Global Citizenship & Media Literacy

photo (18)A Global Citizen seeks to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-respect related to their identity.  By recognizing and appreciating all people as their authentic selves, a Global Citizen values the worth of all human beings regardless of their age, gender, or skin color.  However, in advertisements, images of people are often altered to sell products, and in some cases photoshop is used to perpetuate stereotypes.

Today we were lucky to have Josh Withers speak with our students about his work in advertising.  Josh is also a professor at Santa Monica City College, has won dozens of awards for his photography, and has worked on many ad campaigns.

Josh provided an inside peak into the world of advertising.  He spoke about his own mixed feelings about the work.

“I’ve seen ads that make lips look bigger or change a person’s ethnicity.  In real life Sofia Vergara doesn’t look like her Pepsi ad, there is so much retouching.”

“Everything in advertising is fake, even in TV news, Fox and CNN can take the same photo and retouch it to make someone look more sinister.  There is no policing of the images. Movies are also retouched, parts of the film Sex in the City were retouched frame by frame to make the women look more attractive.”

After Josh’s session, students were asked what they learned, one student stated, “It is up to the general public to realize that ads are fake.”

Special thanks to Dan Dworkin for inviting Josh Withers to speak to his Media Literacy class.

To learn more about Josh Withers and his work, please visit:

Please watch the clip below to hear about how actress Lily Tomlin insisted on making her image appear younger in a media piece.

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