The Week You Gave Us 'Faith' In The Internets

We never expected the outcry that ensued after <a href="http://jezebel.com/gossip/photoshop-of-horrors/heres-our-winner-redbook-shatters-our-faith-in-well-not-publishing-but-maybe-god-278919.php

">Monday's post regarding, uh, a certain Photoshopped, country-singing, women's magazine cover-subject. Maybe it's because many of us have worked for women's magazines, where the daily parade of malnourished Estonian fourteen-year-olds and full-color glossy page-proofs of airbrushed actresses sort of inured us to the bad business that is selling 'femininity'. Sort of, that is, because if you're the kind of woman who cares about other women — or, you know, we guess you could be a man caring about women, that's allowed here — it's hard to escape the fact that women, if you believe the media, are increasingly expected to look like female avatars. (Unless they are young girls, in which case, they are supposed to look like hookers). Anyway, apparently there are a lot more people out there who care about women than we realized; the response to our unretouched Redbook cover image started off slow, built to a crescendo that peaked on Wednesday, and is still humming along nicely. (11,500 Google hits and counting.) After the jump, and without further ado, what some in the blogosphere/mainstream media had to say about the dirty business that is the mass-marketing of the female forgery.

ABC News:

Jezebel.com takes a look at a Redbook cover shoot of Faith Hill — before and after the photoshopping. It will make you gasp.

Feministing:

Thanks to Jezebel, we have yet another example of how fucked up magazine airbrushing is. Perhaps at her next concert Faith Hill will dedicate this song to the crack photoshopping team at Redbook.

VH1:

Check out that picture of Faith Hill and she's lookin' pretty darn fine for a millionaire mom of three who's about to turn the big 4-0. She's even on the cover of Redbook this month! Anddddd that's where her trouble begins. Jezebel got their hands on the original version of Faith's cover photo prior to it being touched up with the magical tools that only magazines and wizards possess, and holy Hollywood standards are the results horrifying. The more you look at the touched up cover picture, the more you'll wonder why we as a society like our celebs to look like straight-up aliens. If the difference in her arm's shape and size isn't enough to freak you out, check out her eyes, her back, her posture and, oh, her disappearing hand. Faith was way better looking before she went under the digital knife, crow's feet and all.

Worcester Telegram:

This happened on the cover of Redbook. Not Playboy or Vogue or even Cosmopolitan, but Redbook, which is supposedly geared to more mature female readers. The fact that this same July cover includes lead stories such as "The new skinny pills — yes, they work!" and "Look and feel your hottest" only underlies the utterly depressing and spooky state of the American medium.... I'm appalled at what Redbook has done to Faith Hill, and everyone else should be, too, and this includes men, because most of you have wives or moms or girlfriends or sisters, or especially young daughters, the latter of whom are increasingly doomed to be swept away by our culture's perfection-obsessed tsunami.

Women's Voices for Change:

Because there's no way a woman almost 40 years old can have wrinkles and be on the cover of a magazine ... And be sure to also read this great analysis of why it matters.

TMZ:

The cover of this month's Redbook has a stunning photo of country megastar Faith Hill. Well, someone resembling Faith Hill! Thanks to our friends at jezebel.com, who dug up the original photo, TMZ readers can have a look at Faith in all her real glory, and see how she was "cleaned up" for her cover. Through the miracle of Photoshop, they gave 39-year-old Faith a body like 24-year-old Carrie Underwood! For a mother of three just a few months shy of 40 with a non-stop schedule, the real Faith looks amazing!

Back In Skinny Jeans:

If someone like Faith Hill is not good enough as is to be on the cover of a woman's magazine, than doesn't it make you question why some of us are killing ourselves trying to look celebrities who don't even look like themselves. It also sends the message that no matter how beautiful you are, you're still not perfect enough. Hmmmm?

CNet News:

As individual women, it can be easy to wonder why we fall into the trap of trying to live up to an unattainable standard. It's something we absorb on an almost subconscious level. Deconstructing this month's Redbook magazine cover shows us just how manufactured the images of beauty we see really are. I didn't think twice about the cover image of country singer and actress Faith Hill when I first saw it. But an untouched original photo obtained by Jezebel shows just how much "digital magic" even a certified star needs to be ready for her close-up....am at a loss for ways to combat the media's standards of beauty. But seeing the curtains of digital magic pulled back to reveal reality can remind each of us to give ourselves a break when we look in the mirror.

After Ellen:

To say that magazines contribute to an unattainable ideal is to undersell the point: The art directors and retouchers of the world get paid to create women who literally do not exist and never could. It's worse than the old Women's Studies 101 complaints about Barbie's proportions; everyone already knows Barbie isn't real. The more insidious — and therefore more dangerous — manipulation occurs when they take away the natural crook of a woman's arm or tighten up her droopy earlobe. Really: They digitally adjusted her earlobe!...And to add verbal insult to visual injury, the cover line next to Faith Hill's head screams, "The New Skinny Pills: Yes, They Work!" To my knowledge, science has not yet yielded a pill that can create a 1-inch elbow.

<a href="http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/07/19/whats_with_skinny_arms_faith_hi

ll_and_redbook.php">Diet Blog:

Have Redbook gone a bit too far with this one? Jezebel have a wizzy animated picture so you can see all the details. So what's with the arms? Seriously? Is this what Redbook readers must aspire to? Bone replacement anyone?

Blog Fabulous:

Why Don't Women Feel Beautiful? Jezebel.com has uncovered the Photoshopping of Faith Hill committed by Redbook Magazine. It should make every woman mad....No wonder regular women feel bad about themselves - none of us walks around with a photoshop editor fixing our acne and wrinkles or making our actual back disappear - yet, we are told we can expect to look like this picture. NO ONE LOOKS LIKE THIS PICTURE - not even Faith Hill and it's a picture of Faith Hill!

AOL Journals:

Basically, Redbook has taken a majorly attractive 39-year-old woman and digitally airbrushed her back into some indetermine 20-something age, erasing eye wrinkles, thinning out arms and straightening out her back. The end result looks great; it's just doesn't look like what Faith Hill actually looks like. What should be done about stuff like this? Not much, I suppose; I don't see how, say, outlawing the Photoshopping of celebrity covers on women's magazines would much of anything useful, even if it were constitutionally possible, which it isn't. But what I think that such extensive Photoshopping indicates is a tacit admission by women's magazines that the image they're trying to promote — that they're trying to get their readers to buy and live — is absolutely unobtainable.

Mama Vision:

Faith Hill is a beautiful, tall, elegant woman, but even she needed to have her imperfections airbrushed out in order to be beautiful enough to grace the cover of Redbook....Why the facade? Why do we accept this? Why do continue you believe this to be true?...It's all part of the game, and they gotcha. I guarantee you will walk past a newstand in the next 24 hours, compare yourself to the covermodel, and think about what you can do to measure up. The fashion industry is demented. From today forward, they can kiss my ass.

Yeah, ours too!

Earlier: <a href="http://jezebel.com/gossip/photoshop-of-horrors/heres-our-winner-redbook-shatters-our-faith-in-well-not-publishing-but-maybe-god-278919.php

">Here's Our Winner! Redbook Shatters Our Faith In, Well, Maybe Not Publishing But God

Faith Hill's Photoshop Chop: Why We're Pissed