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Childrearing

Mom Stunned When Her Son’s School Photos Are Digitally Altered

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I love it when school photos come home. There’s something wonderful about getting a glimpse of your child at school, even when the shot is posed. I especially love the little details school photos capture, like missing teeth, or crazy hair, or cheeks that haven’t quite lost their baby shape. I would be stunned if a photo company decided to alter my child’s photos in any way, but that’s what happened to a little boy in Australia. His mom was shocked when his school pictures came home noticeably photoshopped.

Blogger Ange Pickett could barely remember her children’s school photo day, which had taken place during the school year’s first term. “In the world of a primary school Mum, and one whose term two started with both kids down with chickenpox in week one, photo day in term one seemed a lifetime ago.” So you can’t blame her for looking at her son’s photo and thinking, “Wait…did he have teeth when this photo was taken?” After consulting family photos and his class photo, she realized that nope, he hadn’t had his teeth: “His mouth had been photo-shopped with what looked like last year’s baby teeth swapped in.

I think this is where my head would have exploded, but Pickett wrote that she was more baffled than angry. “Why would anyone think to do this? At what point did missing teeth because something to be “fixed”?”

“Surely we have lost the plot when we start photo shopping an 8 year old’s gappy grin.”

Pickett pointed out that her son was not at all embarrassed by his missing teeth — he refers to himself as “Gappy McGapster” — and said that while she blames social media for the obsession with “perfect” photos, she also said that it was her friends on social media who reminded her that “fixing” her son’s photo was not okay. She “quietly send a pretty measured message to the company” that took the photos, and was pleased with their response.

“I woke up to a very apologetic message from the company agreeing it was wrong, promising it wouldn’t happen again and attaching the original photo (with reprints to come). There was no excuse made which made me think this was not the norm and so I was happy to leave it at that (who knows why someone thought it was a good idea). I let the school know (and had a chat with the completely flabbergasted principal).”

She stressed that it was important for her son to know that they love him as he looks now. “Accepting the photo-shopped photo says to him that we think there is something wrong with how he looks.”

I don’t know if I would have been so calm about it, but this mom definitely handled things the right way!

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