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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I’m pretty much apathetic in the face of Photoshop. It’s an annoying (and undeniably rampant) practice for sure, but at this point I’m just like, “duh, nobody looks like that.” It’s ridiculous! But if there’s one variety of photo-altering that really, truly baffles me, it’s in the case of beauty advertisements. Are we seriously supposed to look at an ad and say, “Wow, that foundation looks great, I want to try it,” when the model has not only been subjected to hours of professional hair and makeup but has also been Photoshopped to the point of no recognizable human features? Keep reading »
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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Yesterday morning, I woke up and before getting out of bed, I checked my email on my iPhone and opened up one of the 10 million sale alerts I get from various brands. This one was for Aerie, a sub-brand of American Eagle Outfitters that I love for their affordable bras and undies. The deal was for one of their style of bras, but I was far more interested in the panties the model was wearing, because they were sheer enough in the crotch to reveal a whole lot of vagina. Whoa, visible vagina in my inbox, I thought. Or there should have been. I pinched and zoomed in. What the hell has happened to her vag? Keep reading »
It’s not big news that ads are photoshopped. But every once in a while I see something that’s so completely ridiculous that I have to wonder if the people involved are for real. You have to understand, from far away, I had no idea who the hell those guys were supposed to be, and it’s a giant billboard — it’s the size of the building. I honestly thought that Michael Chiklis on the right was a Pixar creation.
No, this is in no way the worst case of photoshopping ever. I’m not saying that. You might even be thinking, This isn’t a big deal, I wouldn’t have looked twice. But isn’t that the problem? Why aren’t we looking twice? Why aren’t we surprised by these photoshopped images any more? Why are we accepting this? And I’ve noticed that lately, men seem to finally be getting the same crazy photoshop treatment that women get, though I don’t see this as a victory. All it does is perpetuate this stupid cycle of raising standards by depicting all celebrities so flawless, they look computer generated. (Or worse, when the images become so manipulated, they look like other people. I thought that Kim Cattral on the “Sex and the City 2″ poster was Katherine Heigl.) Keep reading »
This is Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue, looking svelte and amazing and sort of vase-shaped. Only, this isn’t what she actually looked like during the shoot — at all. Not that she looked bad; she looked gorgeous. But come on — if Gaga was actually built the way she appears on the cover of Vogue, she wouldn’t be able to walk, and she’d tip over all the time. Check out a video of the shoot, after the jump!
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Model/actress/whatever Rosie Huntington-Whitely is very pretty. But is she so pretty that she actually doesn’t possess pores? Doubtful. Yet that’s exactly what this Elle UK cover might have you believe. Huntington-Whitely is airbrushed within an inch of her life, giving the impression that her face is actually a strange spackled-on mask or a CGI James Cameron character. But don’t worry — none of this fame and being-on-the-cover-of-magazines crap is going to her head. “Look, I think my career is very self-indulgent. It’s all about me. I’m not a doctor, I’m not looking after people, I’m not saving children. I’m in the entertainment business. I’m a model. I’m an actress. So it is very self-involved. I think there is naturally a point where you think, ‘I don’t care about myself as number one any more.’ I want to care about other things.” Oh, RHW, thinking about the rest of us! [Celebrity Gossip]
“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]