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.