It's time for the big reveal for our unretouched cover-image contest, and, well, our winner is the July cover of Redbook, on which country singer Faith Hill (and, on a separate cover, her hubby Tim McGraw) appeared as beautiful and accessible-seeming as usual. What's uncanny about this cover is that when the image was passed our way, we had just been flipping through Redbook, reminding ourselves that we'd stop hating women's magazines as soon as our lives became shitty enough to warrant reading Redbook and our husbands and immune systems suddenly replaced celebrities and consumerism on our personal Most Toxic lists, when we paused to think, "Wow, Faith Hill is really hot." We'd had this thought before about Faith Hill, probably in the context of a Revlon display at the CVS or something, but reading this spread in the July Redbook we had one of those moments we often have with Katie Holmes wherein we were like, "Wow. She is just really really really pretty. Although we don't much like her taste in men." Anyway, after the jump, we present the before and after of Faith Hill, Redbook magazine, July 2007. We'll be posting more on this throughout the day, including a point-by-point annotation (read: close-ups!) of just what Redbook editors/art directors found so abhorrent about an already-above-average 39-year-old country music star and mom to three that they had to retouch her into something more befitting the cover of Cosmopolitan.
Update: Some of you are complaining about the animation above, animation we worked long and hard to bring you. So ungrateful! But we anticipated that. That's why we've just put up this, uh, numerically-annotated version of the unretouched photo without animation. Compare, contrast, cackle, cry... whatever it is you guys do.
Update: Why we hate the fact that Redbook did this.
Update: What the blogosphere/mainstream media had to say about the photograph.