I'd make a joke about babies' chubby legs, except that they're actually airbrushing out those unsightly creases. The weird part is, people are surprised:
When the UK's Practical Parenting and Pregnancy admitted it retouched babies to "put them across in the best light," people were shocked. According to the Telegraph, the magazine's editor admitted that in the case of one baby, "We lightened his eyes and his general skin tone, smoothed out any blotches and the creases on his arms...But we want it to look natural." She elaborated,
"Babies are not like adults you can't stop them from dribbling, so you might remove that bit of dribble from the chin. Or if the baby has just been crying, and their eyes are red, we might lighten the eyes. Or if they have just woken up because they have had a nap on the way in and we photograph them, we might remove a little bit of sleep. It is just those kind of things, very little really."
Well, sure, no one particularly wants to look at spit-up and full diapers. And it's a professional photo: we assume there will be color correction and art-direction rather than home-snapshot realism. Critics worry that it's things like those "creases" - which the editor in question says she "can't comment" upon - that will make parents more critical.
Belinda Coleman, of the retouching agency The Shoemakers Elves, said: "It is terrible and shocking if it has got to the stage where babies folds of fat are being got rid of. This sounds like very dangerous territory. You will have parents thinking, my baby isn't attractive enough, how do I make my baby more attractive?"
Frankly, any parent who's going to be that influenced by a missing crease on a baby's leg, probably has other issues. And as these things go, a baby's less likely to have his self-esteemed damaged by a little retouching than a model of any other age. My initial thought, when I read the quote "very occasionally we might alter the flesh tone of a child if they look a bit anaemic" was, better on the screen than caking the infant's face with Urban Decay or Touche Eclat. Various British politicians have pronounced the admissions "shocking" - which we get, because before reading that confirmation, the words "baby modeling" looked so wholesome!
Baby Images Airbrushed By Magazines To Make Them More Perfect [Telegraph]