Did Vogue Photoshop Sugar From Dear Sugar?

Novelist Cheryl Strayed recently revealed that she's the heart-melting advice genius behind Dear Sugar, and she's also just come out with a book about her months-long solo hike up the West Coast. Vogue interviewed her for its March issue — and appears to have Photoshopped her beyond all recognition.

Did Vogue Photoshop Sugar From Dear Sugar?

The actual hike took place many years ago, but the Vogue photo (left) appears current (presumably Strayed didn't travel with a professional photographer). Compare it to this one. Or this. Strayed doesn't look much like herself in Vogue, but then, she doesn't really look like anyone. Her face is smooth and featureless, like a doll's.

I've asked photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank what kind of retouching she did on the photo and why it doesn't seem to look anything like its subject. There's a clue in the interview text, though. The subject of the Q&A is Wild, Strayed's book about her three-month, 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest trail. So to be clear, this was a long, arduous hike in which Strayed carried everything she needed on her back. Still, Vogue's Antonina Jedrzejczak asks, "what about your day-to-day fashion and beauty ritual?" Her "beauty ritual" turns out to have consisted of a shower "every few weeks" — but maybe Vogue wanted to make her look like somebody who stopped for a little Botox every now and then before continuing along the trail.

Walking the Walk: An Interview with Cheryl Strayed, Author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail [Vogue]