Fashion magazines are now airbrushing models to make them look… fatter?


Oh Kate Upton, what have you done?

While magazines have been pushing back on model and celebrity books for years, to the dismay of many, the latest trend in the editorial and advertising world is to digitally alter subjects to appear taller and curvier.

“I have to airbrush clients to make them look taller and more feminine before I submit photographs,” one top talent manager told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “Skinny doesn’t sell.”

Pick up the latest edition of Vogue featuring Lady Gaga on the cover and notice how tall and curvaceous she appears with a cinched waist and prominent bust and hips, a noticeable difference from the video of the backstage photo shoot that appears on the fashion magazine. website.

The magazine did not respond to a request for comment.

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Yes, full busts and buttocks are back, even if they don’t come naturally.

“Beyonce’s bootylicious-ness, the J-Lo and the Kim Kardashian effect is contagious, and Hollywood is running things more than the models these days. It’s definitely not about making me look skinny, it’s about is all about making me look sexy and curvy. And we’re also seeing a cleavage trend,” celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch explained. “(Airbrushing) happens in several other parts of the body as well. They want toned arms and fuller faces.

Model manager and publicist Nadja Atwal is very familiar with the growing practice of pre-print body plumping.

“These poor girls (models) have been forced to lose the curves the general public wants to find a woman attractive,” she said. “So when you’re doing a sexier shoot with a skinnier girl, you basically have to add volume via touch-ups where there isn’t volume in reality.

Called ‘reverse retouching’, the practice was first scrutinized in 2010 when Jane Druker, editor of Healthy magazine in England, admitted the cover girl arrived at the shoot looking ‘really skinny and sick’ . But rather than being sent home and hiring another model, the publication opted instead to retouch the model to appear taller, in line with the publication’s commitment to “healthy” faces and figures. “.

The art director of health and fitness-focused SELF magazine also confessed that the models are retouched to look bigger and healthier, essentially simulating fitness. Additionally, former Cosmopolitan editor Leah Hardy admitted that during her reign at the magazine, volume was added to models during post-production, and even British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman , revealed that she often had to ask photographers to specifically make the models look not so skinny.

And magazines aren’t the only culprits. Movie marketers do it too. Tiny actress Keira Knightley dared to speak in disgust on posters for her movie ‘King Arthur’ after it was apparent that her bust had been digitally enhanced in a rather ‘big’ way.

“Publications will do whatever they think to sell something. If more curvy models are present, the models will be airbrushed to appear curvy,” noted body image expert Sarah Maria. “The fashion and entertainment industry is all about what sells, plain and simple.”

However, is adding weight at the click of a button, rather than subtracting it, really a step in the right direction in terms of promoting a healthy body image?

According to Jena la Flamme, founder of Pleasurable Weight Loss and an outspoken champion of healthy body image, this form of digital dishonesty is just as damaging as selective slimming.

“The practice of airbrushing models, whether to make them look bigger and bustier or smaller and leaner, is a poor reflection of the fashion industry. These techniques are about creating an illusion and distorting reality “, she explained. “It sets a bad example for women who look at these celebrities, because they are now vulnerable to comparing themselves to highly manipulated art photos, and not to a real photo of a real person. . Although the photos are not real, they have a real and tangible negative effect on women who, bombarded by these images, are made to feel that they do not meet beauty standards.

A fashion industry insider says the airbrush controversy is overblown and women in magazines have fuller figures because photo editors leave their computer tools alone. “(Magazines) don’t usually airbrush that much. It’s their natural figure,” the source said.

So real or digitized, the skinny is out and the curves are all the rage.

“It’s helpful that they airbrush pictures to look healthier, but why not just use healthier women and save yourself the hassle? Society is ready for change,” said the former model-turned-filmmaker Nicole Clark “I’m sure actresses and models would love to start eating healthier and feeling more energized.”

Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.


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