Retouching in Magazines

Interesting NYTimes article on the ethical behavior of magazines in regards to retouching/photoshopping people, particularly celebrities in magazines.

The article says,“Fashion magazines are always about some element of fantasy,” said Cindi Leive, the editor of Glamour, “but what I’m hearing from readers lately is that in fashion, as in every other part of our lives right now, there is a hunger for authenticity. Artifice, in general, feels very five years ago.” “But technology has changed the scope of the debate, fueling a long-held criticism that magazines are promoting an unattainable standard of beauty.”

…“the big discussion in the fashion business has always been about should we retouch girls, should we create a portrait of a girl that is not achievable by a real girl.”

This opens up a bigger discussion on social standards of beauty and what is perpetuated by the American Corporate Machine that wants you to buy more products… but I won’t go there.

I photoshop/adjust a lot of my work.  I do my best to make only global edits, such as exposure or color cast.  Whenever possible, I try NOT to remove blemishes or “transform” the models body to be more appealing.  I find that even photojournalists, those who are supposed to capture reality as it is, even use Photoshop to some degree.  For example, if you ever go to Sports Illustrated’s website and look at some of their football game photos, you’ll see the faces, under the helmets, are dodged a little bit, to bring out their faces.  A poor example, I know, but still worth mentioning.


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