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Should Mom retouch school photos?

Today’s schoolchildren are more image-conscious than ever. Most of them have social media accounts, where they post highly-edited self-portraits to present their ideal look.

What part can school portraits play? Should school photos be trendy?

Good Morning America looked at the trend a while ago, noting the availability of easy-to-use retouching services, as part of its “Momtroversy” segment.

In the post, ABC News notes Kristine Boel, a photographer/mom, "school photos [are] supposed to represent a time in a moment, their life captured as it is... sweet, ugly, awkward, bruises, teeth missing, crooked ponytails and all. I know I love my funny and super real photos from my time in school. It brought so much fun out of just looking them over years after. I also feel it’s important not to mess up with our kids self-image. They can see if we edit a photo of them.”

Most of the moms mentioned in the article agreed school photos were a valuable way to document a child’s journey, even with skin blemishes and braces.

Some moms’ added light retouching is appropriate if doesn’t change the child too much.

“My daughter scratched her face right before picture day and … so I opted for the retouch so I could have a nice photo," Katherine McCrillis said. "I don’t regret it either because she took such a wonderful picture and rather than listen to everyone ask 'what happened to her face' or 'how did it get scratched' everyone just focused on what a nice picture she took."

What do the experts say?

“Whenever the parents choose to edit a picture of their child then it indicates to the child that whatever they look like right now isn't good enough, and children internalize that message,” said Limor Weinstein, a parenting coach and executive director of the LW Wellness Network. "If parents communicate with the child and the child feels comfortable with whatever is edited, then it might be ok, but it depends on what is being edited. If it is a scar or something that is temporary and the child is very upset about it then it is not a big deal to edit the photos."

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