There’s airbrushing and then there’s “who the hell is that on the cover of that magazine”? And that’s exactly the line Lucky magazine crossed with its December 2012 cover, featuring X-Factor judge Britney Spears. Readers took to Twitter to complain that the cover image looked unnatural and overly Photoshopped. They accused the mag of putting a wig on Britney, and retouching her face beyond recognition.
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Scanning through magazines is always a really nice way to reduce my over-inflated ego. Typically there are pictures on pictures of beautiful, svelte women and I sit there like “Well…I guess I could start a diet” as I shove another Oreo into my face because YOLO. I mean it’s obvious that all of the pictures have been highly edited to sell whatever product they happen to be advertising, but edited pictures still don’t make a girl feel great. Recently, however, Victoria’s Secret has come under some media scrutiny for heavily manipulating their pictures. Right? Like, they really need to edit those girls – they already look like Barbie dolls. But they do use Photoshop, and a they use it a lot. Erin Heatherton, Victoria’s Secret Model, thinks there’s nothing wrong with adding heavy Photoshop effects to pictures. She thinks it’s about adding “fantasy” to the image.
I was surprised, I guess, to find someone so readily willing to accept that their picture had been drastically altered. I feel like if I were a celebrity and was so excited to pose for like Rolling Stone or Cosmo or something and then saw a picture that was clearly edited, I would feel like I wasn’t good enough. I mean Erin the Victoria’s Secret model is gorgeous, right? Is it really necessary to make her skin tanner, her cleavage more prominent, her abs more defined? How close to perfect are we trying to make these people? Read more…
Usually in advertising we see Photoshop used in ways that are objectionable for the statement they make about women’s body size and skin color: airbrushing is used to slim down thighs, arms and tummies or to lighten skin. But in a photo of Karlie Kloss for Numéro magazine, we see another side of airbrushing — one that gets rid of the model’s deeply protruding ribs. The original image (left) is so jarring that to see the airbrushed image (right) is a literal shock.
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“I think it’s great that these girls are taking action. I don’t know, however, that Photoshop makes a huge difference with the kind of models they use, or that there aren’t other parts of the magazine that contribute to the same issue. I’m sure most people don’t think as obsessively about stuff like the wording of a headline as I do, but the effects of headlines under the “health” section about your back-to-school body are still there. It took me a little bit once middle school started to realize that if I didn’t read Seventeen, I didn’t feel obligated to watch what I eat. Language is powerful, along with photos. … [T]t’s not just about Photoshop — all kinds of components of a magazine help contribute to the feelings that might leave a reader with a negative body image.”
– Racked called up Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Mag to chat about Seventeen and how the mag’s website has seemingly stole Rookie’s “Ask A Grown Man” idea with a not-even-trying-to-be-different feature, “Ask An A-Lister.” Tavi ended up talking about Seventeen‘s recent pledge, following a petition with 84,000 signatures, to stop using Photoshop. (Teen Vogue followed suit soon after.) I’m somewhat less cynical than Tavi about Seventeen‘s Body Peace Treaty, but I also think she makes a fantastic point that images are only part of the problem. Language matters, too, and the way that magazines and other media outlets tell stories pertaining to women/girls and body image are equally important. Elsewhere in the interview Tavi says, “ Sometimes [Seventeen's] ‘embarrassing’ stories are literally about boys finding out that you have your period. I’m just tired of stigmatizing totally normal body stuff like that, which is already a little scary and weird to some girls.” Co-sign times 1000! [Racked]
I don’t know about you, but my bikini body doesn’t look anything like the ones on the cover of In Touch … unless we’re talking about one of those “Pregnant Or Ate A Burrito?!” articles. Let’s be real: no one other than Kim Kardashian (and her team of makeup artists, hairstylists and spray tanners) looks like Kim Kardashian in a bikini. The rest of us just look … human. So in the spirit of body love, I’ve cobbled together candid pics 23 celebs in any many shapes and sizes as I could find, rocking out at the pool. This, my Frisky friends, is what folks look like without Photoshop: cellulite, muffin top and all.
A couple weeks ago we told you about an amazing 14-year-old activist named Julia Bluhm who wrote a petition to Seventeen magazine asking them to publish one unaltered photo spread every month. Well, since then Julia’s been busy. Her petition has garnered over 74,000 signatures (yep, you read that right: 74,000), she scored a profile in The New York Times, and she recently held a mock photo shoot outside the Seventeen offices (that’s her in the middle)… Keep reading »
The cover of a recent issue of LOOK magazine features Rihanna looking, well, a little wonky, no? That’s because the photo of the singer is an exceptionally poor composite, cut and pasted together from two separate images. Rihanna’s head is from a photo taken on the red carpet of the “Battleship” premiere in Japan, while her body was from a photo shot at the Stella McCartney presentation at London Fashion Week. Oh, and her body was flip-flopped and her dress was colored pink instead of green. How creative! Why not just draw a picture of the Rihanna with crayons? Seriously. [Red Carpet Fashion Awards]
Sadly, while Photoshop is a necessary and helpful tool, it is often used to excess, especially when it comes to “perfecting” celebrity images. Just look at these other lovely celeb women who’ve suffered at the hands of an overeager Photoshopper.
This poor model’s waist has been whittled away so much that her middle is now barely as wide as her head. That can’t be healthy — or even, well, possible, now can it? The hack Photoshop job is made all the more obvious because the back shot of the Vera Wang gown shows the model with correct un-’shopped proportions. Quite the difference, no? [Daily Mail UK]
Honestly, it took us forever to figure out the famous lady on the cover of the Russian edition of Harper’s Bazaar. She barely, barely looks like herself, thanks to copious amounts of airbrushing and (perhaps) plastic surgery. Also, a strange lipstick color. Still not sure who the famous face is? Click for the answer after the jump!
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