If you’re old enough, you may remember the beginning of the 1970’s iconic advertising campaign proclaiming “Is it live, or is it Memorex?”
The new VHS tape was so cutting-edge for its day, it boasted that their taped recordings were essentially impossible to tell apart from the live performance.
This was the dawn of video and photo manipulation.
Which may have inspired someone at York College of Pennsylvania, to do a little creative interpretation to “fix the problem” — the problem being a lack of diverse culture within the college.
However, just like those old Memorex tapes, a manipulated photo using Photoshop can cure a lot of ills, especially within a politically correct society where “diversity” is extremely important.
According to local affiliate Fox 43, a former student had agreed to pose for the photo shoot last year, along with two other students from the university.
However, when Karina Garcia saw the promotional advertisement for the school, she realized her two buddies she posed with were missing in action.
“I was confused, I was like what happened,” said Garcia, who said she went to the photographer to ask why the two original students had been replaced, “Why weren’t they there, that was my first question.”
Garcia added that the photographer told her the photo would not be approved until “the problem” with it was fixed.
“He was like, yeah, they just wanted a more diverse billboard so we had to get two other students and we put them in there. When they went to show the person that had to approve the photo it wasn’t approved so they had to rush to fix the problem,” said Garcia.
“Their intention with the billboard was to attract a more diverse population to the school and I think that’s a good thing that the school wants to do that,” added Garcia.
However, we’re in a brave new world where privacy seldom exists, especially on social media. Thus within a short time, the original photo suddenly popped up and circulated along with the doctored photo used in the promotion.
A spokeswoman for York College attempted to put a happy face to the controversy, “This photo reflects the diversity of students who live and learn at York College.”
Adding, “All those included are York College students. In an effort to reinforce in-clusivity, we attempt to ensure that all students are represented and welcome.”
“We were up against a deadline, but we should have made a better decision,” added the school.
Ines Ramirez, the Assistant Director of Intercultural Student Life and International Student Support, weighed in on Sunday.
“In my opinion, the message of the photo was to show that York College of Pennsylvania welcomes students from diverse backgrounds and to feature our current students,” said Ramirez, “I think we succeeded at that.”
Adding, “As you know, minority student recruitment at mostly Caucasian institutions is very challenging,” added Ramirez, “and we need to make sure our target market is included or featured in our publications.”
Photo-shopping images is what advertising agencies do daily, York College of Pennsylvania is not the only school to Photoshop images in an effort to appear more diverse.
However within this climate of political division, and political correctness, doctoring, manipulating, retouching, editing, and photo-shopping images for promotional consumption are now also taboo.