!

“MadFit” on YouTube has these “dance party” workouts that consist of familiar favorites with a mix of cardio and HIIT exercises. A popular one she has on her channel is her 2000’s dance party workout.

I do this workout all the time when I don’t feel like going to the gym, but know I should get some exercise in for the day. It’s a lot of fun and you really feel the burn. It’s only 15 minutes and it feels like you are having your own dance party in your room!

(photo taken from: )

Body Positivity Awareness: Embracing “flaws”

Everyone has something that they are insecure about. Whether it’s scars, stretch marks, pimples, etc. Everyone has something that they wish they could change about themselves. Here’s why you shouldn’t want to change those things.

Every little thing you see as a “flaw” is what makes you unique. It what makes you different from everyone else, and being different from everyone is good. Do you know how boring this world would be if we all looked the same? Pretty boring.

The media doesn’t make it easy. With photoshop and other editing software all we see is people who look flawless. But the real truth flawless doesn’t exist. Everyone has something that makes them unique.

We are at a time where people are embracing their flaws more and more. Less photoshop in photos, more inclusivity in advertisements. It is getting better, but it can still be scary embracing the things we were told to hide away for the longest time.

When you are having a hard time embracing your flaws remember, everyone has something that they don’t like about themselves, but can you see everything people don’t like about themselves? Probably not. Which means there’s a high chance people out there don’t even see your “flaws” as flaws. You’re your biggest critic.

(photo from:

An Easy Healthy Breakfast for College Students

In college it is really easy to just grab what is cheap, and ready to go in the morning. Most of it leading to fast food, or sometimes just skipping breakfast all together. These Hash Brown Ham and Cheese Egg Cups will have you set for breakfast for the entire week You only need to take 35 minutes of your Sunday to prepare these for the week!


1 cup Ham

1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

8 Eggs

20 oz Refrigerated Hash Browns

1/2 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1 1/2 cup Cheddar grated cheddar cheese

2 tbsp Milk

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once you’ve done that you mix all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl until well blended. Grease your muffin tin and scoop the mixture into the tin. Place the tin in the oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and you’re done!

These hash brown ham and cheese egg cups are basically a breakfast casserole in a muffin tin. They are easy to make and you can substitute out ham for any meat you’d like. This recipe has definitely saved me from some unhealthy breakfasts or skipping in general. Remember: Coffee is not a meal. Have these hash brown ham and cheese egg cups WITH your coffee!

(Recipe and photo from:

How to Manage Stress

Everyone has their own types of stress and everyone needs to find their own way to cope with their stress. There’s no way to avoid stress, but there are ways to make yourself feel better.

One thing that I always do when I start getting stress is to remove myself from the situation. Whether it’s something for work or something for school I simply pause and take a step back from the situation and analyze it. Why am I getting stress? What is causing my stress? What would relieve my stress? These are all questions I tend to ask myself to analyze the situation I’m in.

Once I step back from the situation, I give myself a break. Whether it is for 30 minutes or an hour. Give yourself a break. Grab your phone, earbuds, and water bottle and get outside.

Go for a walk. Fresh air is absolutely needed when dealing with a stressful day. Play your favorite music and go on a walk for at least 30 minutes to clear your head. Do some breathing exercises as well. The fresh air, the sunlight and the enjoyment you get from your music will all put yourself more in a relaxed and you will be ready to face your problem with a more positive mind.

Remember to also keep yourself hydrated to keep yourself energized and fresh. It’s a lot harder to face stressful situations when you feel dehydrated and groggy. And remember, the stress you’re feeling isn’t permanent. It will pass and you will accomplish what you need to accomplish. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself and relax. It’s going to be okay and you will get through it.

(Photo taken from:

Self Care After a bad day

Everyone has bad days. Bad days can really take a toll on someone’s mental and physical health. It is important to treat yourself and give yourself some extra love after a day that could be physically and/or mentally draining.

One of the most important things I cannot emphasize enough is journaling. Whether it’s in an actual journal or typed in a google document. Write about your day and everything that happened that might have made it back. Write your feelings and the thoughts going through your head. Spilling out all of those thoughts onto the page will be a relief on your brain. Also, once all your thoughts our out, you’ll feel less of a need to think about it anymore.

Give your body some extra love. Put on your favorite music, light some candles, take a hot bath or shower and relax. It’s okay to spoil yourself. After your bath or shower make or order your favorite meal. Don’t worry about the health benefits, eat what you want to eat. Again, it’s okay to spoil yourself especially after a tough day.

Get your meal, get your coziest blanket and watch your favorite show or movie. Enjoy a break from the stress and enjoy yourself. Your day never has to end bad, there are things you can do to make it better. Talk on the phone with your favorite person, hang out with some close friends. A bad moment should never define your whole day.

(Photo from: )

Easy Ways to get blood pumping on a busy Schedule

As college students, we have a pretty tight schedule. With all the homework, tests and trying to contain somewhat of a social life, you might start thinking that you absolutely have no time to get in any exercise. Well, you would be mistaken.

You don’t need to go to the gym or have this planned out routine to get a little exercise in during the day. One of the main things that you always have time for is walking. You want to get your heart rate up? Walk to campus instead of driving. You’ll get your heart rate up, enjoy the fresh air, and save money on gas! Another easy way to incorporate physical activity in your daily schedule is to use the stairs instead of the elevator. The possibilities are truly endless

On days where I feel like all I’ve done for the day is sitting at a desk working, when it’s time for lunch I walk to where I want to get food instead of driving. Instead of your 30-minute study break being spent on your phone, go for a walk around the block. It really is easy to incorporate. You just have to make time in your schedule to give your body some love. I always try to do some form of activity for at least 30-minutes a day. Even on my most busy schedules. It is important to give your body the attention in needs. Go for a walk or do some stretches to get the blood flowing and your heart rate pumping. It important to treat you body with love, because when you give love to your body it will love you right back.