Shown Before Photoshopped

By living in a visual world, companies frequently run ads using photoshopped pictures. The image presented is near perfect in appearance, yet it is not always truthful. Despite the numerous cautions implied by doctors or inscribed on cigarette packets, smoking has been a fashionable trend throughout the years. Some advertisements influence individuals in becoming addicted to the nicotine inside the health hazard wrapped within paper. Other advertisements tend to sway the viewer into pondering the general concern of the problem at hand.
Photographer Mike Stubbs’s photo of Terrie Hall focuses on his subject’s physical appearance not altered in photoshop, instead, altered by surgery. By presenting Terrie Hall, a former smoker, in this advertisement, the harsh and shocking truth about smoking is exposed. This picture introduces Terrie as a 52 year old woman from North Carolina. A quarter size hole in Terrie’s throat causes one’s eyes to focus on the rest of her disfigured appearance. Directly to the viewer’s right of Terrie are large, bolded white letters that spell, “Record your voice for loved ones while you still can.”
In Terrie’s lap is a small framed picture of her with her child. Unfocused, is a background of a white wall and another framed picture of the same child on a nearby table. Unfortunately in a society where one’s image is so important, these businesses and their buyers do not want people to know the underlying truth. Tobacco businesses would not enjoy the presence of Terrie Hall working for their company because of the effects of her cigarette usage over the years. The quarter sized hole in Terrie’s throat is the result of surgery to remove her cancer filled voice box and its surrounding structures.

The hole, or stoma, is how Terrie breathes. Smoking also causes other life suppressing damages such as the deterioration of one’s lungs, bladder cancer, and other various chronic diseases that advertisements do not consider when supporting their product. Most advertisements promote cigarettes by using a selection of people that are often fairly attractive. Michael Stubbs, on the other hand, selectively chose Terrie Hall for her true appearance. The advertisement or commercial commonly shows the desirable people in a party scenario where cigarettes and booze are prominent.
What these companies are hiding is the truth buried beneath the photoshop and scripted lies. The CDCP, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, started the anti-smoking ads in 2012 and have continued these commercials into this year as well. “Officials believe the campaign led as many as 100,000 American smokers to quit” (Associated Press par. 5). Being the only one to return for this year’s round of advertisements out 24 others, she shares her everyday life to the public.
Typically when Terrie wakes up in the morning, she has many tasks to accomplish before leaving the house like everyone else. But prior to breakfast, she throw on her wig and puts in her false teeth. Terrie tosses a scarf around her neck in order to cover the stoma in the middle of her throat. The puzzling message in large white letters to the right refers to Terrie’s loss of ability to talk due to the removal of her own vocal cords. Terrie Hall once stated, “It’s the only voice my grandson’s ever heard” (par. 15).
Total laryngectomy is the removal of the entire voice box including the structures around it. The cancer moves into surrounding cartilage that makes up the voice box’s outer structure. From this, the trachea must adapt with the help of the electrolarynx, a device one must put to their neck in order to transmit sound into the throat. The vibrations create noise for the pathway of sound to emit into words and phrases. Terrie Hall’s appalling appearance on television caused the baffled viewer to ponder the message displayed.
“It was the campaign’s most popular spot by far, receiving more than 2. 8 million views on YouTube — more than any other CDC video ever posted online” (Associated Press par. 7). Unfortunately during this summer of 2013, Terrie’s cancer spread to her brain. No amount of radiation or surgery could have saved her life when Terrie Hall died in September of 2013. “She was a public health hero,” says Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Frieden also mentions, “She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do” (par.2).
By living in a visual world, companies frequently run advertisements using photoshopped pictures, so the image presented is near perfect in appearance. These pictures are not always reliable. Smoking can cause oral, throat, and lung cancer along with emphysema. Photographer Mike Stubbs’s photo of Terrie Hall focuses on his subject’s physical appearance not altered in photoshop, but by surgery. By presenting Terrie Hall, a former smoker, in this advertisement, states the harsh consequences of smoking.

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