photoshop hall of shame

Last week, Newsweek produced this story on the worst airbrushing stories of the last decade. The introduction was very interesting as it stated at the very first sentence that no wonder the beauty standard is so unattainable since it’s FAKE. Airbrushing has become common practice in the magazine and advertising industries and as a result women spend more on beauty products than ever before and still don’t feel satisfying with their looks. While France and the U.K has proposed legislation that would require airbrushed photos to have a stamp and health warnings so the viewer would know it’s retouched, we have not yet jumped on doing the same here. We’ll see if they can get it passed first, I guess.

So who was on this list? There were 13 including Faith Hill, Jessica Alba, Beyonce, Katie Couric and Kim Kardashian, but I’m going to highlight my favorites below.

Kate Winslet (1997): GQ slimmed her think legs and flat stomach more since “they do it for everyone.” Winslet’s response, “I do not look like that, and more importantly, I do not want to look like that.”

I personally love Kate Winslet for her bold statements against the magazine air-brushers. She has always felt comfortable in her skin and is not afraid to be herself in an industry that wants you to be perfect. Thank you Kate.

Andy Roddick (2007): I thought it was great that they included a male, but in 2007, Men’s Fitness photoshopped Roddick’s arms to make them look almost twice the size as they normally are. What’s worse is that a Men’s Fitness spokesperson didn’t see a problem with it while Roddick said that he was pretty sure he wasn’t as fit as the cover makes it seem.

Remember when the first Dove campaign came out in 2005? The campaign was well received until a retoucher told the The New Yorker that it was a challenge to keep their faces looking authentic and showing their age without making them look unattractive. Whoops, busted!

Kelly Clarkson (2009): On the cover of Self’s September issue for “Total Body Confidence,” Clarkson’s ‘confident’ body was thinned and found out when comparing it to a concert photo from 2 weeks prior.  The magazine’s response? It’s not “journalism, but meant to inspire women who want to be their best.” Right, because we can all be airbrushed on a daily basis.

Demi Moore (2009): Yes, Moore’s 47 and beautiful (and supposedly without plastic surgery), but do you really have to take away her hip? Sorry women have them, but W Magazine decided to slim it down and sparked a lot of commentary and discussion. However, the magazine stands by their photographers saying that they didn’t do anything uncommon to the photo. Hmmm…

Crystal Renn (2009): I thought I’d repeat this to show the balance between men/women and thin/plus-size, but Renn admitted to the NYTimes a few weeks ago that she’s been photoshopped not to look thinner, but to look bigger. “Because I’m a plus-size model, they like to make an example. They see a roll and they say ‘Ooh, a roll!’ and they focus on it.”

Moral of the story: The images we see in magazines and advertisements are not “real pictures.” They have been digital manipulated and unfortunately they 1. don’t look like the actual person and 2. lose the warmth and beauty of that person. Try not to get stuck on trying to be just like those models and just be you. The photo is just that, a one-dimensional photo. But you are beautiful and you are real with a personality and talent that shines through the exterior. 🙂


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