It seems like the only fans of Photoshop techniques these days are cover editors for magazines and a handful of people who insist on pretending that’s what they actually look like. Most celebrities have actually spoken out against an onslaught of excessive retouching and in some cases, complete re-altering of their bodies and faces. Cindy Crawford has been quoted for over a decade now by saying, “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.” And that was before Photoshopping celebrities within an inch of their lives was considered the norm. These days, almost no one appears in reality to look the same as they do in their professional photographs. But that’s not really the fault of the celebrities, as how a professional photograph is edited is beyond their control.
Instagram has bridged a gap for celebrities and their fans in recent years, by allowing people to filtered peek into their personal lives without all the editors and layout spreads in between. They’re able to show themselves in a much more realistic and down-to-Earth fashion that makes them much more relatable to the viewers at home. Of course, there are celebrities who have no interest in being relatable and instead, care much more about maintaining a very flawless image. Some might seem too flawless. So flawless, in fact, that they could only be Photoshopped.
How can you tell if a photo has been doctored? Telltale signs of altering include random patches that are blurry, fuzzy, or pixelated where others are crisp. And one of the biggest is warped lines and backgrounds around where a central point has been pulled in, distorted, or warped. Check out these 14 photos that have been uploaded to Instagram by celebrities and see if you agree with the masses who have criticized them for alterations. Spoiler alert: there are many repeat offenders.
14 Lindsay Lohan
From The Parent Trap to house arrest, Lindsay Lohan’s career has been nothing short of a roller coaster of 'WTF' moments. Her reality show on the OWN Network that documented her so-called sobriety after leaving rehab, was highly criticized by many and even had Oprah herself questioning whether or not she made the right decision by giving the troubled star a show. Lohan has managed in recent months not to get a DUI or steal anything, so at least she’s got that going for her. But she definitely hasn’t figured out how to scale back on needing attention. When she posted this photo to her Instagram in January, viewers were quick to accuse the actress of Photoshopping her body. The signs that make the doctoring obvious are the harsh lines on her posterior and, most notably, the bottles on the counter in front of her stomach which are slanted, or rather pulled in, to make her appear slimmer.
13 Britney Spears
Another child star turned train wreck is Britney. She went from the biggest pop star in the world, to meltdown mode relatively overnight and although she has managed to redeem herself quite a bit, she’s never fully repaired her reputation. Her critics often say that when she went through her seeming nervous breakdown, her looks drastically changed, too, often making stabs about her weight. Considering that Britney is anything but fat, the harsh criticisms undoubtedly did a number on her self-esteem. Maybe that’s why she felt the need to retouch a photo of herself in a bikini posted to her Instagram account. The picture frame behind her is warped at the edges, showing that the image has been pulled in and the lines and shadows on the left wall behind her don’t match up.
Although Beyonce has skyrocketed to the Queen of Pop in recent years and is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous women in the industry, her Instagram account does seem to show a bit of insecurity as she is one of the most frequently accused self-Photoshopping celebrities. Bey is known specifically for constantly trying to minimize her thighs, albeit very poorly. This photo, which shows a strange and unnatural thigh gap, went viral almost instantly after the singer posted it with commenters noting the strange wobble in the left thigh and that other pictures taken from that day show her thighs as being much thicker (and much more normal) looking.
11 Beyonce Again
Another time Beyonce was accused of Photoshopping her thigh gap was in this photo taken on a boat in early January of last year. The signs that this photo is edited is that the lines of the stairs do not align – but they just so happen to not align only at the area of her new found thigh gap. And when you take a closer look at the shadow reflection in the wall to the right, you can see that her thighs look much different. However, the reflection comes in at a different angle, so it’s fair to say that’s not hard-hitting proof. Regardless, the case for this being a natural, un-doctored photograph is weak at best.
10 1o. Beyonce Again (Again)
Oh, Bey. Trust me, we could go through a ton more Beyonce photos, but I’ll make this the last one. This is another photo that the former Destiny’s Child singer posted to her account that was met with instant lash back. Her exposed thigh looks obviously smoothed out, but even more telling is how the wine glass and the phone on the table are warped and lack the straight lines that they should have, and that everything else in the image does have. What's most troubling about these photos isn't that Beyonce is trying to fool anyone – Photoshop or not, she’s still beautiful. It’s the fact that she obviously doesn't think that she’s beautiful enough, which is a reflection of just how ridiculous beauty standards have become.
9 Paris Hilton
Not every long ago, it seemed like Paris Hilton was the subject of every entertainment headline. These days, she manages to keep a somewhat lower profile, at least as far as the headlines go. Judging from her Instagram account, you would never tell. The photo to the left was posted by the hotel heiress and reality television star, but critics didn't waste any time in calling her out on making herself noticeably thinner. The weirdest part is that she’s already very thin to begin with, but her waist is almost freakishly tiny as shown, especially when compared to an unaltered photo taken by a third party on the right. And when you factor in the way her arms and the frame of the boat are warped, it’s safe to assume that it was edited as such.
8 Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian is another celebrity who is always getting accused of Photoshopping her Instagram images. Some show the obvious signs of unnatural distortion and background warping. But others become obvious when compared to other photographs from the same day or night, in the same outfit, that show her body and facial features in a very different light. This above photo is split. The left photo was taken by a professional photographer. Kim took the photo and appears to have altered it quite a bit before slapping a filter on it and posting it on Instagram. She didn’t take into account, though, that people do check other websites other than her own.
7 Kim Kardashian Again
Shortly after Kim gave birth to her daughter North, her selfies dramatically decreased, as well as any and all public appearances. Rumor had it that Mrs. West was extremely unhappy with her postpartum body. So, it’s understandable that when she began to get her body back after working out, she would be excited to post some pictures of her progress. The problem arose, though, when those images appeared to be less-than-natural. The doorway in the background of the image is warped only in the area necessary to pull in on Kim, as are multiple spots on the floor around her. When commenters called her out on the Photoshopping, she denied the claims and stuck with the classic Kardashian defense of calling everyone haters.
6 Kim Kardashian Again (Again)
This one doesn't show the classic signs of warping that Kim’s other photos traditionally do. But, what got this photo the most criticism was that in the photograph that she posted on her own Instagram, she appeared to be noticeably thinner than she did in a photo that was taken by a third party. Note that both photos were taken on the same day while the reality star was wearing the same outfit, yet there appears to be a significant difference in her size. Considering that Kim is basically only famous for being famous through a sex tape and being part of a messy family on a reality television show, to expect her to not have a high level of narcissism and vanity wouldn't be very realistic at all, though, now would it?
5 Taylor Swift
She’s young, beautiful, and has legs that go on forever. It seems almost ridiculous that Taylor Swift would ever feel the need to Photoshop a picture of herself, right? But this photo doesn’t have everyone agreeing. The telltale warping can be seen in the bars of the boat behind the group of girls, and the road behind them seems to not match well in one section. In all fairness to this one, though, there is no way of telling that it was Swift who did the altering. She obviously didn’t take the image and there are multiple girls in the photo, so it could have been anyone. She may have just fallen victim to posting a picture that a friend distorted. Why any of the bikini clad girls would feel the need to change anything about themselves, though, is rather sad.
4 Miranda Kerr
Say it ain't so! If a Victoria’s Secret model feels the need to Photoshop images of herself to be even thinner than she is, then what hope do the rest of us have? That’s the question many people ask quite frequently, actually, on popular model Miranda Kerr’s Instagram account. Multiple photos of hers have come under heavy scrutiny, both in side by side comparisons of other photos from the same nights and or because of the signs of blurry warping in strategic places. Kerr posted the photo to the right on her Instagram after a Victoria’s Secret show. But her comments section immediately lit up with people posting links to the actual photo that had already been posted by the photographer which showed her waist, although already very slim, to be noticeably wider than in the photo she posted. Kerr soon deleted the image and put up the other, unaltered photo telling people that she didn’t know it was Photoshopped, she had just found it online. Coincidentally, though, the other two models in the photo had not been retouched, just Kerr.
3 Kylie Jenner
Nothing Kylie Jenner does anymore seems to go without some level of criticism. But most notably, fans (and non-fans) have taken a huge interest in very vocally pointing out that not only has Kylie Jenner’s face drastically changed in recent months, but it’s also still very different looking in her Instagram photos than it is in person and in photos that are posted by virtually anyone else. Jenner has become infuriated by the claims and has even said that it “hurts” when people don’t believe that these photos are her natural good looks, but there is no denying that there is a significant difference in her look on her own photos. Yes, her lips are larger than they used to be, but that could be due to plastic surgery. But they’re still much bigger on Instagram than they are when she’s out in public. Critics are quick to point out that her jaw is also streamlined, her skin is always more toned, and her eyebrows are usually drastically more arched. Compare photos from the same day for yourself; Jenner’s Instagram photo is to the right.
2 John Mayer
It looks like women aren't the only ones affected by the harsh beauty standards of today. Things have gotten so bad, apparently, even men feel the need to appear perfect. It’s probably safe to assume that John Mayer isn't the first guy ever to retouch his own photo, but with how obvious and drastic the airbrushing is in this photo that the singer posted to his Instagram account, someone should probably tell him that there is a such thing as too perfect. The man who is known for breaking the hearts of Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston, and Katy Perry must not have the ego that they have claimed that he does if he can’t even post a photo of himself without airbrushing it.
1 Kris Jenner
If you've noticed a pattern with Kardashian women in this list, you’re not going crazy. It’s no secret that the women in the family love attention and really care about their looks. It seems that the proverb that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree is pretty spot on. When Kris Jenner met with world famous chef Gordon Ramsay, during the release of her cookbook, she was obviously very excited, as most people would be. So, naturally she posted the photo of their meeting to her Instagram account. The problem is that so did Gordon. Except, his wasn't Photoshopped and hers was. And she didn't just airbrush herself, she airbrushed Gordon Ramsey, too. The pair are so airbrushed in Jenner’s photo (to the right), that they almost look like porcelain dolls. Because God forbid she let anyone in the world know that not only does she have a few lines on her face, but that she associates with people who have lines on their faces, too. The horror.
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