Magazine Editors "Consider" Discussing Airbrushing Guidelines

Illustration for article titled Magazine Editors Consider Discussing Airbrushing Guidelines

As previously reported, there's talk of banning magazines in the UK from digital photo enhancement. Meanwhile, The American Society of Magazine Editors is considering a "panel discussion" about retouching guidelines, reports Folio. Cindi Leive, ASME president and editor in chief of Glamour, says there will not be a ban. "Given the ubiquity of retouching technology these days—think of brides and their wedding photos—it seems unrealistic to forbid all digital manipulation of photos in any magazine." Wait, brides are doing it, so it's okay? Folio points out that Leive is no stranger to PhotoShop controversy. Still, she says, "Readers should never be misled about what they're looking at." And yet!

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From the Blender cover where Britney's head was attached, Frankenstein-style, onto another body, to poor Faith Hill — readers are misled. Constantly. Take the new Marie Claire: We all know that Tina Fey has a prominent scar. So why can we barely see it?

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As a reader pointed out, in this ad for Gossip Girl, Blake Lively's waist has been whittled down to the size of her neck. Screen shots from behind-the-scenes at the shoot prove how drastically she was chopped.

Some magazines in the UK claim that they're altering photographs to make models fatter. Well not fat, of course, just less emaciated. "It is now deemed just as negative to be too thin as too fat," says Belinda Coleman of retouching agency The Shoemakers Elves. "Every­one is scared of being highlighted as the magazine or label that promotes very thin girls, so they are being a lot more careful about the images they present." But this means that the model is still frightfully thin and getting paid. "Retouching skinny girls doesn't help anyone except advertisers, and least of all the models in question," writes Kate Finnigan, the style editor of Stella.

To be honest, when I think of a PhotoShop ban, what comes to mind is the scene in Batman where the news anchors can't use any makeup or cosmetics products because the Joker has tainted them all. The faces of the reporters are ashen, pale, craggy and uneven. It's shocking because we know what people on TV are supposed to look like: Smooth and perfect. Even if they're just reading the news. Magazines are the same; we're so used to the lies, the forgeries on the covers. How would we handle it if covers suddenly started revealing the truth? On the other hand, if magazines continue to lie and continue to have their lies exposed, are they fools for persisting? Are we fools for buying? Are the stars fools for aiding and abetting the lies?

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ASME Plans To Address Photoshopping [Foilio]

Now Fashion Mags Make Models 'Fatter' [Telegraph]

Airbrushing Fears Under The Carpet [Telegraph]

Related: Britney Spears Blender Magazine March 2008 Cover [PopCrunch]

Tina Fey - "Marie Claire" May 2008 [JustJared]

Earlier: America Ferrera's 'Glamour' Treatment, Revisited

Vogue Cover Girl Drew Barrymore Has Been Powerfully Photoshopped

The Five Great Lies Of Women's Magazines

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

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DISCUSSION

For the Glamour cover with America, I would've at first said that the dress is just cinched incredibly tight, but her arms resemble mine in the tenth grade (I was scrawny.)

What's sad is that either one or two issues after that, Glamour addressed the "retouching" rumors and declared them false. I mean, do they think ALL of their readers are blind?

Now, if I were on a magazine cover (yeah ... not happening ever), I wouldn't mind them airbrushing out any zits or embarrassing facial hair. But completely altering a person into a different size is total misrepresentation, and yet again whispers to the "normal" woman that she can never be good enough because the world isn't seen through a computer screen set on Photoshop.