10 Most Photoshop – Altered Body Features In Fashion Photography

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It is now a widely known fact that Photoshop is allover the place – fashion advertising, magazines editorials. Everywhere where staged photography is involved, so is computer – distorted reality. So what are the most altered features in fashion photography?

•  1. the waist: slimming a model’s waist is a must in fashion photography as, although the beauty standards have changed throughout the years, nobody wants to see a waist – less model. Because we all secretly love corsets…

•  2. the bones: hiding prominent bones because they hint at malnutrition. In some people’s eyes, one cannot show pointy bones unless they have an eating disorder. Models, being so overly thin and always pressured to be thin, are prone to anorexia and more eating disorders. Because we all secretly love the Elastic Girl…

hourglass photoshop

•  3. the veins: smoothing out the bulging veins on a model’s hands, arms, forehead and more is a must. One too many times gossip magazines label as “horror sight” Angelina’s arms or Madonna’s bulging veins. Because we all secretly wish we were blood – frozen vampires.
•  4. the skin: smoothing and retouching skin blemishes, wrinkles, body hair is a must, especially in beauty advertising and such. Because we all secretly want a wax face / body.

skin soft retouch

•  5. the clothes: smoothing the fabric wrinkles and adjusting the fit is a must in fashion photography. Who would buy an ill fitting frock? Because we all secretly dream of Made to Measure couture…

photographing clothing

•  6. the complexion: lighting up dark complexions or virtually adding tan goes without saying in fashion magazines. Because we all secretly want surfers’ tan…

using Photoshop to change complexion and enhance certain body parts

•  7. the lashes: although they’re constantly slapped with wrongful advertising lawsuits, beauty giants keep on swearing false lashes are true and they’re only made possible by their mascara! Because we all secretly wish we were Bambi…

photoshop your lashes

•  8. the lips & such: pumping up the volume of one’s lips & breasts is easy as one two three. Where’s the point of wearing lipstick if you don’t have the pout to show it? Because we all secretly dream of having Angelina’s lips
•  9. the hair: adding hair, changing hair color or highlighting the right locks is more common than extensions in beauty photography. Because we all secretly dream of having Rapunzel’s hair…

hair retouch in Photoshop

•  10. the teeth: chalk white, perfectly aligned teeth are so common right now, dentists have scheduled appointments till doom’s day! Because we all secretly want to smile all the time…

how to whiten your teeth in photoshop

For a couple of weeks now, I’m watching this really interesting debate on whether to photoshop or not to photoshop fashion images. It all started with a Photoshop professional who stepped forward and said that all beauty images are computer altered lies and that we’re overfed with untrue expectations about our faces / skin, body appearance (even the clothes are distorted):

And absolutely 100 percent of what’s in fashion magazines is retouched. With fashion itself, sometimes the clothes are not fitting the way they’re supposed to. They’re always pinned in the back, for example, and then the wrinkles are taken out with retouching. So the clothes are kind of a lie, too. Nothing is going to fit that perfectly when you try it on.

we completely remove veins and freckles and moles and bags under the eyes all the time. We often remove body hair, subdue wrinkles, whiten teeth, pop the eyes. We also smooth kneecaps and veins in the hands and things like that

But retouchers do things like cut out a head from one photo and put it on the body from another.

I wish everybody knew everything was retouched. I wish young girls wouldn’t look at things and say, wow, her skin is so perfect, there are no pores, no pimples, no freckles — I want my skin to be like that. It’s not possible.

But wait, now there’s another professional retoucher who comes and defends the virtual truths of computer generated images. Because, you see, cameras are so good and sharp today, that you’d see every detail on someone’s skin (dam’ those multimegamillions pixels cameras!)

What we receive from photographers (even the best) looks pretty ordinary and similar to what you get from your standard digital camera, just with far better lighting, better detail, and of course high fashion made-up models in couture.

Eye gunk, eye veins, peach fuzz, ingrown hairs, it’s basically taking one of those magnification mirrors to someone’s face. You wouldn’t normally see this stuff if you are standing two feet from someone.

(images from: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7, 8, 9, 10)


#1 Emay on 08.01.12 at 3:04 pm

As one who used to work out & eat healthy in all the Right Ways, as I was a model & dancer in the most perfect of shape I honestly could be in… As someone who was humble, never aware of how I was, uncomfortable complimented, I suffered a horrific accident & I learned what I lost. I will never dance again or wear the cloths I love and PHOTOSHOP IMAGRY not only strikes the young in grotesque ways, but reminds me of what I love and lost, a catch22 for me w/catalogues & Magazines, as well as my faith in DESIGNERS & ARTISTS! Don’t pity me. I’m fine, but saw a place to comment about reality in a world that has lost touch of it in ALL ways. And what we do, who we are, etc., begins within OURSELVES. If I want to see the art of beautifying the genius fashion world, there should be a separate place for that. More than ever right NOW; we ALL need to see/know TRUTH. That is GLAMOUR.

#2 kpriss on 08.01.12 at 3:11 pm

Thank you, Emay, for stepping forward and speaking not only your mind but your heart also! :*

#3 Emay on 08.01.12 at 6:22 pm

Aww, thank you! It is my pleasure, kpriss :* (((You)))are most assuredly Welcome ^_^

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