For years, airbrushing has been a common technique in glamour photography. It makes sense as models are meant to look far more beautiful on the verge of perfection and thus using these moves can make them look even better. The rise of the Internet has made it even more common, computers now used to smooth out wrinkles and other bits. It also means the rise of Photoshop and other programs that fans can use to manipulate photos. That means the plethora of fake nude images of celebrities although 99% of them are obvious fakes. There’s also how people can use this technology to improve selfies and other social media posts to look even better. It has its drawbacks but many a celebrity is still open to having a little alteration done to make them look better.
But often, as with any technology, there are drawbacks. Too often, magazines will go an extra mile to make a celebrity look “better” but comes off looking worse. Too thin bodies, very unrealistic beauty and just flat out messing up their looks, it’s all common. It can also happen when celebs try to use it to “improve” a selfie only to mess it up. You can forgive them a bit with the phone tech but it’s something else when a professional photographer and magazine make such an error. It’s easier to find out as the originals exist and of course the stars themselves can make their feelings on being changed very well known. Here are 15 celebrity Photoshops that had folks talking for a bad reason and why trying to “fix” what wasn’t broken isn’t a good thing.
15 Kim Gets Complex
Unlike others, Kim Kardashian doesn’t have much issue with Photoshop. Indeed, she’s open about using it for various pics, including her now infamous “break the internet” nude cover for Paper magazine and numerous other places. Already a natural beauty, Kardashian is up front on some airbrushing helping her with the curves and other bits and does look a stunning knockout in any outfit (or none at all). It’s not just magazines as Kardashian has been slammed using airbrushing for her Instagram posts to smooth out wrinkles and look a little too perfect. A prime example is her cover for Complex magazine in 2009 which showed her with a little less fat on her thighs, neck and that famous rear. Kim had no problem, openly stating she loved her curves and “who doesn’t have a little fat?” She wasn’t upset they published the earlier untouched version and holding it well. However, given her uses of airbrushing over the years, it’s a bit much to believe Kim was fine letting her natural form be seen (no matter how often she bares it all).
14 Riling Up Ronda
If there’s one woman you think you’d try to avoid ticking off, it’s Ronda Rousey. True, her star has faded following some upset losses but the MMA star is still notable as a terrific fighter, a top-notch athlete and a woman willing to speak her mind. While beautiful, Rousey lets her fists do the talking more and proud of being seen as an athlete more than a model type. Doing one of her usual appearances on The Tonight Show, Rousey had a nice chat filled with some good humor and talk on her upcoming fight. Afterward, Rousey took to social media to post that the promo pic for the show had cut the size of her arms down, cutting away some of her muscle to make her look more like a model. She wasn’t happy with it, openly apologizing as she was proud of her body as it was and taking shots on this being done at all. While she may not be as huge a deal as she was at the time, it takes someone with guts to do something to get on Rousey’s bad side.
13 Washington Lightens Up
While her career in movies and TV had been good, it was Scandal that made Kerry Washington a true star. Her role as Olivia Pope won over fans, a complex woman clashing with the Washington elite while up to her own wicked scheming. Washington was always outspoken and loving her beauty which means she has issues with some photoshopping. She took it to In Style for a cover that lightened her skin as she’s had issues before with being slammed on “not being black enough.” She also wasn’t happy with the horrible work done on a Lucky cover that actually made her look unattractive. Even bigger was her cover for Adweek as Washington said she was proud of the interview and inner pictures but not the cover pic. She said she doesn’t mind Photoshop mostly (“who doesn’t love a filter?”) but this was too much. Washington openly complained that the pic “looks nothing like the woman I see in the mirror” as she’s proud of being herself. Given how outspoken she can be, it’s no wonder Washington felt the need to air her feelings on this.
12 Bieber's Bod
Justin Bieber has a way of riling people up the wrong way. He has some talents as a singer and his early run as a clean-cut kid did get him millions of teenage fans on his side. As he grew up, he threatened to lose his “teeny-bopper” looks and thus decided to show some edge. That may have backfired as it led to him arrested for drinking and drugs and a variety of nutty antics that got him in trouble. To try and boost himself up more, Bieber appeared in ads for Calvin Klein in nothing but his underwear. It got attention with him showing his tattoos and a very muscular body. But then the untouched photos hit and fans howled at how it showed Bieber’s truly skinny body. Sure, he had some muscle but it was obvious how the ads jacked him up to look like a WWE Superstar, a truly wild enhancement. Instead of being impressive, the pics came off as a joke and got Bieber some slams for how he took “growing up” a bit too literally.
11 Zooey's Rimmel Fail
She’s not as sexy a knockout as others but Zooey Deschanel has gotten some great attention over the years. Rising up with various movie roles, she’s found her major fame starring in Fox’s hit comedy New Girl. The sight of her in glasses and some nice outfits has made “adorkable” part of the lexicon and led to major success with promotional work. That includes a bit for Rimmel, the popular health and beauty line showcasing their makeup. However, an ad shows Zooey majorly airbrushed to a degree beyond mere makeup. Rounding out her face, squashing her nose, flattening her lips, it looks nothing like the actress. It makes no sense why you’d hire a gorgeous beauty like Deschanel and then make her look so vastly different. That it’s a makeup company makes it even more bizarre as you’d think the point is to make a woman look natural, not totally unlike herself. Deschanel needs no help looking beautiful but this ad took it too far.
10 Knightley's Royal Chest
When she had her breakout in Bend It Like Beckham, Keira Knightley was hailed by one reviewer as “the sexiest beanpole on the planet.” Her chest may not have been overt but still a great beauty to her, proven with her star-making role in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. That made her a huge deal and Disney was working hard to find more roles to cash in on her new action-oriented side. That meant a big part in King Arthur, a new take on the classic myth. Here, Guinevere wasn’t some pampered princess but a member of a warrior tribe who comes into battle in paint and a nice outfit. The trailer shots of Knightley in the costume got major attention. However, the poster was more notable as it was quite clear Knightley’s chest was undergoing some enhancement to make it look bigger. It was a very dramatic difference when compared to the actual movie where Knightley made you overlook any chest size for a fun part.
9 Upton Going Less
This is the rare case where the Photoshop downplays a woman’s amazing beauty. Kate Upton was born to be a model with her gorgeous looks and a stunning body. She’s used that well for success in the modelling world as well as some movie and TV roles like The Other Woman. When nude photos of her were leaked, it was a huge deal given her buxom body. Which makes it all the more baffling that when she landed the cover of Sports Illustrated’s iconic Swimsuit Issue, the magazine went out of their way to make her look far less curvy than normal. The big change, of course, was her chest which was seriously lessened in cup size. They also seemed to lessen some of her curves majorly which is truly baffling. Upton has a body made for a bikini and yet SI thought they needed to change it for the cover. The interior pics have her in her more natural form so maybe the magazine thought she would be too much on the cover. Yet to change a body to make her less voluptuous is a rare move, especially when it’s a knockout like Upton.
8 Ga-Ga Form
Lady Gaga and wild looks go together like peanut butter and jelly. From her bizarre music videos to her concerts, Gaga is known for dressing in truly insane costumes that often look like they need an engineering degree to pull off and loving it. From a meat suit to other wild outfits, she always wows and thus surprising she’s toned it down lately for more of a “normal” style. But Gaga has shown she prefers being herself more than any “photoshopping” of her covers. A major one was for Vogue as Gaga was shown with a much thinner body that frankly made her look like a strange hourglass, complete with pinched-in legs and way too small waist. Gaga later appeared at the Glamour Magazine Awards to pick up an award and in her speech, slammed magazines (like Glamour itself) for such photoshopping. She argued that all they were doing was to continue the idea for young women of unrealistic beauty standards and wasn’t helping. Gaga has dared to bare it all without any makeup for her recent Netflix documentary and shown that, as with her outfits, she has her style in her life.
7 Avril's Missing Arm
Throughout her career, Avril Lavigne has been known for her own style. It carried in her career as a rocker with a fun “grunge” outfit and multi-colored hair and never shy sharing her opinions. The Internet has often gone wild for her, especially the long-standing urban legend that the “real” Avril died years ago and it’s been a body double taking her place ever since. She has been treated to some Photoshop in the past to make her look hotter which she’s not happy about. A major case was this cover for Maxim which had Lavigne looking good in a nice outfit to show her unique style off. However, as soon as the issue hit stands, folks noted how Lavigne somehow managed to lose most of her right arm. It was a bizarre bit of shopping, looking totally horrible and throwing the entire pic off. Lavigne may laugh off the “dead double” story but she wasn’t happy about a pic making her look like a circus freak.
6 Chopra's Pit Stop
Rising from Bollywood to Hollywood fame, Priyanka Chopra has regularly topped lists of the most beautiful women in the world. Her stunning beauty is on full display in films and has broken out in America with the ABC series Quantico and a role in this summer’s Baywatch. The woman just eats the camera up alive in her photos, always looking alluring and exotic without the need for any help. Which is why it’s so crazy that for the cover of Maxim in a rather nice outfit, Chopra was subject to some nutty photoshopping. There was smoothing out her skin and even lightening it up to a somewhat uncomfortable degree. But the craziest part was how they basically removed her armpits, no hair or indentions of any sort. Fans were irate over this, slamming the shopping as way too much. Chopra responded with Twitter selfies of her showing her armpits and how they were rather smooth with almost no hair. However, it’s still clear that some work was made for Maxim to make one of the hottest women alive look more artificial.
5 Trimming J-Law
Jennifer Lawrence has taken it to photographers and “shamers” a lot. She is frank on talk of herself, not as comfortable with her fame despite being an Oscar winner and A-list star and thus is more relatable. As such, Lawrence is not comfortable with how some magazines like to retouch photos of her a lot to make her look hotter. A magazine cover enhanced her chest and chin with some touches, including her nose. This pic is something else, Lawrence in a hot swimsuit styled outfit to show her great mid-riff and beauty. But it’s obvious work has been done such as making Lawrence look thinner, clearing out blemishes and even alterations to her body. Lawrence is a true knockout au natural (as her infamous leaked photos showed) and thus she wasn’t happy about the changes made to make her appear hotter. Outspoken and tough, Lawrence much prefers avoiding such airbrushing and this shows it’s not just the face that gets a change but the entire body as well.
4 Katy's Shading
Over the years, Rolling Stone has done some photo retouching to feature gorgeous rock singers and actresses on their covers. It’s common and quite obvious when some ladies get some retouches. But with Katy Perry in 2011, the photo department clearly went a bit too far. Perry is already a gorgeous woman with a fantastic busty form and loves showing it off in her great outfits. But RS went the extra mile to alter the cover pic of her in her underwear. They smoothed her skin, appeared to drop several pounds and even enhanced her already ample bust. The shading was quite obvious when compared to the original pic, her skin looking far too smooth to look right. They removed moles and lines from her underarms and the effect made her look more like a porcelain doll than the actual singer. Trying to make her look like a blow-up doll doesn’t help at all as Perry is already a knockout without the need to “enhance” her more.
3 Britney's Pool Lie
Britney Spears has been through some rough times in the past. There was her infamous meltdown involving weight gain and shaving her head bald and her terrible VMA performance. But she is bouncing back, looking great and successful with her Vegas shows. Over the years, Spears has gotten the aid of airbrushing for her various magazine shoots, taking out some fat and other highlights. But notable is that Spears appears to be using this for her selfies. Whereas most stars love to show themselves as they really are, Spears seems to use some tech to make herself look better in her selfies. A clear example is this of her by the pool and looking nice in a bikini. However, the eagle-eyed viewer is able to see something isn’t quite right. It appears that Britney is missing a few ribs which means she either had some serious surgery done or she was altering the image. It’s not the first time but still notable how Brit went a tad far trying to cut weight off her looks.
2 Queen Bey's Legs
Beyonce is well known for her fantastic form, especially those knockout legs. It’s served her well over the years, going from part of trio Destiny’s Child to a hit star in her own right. Everything Queen Bey does is a big deal, as shown by how the announcement of her pregnancy nearly broke social media. It’s obvious she’s been in demand on various covers and shoots yet some magazines go a bit too far trying to “fix” her. The issue is mainly her legs as for some strange reasons, magazines insist on making them look thinner than they are. That includes altering her hips in some photos and other turns. This is a major example, the cover for Harper’s Bazar as Beyonce’s legs were clearly thinned down. It throws her off a bit as the legs don’t look like they could support her form as it also appears her body’s famed curves were likewise thinned out to remove fat. She’s already a great sexy lady, Beyonce needs no help looking better.
1 Kate The Great
Here’s a famous case where the subject of the photo spoke out against it. Kate Winslet has been known for never being ashamed of her body. After all, she has doffed it on camera numerous times, often showing her very full figure off and proud of it. In this spread for GQ, the Oscar winner is shown on the cover with a curvy body and notable for her long smooth legs. An interior photo has her topless, arms covered and looking just as hot. However, in the background, the reflection in the mirror shows the real Winslet looking much curvier. Winslet herself was outraged when this was published, railing about the magazine “thinning” her down and openly saying “I don’t look like that and I don’t wish to look like that.” As if to prove it, her next few nude scenes had her not looking her best yet still utterly gorgeous. Winslet has proven herself to be glamorous at any angle so having her altered is something she’s not happy with.