The other day, when there emerged another photo-illustration of Demi Moore, smoothed and tightened beyond the point of recognizable humanity, we wondered when it was the Photoshop-embattled actress would release a "before" picture. Turns out, there kind of is one.
It was right under our noses — or, rather, on Ashton Kutcher's Twitter feed.
A tipster alerted us to the fact that on March 4 of last year, the actress's husband uploaded this slightly blurry picture of Moore reclining in a near-identical pose to the eventual ad.
Let's examine them side-by-side, shall we?
We're not out to play "gotcha" here — as far as we're concerned, the main thing this behind-the-scenes snapshot proves is that Demi Moore is a fucking gorgeous woman. But given the raft of manipulations her photograph underwent in the course of its transformation from something resembling the shot on the right to that creation on the left, it's clear that to the contemporary beauty industry, being gorgeous is not enough. Breasts need lifting, hair needs thickening and cloning, little bits of flesh around the shoulders and upper torso that might bulge out when lying down on a hard surface need siphoning off, cleavage needs enhancing, the little lines on palms and neck that show skin, you know, creases with movement — those need to be liquified away. And skin needs a plasticky airbrushing, a total post-production resurfacing, because anything on a billboard that had a visual artifact of the texture of a human being might...might what? Alienate the audience? The point isn't that Demi Moore looks bad because of this Photoshop. It's that Photoshop this thorough makes her look nothing like a human being.
We now live in a world that forces us to consider every image of a woman we encounter to have been extensively altered, unless and until proven otherwise. And yet, unretouched shots of models and actors are just a click away — whether they be paparazzi snaps or candids tweeted by a loved-one. In these circumstances, it only gets curiouser and curiouser that beauty companies insist on pursuing their relentless campaign of visual manipulation. We can disprove these fallacious accounts of the stars' appearances in seconds; why the pretense?
Ashton Kutcher's Photostream [Twitpic]