Even “Real” Women Are Digitally Enhanced

Just like every other impressionable tween, I saw models in magazines and felt a little bad about myself because my body didn’t look like theirs. I’m a smart girl, but it didn’t really set in that these were not their bodies (or faces, even) until I worked at a magazine and saw how photos were tweaked — who wants to look at pages of ugly people? On Newsweek.com, a writer takes part in a photo shoot, then goes through the lengthy retouching process, demonstrating how much work it actually takes to make someone look “flawless”. That’s interesting and all, but what’s more scandalous is that The New Yorker has a profile of the retouching business’ biggest names: Pascal Dangin. He works with high-profile photographers like Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, and a number of celebrities who keep him on retainer. In it, he admits that he worked on the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign that features women who are not tall and skinny. They’re pictured with curves and a bit of fat on the behind, but even they had some major work done: “Do you know how much retouching was on that? But it was great to do, a challenge, to keep everyone’s skin and faces showing the mileage but not looking unattractive.” Nothing is real, people! However, apparently Christy Turlington needs the least amount of help. [Newsweek.com and The New Yorker]