Photoshop is a must-have in the media industry. Photographers can snap pictures of the most beautiful people in the world, but those people still have flaws. For some reason, it has become the norm to portray celebrities as perfect. They can’t grace the cover of a top magazine without having their imperfections erased first.
The reliance on Photoshop has caused numerous problems with people believing their favourite celebrity is actually flawless. The retouched photos promote an unrealistic standard of beauty that young people look up to, and try to emulate. Realizing that magazine photos are not reality is important for people to accept their own flaws.
Celebrities know going in to a photo shoot that their pictures will probably be retouched to some extent. But sometimes, magazines go way too far in their pursuit of the perfect photo. They make pictures almost unrecognizable and ignite a firestorm of outrage. Luckily, a lot of celebrities are becoming more comfortable with what makes them human, and are fine with showing the world who they really are. Chrissy Teigen was praised recently for posted a photo of her stretchmarks on Instagram, and not being ashamed to show off a flaw that pretty much every woman has.
Photoshop has been the cause of numerous scandals, and the funny thing is, editors don’t seem to be learning that people can tell when a photo has been manipulated way too much. The negative press ends up being a lot worse than if they had just left the photo alone from the beginning. Here are 10 of the biggest celebrity Photoshop related scandals to date.
10. Justin Bieber’s Calvin Klein ad
Justin Bieber‘s recent Calvin Klein underwear ad campaign was supposed to be an homage to Mark Wahlberg‘s, but clearly, judging from the original picture on the left, Bieber isn’t quite as beefy as Wahlberg.
Allegedly, someone who worked at Calvin Klein leaked the before-Photoshop pictures, and said that Bieber asked them to make him look “taller and buff”. Of course, Bieber denied that he was Photoshopped at all. He also denied that his March 2015 Men’s Health cover was enhanced, but people aren’t buying that either.
Clearly, men have their own unrealistic beauty standards to live up to, and considering Bieber is only 21, his before photo isn’t that different from what any guy his age could expect to look like.
9. Kerry Washington’s InStyle cover
There was a lot of criticism over Kerry Washington‘s March 2015 cover of InStyle magazine because of the assumption that they lightened her skin tone. Washington herself wasn’t bothered by the photo, and she shared it on her Instagram, captioned “I’m THRILLED to share with you all that I’m on the cover of this year’s March @instylemagazine! Can’t wait for you guys to see it and read it! So honored. And crazy excited.”
But her fans thought she looked like a completely different person. InStyle released a statement, saying, “While we did not digitally lighten Kerry’s skin tone, our cover lighting has likely contributed to this concern.”
8. Lindsay Lohan’s selfies
Lindsay Lohan hasn’t been known for embracing her natural beauty for awhile now, but lately she’s been accused of photoshopping her selfies for Instagram. In the above picture, the door is clearly all warped around her butt causing people to comment that not only has the photo obviously been altered, but altered very badly. If you’re going to Photoshop, at least do it right.
In another Instagram selfie, Lindsay shows off an impossibly tiny waist and bumpy backside. The shampoo bottles on the counter behind her are all warped, making it pretty clear that she photoshopped the picture. After people started pointing out how obvious the photoshopping was, Lindsay deleted the pictures, but unfortunately for her, the internet doesn’t forget.
7. Beyonce’s thigh gap
Beyonce is the last person you’d expect to be promoting unrealistic body standards for women, but she’s beeen accused multiple times of photoshopping a thigh gap into her Instagram pictures.
The thigh gap trend has gotten a lot of attention lately for being an unattainable, and unhealthy goal for most women. In the picture on the right especially, you can tell the step between her thighs is crooked making it look like the picture had be altered.
Beyonce never acknowledged the photoshopping rumours, and she has plenty of pictures that appear to be all natural, so maybe it was just a fluke.
6. Kim Kardashian on Complex
In 2009, Complex accidentally put the left photo (the un-retouched version) of Kim Kardashian up on their website. They noticed their mistake and quickly replaced it, but not before screenshots were taken, and outrage was expressed.
For her part, Kim simply said “So what? I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn’t? How many people do you think are Photoshopped? It happens all the time! I’m proud of my body and my curves, and this picture coming out is probably helpful for everyone to see that just because I am on the cover of a magazine doesn’t mean I’m perfect.” Well said.
5. Keira Knightley’s King Arthur poster
Keira Knightly isn’t shy or ashamed of her breasts being on the small side. She’s even done a topless photo shoot on the condition that her breasts would not be altered in any way. But in the movie poster for 2004’s King Arthur, Knightley’s breasts were clearly photoshopped to look much bigger than they really are.
She spoke out about the poster, saying “market research that clearly shows that other women refuse to look at famous actresses and stars with small breasts” was responsible for the supposed need for Photoshop. Later in 2006, Knightley claimed she is “not allowed to be on a magazine cover in the US without at least a C cup because it ‘turns people off'”.‘.
4. Julia Roberts’ Lancome ad
Julia Roberts is the perfect example of a beautiful female celebrity who is aging gracefully. Although she was 44 at the time of the above Lancome campaign, she still looked (and still looks) amazing for her age.
That didn’t stop Lancome from Photoshopping every single wrinkle and line out of her face. The result looks like a wax version of Roberts, and is completely unrealistic. So unrealistic that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority went so far as to ban the ad. They called the ad “misleading” but were unable to see the original photo due to a clause in Roberts’ contract that stipulated no one was to be allowed to see the unaltered photos.
3. Zooey Deschanel’s Rimmel ads
The purpose of makeup is to enhance your natural features, but for some reason, makeup companies always end up using Photoshop to do most of the work for their ads instead of letting their makeup speak for itself.
In the above ad, Rimmel photoshopped Zooey Deschanel so much that she looks more like some kind of robot than a human being. Not only is her skin unnaturally smooth, but they changed the shape of her lips and nose, making her look like a different person.
2. Eminem’s XXL cover
As Justin Bieber already proved, men aren’t immune from Photoshop disasters. This XXL cover features a strange looking, alien-like version of Eminem. His eyes look completely unnatural, like the person in charge in retouching had no idea what they were doing. Smoothing out wrinkles and imperfections is normal, but what was so wrong with Eminem’s actual eyeballs that they needed to be replaced with cartoon eyeballs?
1. Lena Dunham’s Vogue spread
Lena Dunham appeared on the cover of Vogue‘s February 2015 issue, and feminist website, Jezebel immediately offered the magazine $10,000 for access to the original, un-retouched photos. They assumed Vogue must have done a lot of altering since Dunham doesn’t have the typical body type of their usual models.
Turns out Vogue did do some retouching, but not nearly as much as Jezebel suspected, and the website ended up looking like the bad guy for making such a big deal out of it.
Lena said of Jezebel’s mistake, “Instead of going like, ‘Hey, we kinda f***ed up, these pictures aren’t that retouched Lena, enjoy the Vogue spread that you’ve been excited about since you were eight years old,’ they were like, ‘She’s not retouched, but she could’ve been.’ It was this weird almost political maneuvering that I just had a lot of trouble respecting.”
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