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Photoshopping is nothing new in the entertainment and fashion industries, and magazines are some of the worst culprits. For decades, consumers have been led to believe that the bodies and faces on some of the most well-known magazines in the country were authentic and accurate representations of real life. Now, models, actors, and other celebrities are calling magazines out for their drastic photoshopping and unnecessary editing.
Whether it’s to smooth someone’s hair, lift someone’s boobs, or slim someone’s waist, photoshopping someone’s appearance is never OK. It perpetuates an unrealistic and often unattainable body image for fans. However, the times are slowly but surely changing, and more and more stars are speaking out against magazines for photoshopping and altering their appearances beyond recognition. See what these anti-photoshopping stars have said ahead.
Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes
In March, “Riverdale” actresses Lili Reinhart and Camila Mendes took to their Instagram stories to call out Cosmopolitan Philippines for drastically photoshopping their waists to make them look thinner. Reinhart was the first one to respond with a series of Instagram stories showing the pictures before and after they were photoshopped. The after pictures featured Reinhart and Mendes with smaller waists and larger busts. After revealing the before-and-after, Reinhart shamed Cosmopolitan Philippines for perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards.
“Camila and I have worked incredibly hard to feel confident and comfortable in the bodies that we have,” Reinhart wrote on Instagram. “So we cannot stop fighting. Our battle has only just begun. We are fucking powerful, beautiful and strong…We aren’t going to hide behind photoshop to conform to beauty standards,” Reinhart wrote.
She added, “It’s only encouraging an unrealistic body image. It’s adding to the problem. It’s an every day battle, sometimes. And to see our bodies become so distorted in the editing process is a perfect example of the obstacles we have yet to overcome.”
In 2016, Kerry Washington was disappointed to see her cover of Adweek, in which she barely recognized herself. Shortly after the cover’s release, the “Scandal” actress took to Instagram to call out Adweek for photoshopping her features. “It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling,” Washington wrote.
Though Washington has spoken highly of Adweek and even filters, she understood the impact of Photoshop’s effects on her young impressionable fans, which is why she criticized the magazine for altering her body and face and suggesting that what she looked like on the cover was what she looked like in real life. “Look, I’m no stranger to Photoshopping. It happens a lot. In a way, we have become a society of picture adjusters – who doesn’t love a filter?!?” Washington wrote. “And I don’t always take these adjustments to task, but I have had the opportunity to address the impact of my altered image in the past, and I think it’s a valuable conversation.
Zendaya is known as one of the most real, down-to-earth celebrities, so when she suspected that her thighs and hips were photoshopped to look smaller by Modeliste magazine, she promptly called the magazine out. In an Instagram in 2015, the former Disney Channel star exposed the dangers of Photoshop by posting a before-and-after picture of her photoshopped body. Zendaya’s response prompted Modeliste to pull the edited pictures and publish the originals.
“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it😍😘,” Zendaya wrote.
Lupita Nyong’o has been a longtime advocate for natural hair. So when she learned that Grazia magazine had edited out her kinks and curls to make her hair look more smooth, she knew she couldn’t let the photoshop be swept under the rug. The Oscar winner took to her Instagram to call out Grazia and explain that she was raised to believe that light skin and smooth, silky hair were standards of beauty. Nyong’o expressed her disappointment in the magazine for perpetuating the same message that she battled when she was younger. She ended her caption with the acronym and hashtag for “don’t touch my hair.”
“Being featured on the cover of a magazine fulfills me as it is an opportunity to show other dark, kinky-haired people, and particularly our children, that they are beautiful just the way they are. I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like. Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture,” Nyong’o wrote.
Emily Ratajkowski is never shy to show her body on Instagram, if it’s authentic. In 2017, the model and actress called out Madame Figaro magazine for photoshopping her lips and boobs. Ratajkowski posted a picture before and after Photoshop to show that the magazine lifted her boobs and shaped her lips on the cover. She called out the magazine for encouraging insecurities by editing her features in an unrealistic way.
“Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own ways. We all have insecurities about the things that make us different from a typical ideal of beauty. I, like so many of us, try every day to work past those insecurities,” she wrote. “I was extremely disappointed to see my lips and breasts altered in photoshop on this cover. I hope the fashion industry will finally learn to stop trying to stifle the things that make us unique and instead begin to celebrate individuality.”
Nicki Minaj is known for her no-holds-barred personality, so it comes as no surprise that she called out ESPN magazine for editing her face beyond recognition on its cover in 2014. After ESPN unveiled its cover featuring Minaj and Kobe Bryant, the rapper shamed the magazine for editing her face, namely her forehead, to look completely different than what she looks like in real life. “When retouching goes wrong,” she wrote.
Elizabeth Olsen might play a supernatural human in “The Avengers” franchise, but her physical features in the movie are 100-percent hers. Given that, Olsen was recently disappointed to see that her face on Empire magazine’s May 2018 cover looked nothing like her. In a now-deleted Instagram, the actress called out Empire for editing her face beyond recognition. “Does this look like me?” Olsen captioned a picture of the cover, which featured her with extra-sharp cheekbones and a slimmer nose.
Solange let Evening Standard know that she wasn’t happy with their decision to photoshop her braids and make her hair look smoother than it is. In October 2017, the singer took to her Instagram stories to call out the magazine for photoshopping out an Orion crown braid on top of her head. Solange posted three Instagram stories, one with Evening Standard‘s cover, which showed her braidless, and two of the magazine’s story, which featured her speaking highly of the significance of braids, especially that design. Solange also took to her Instagram to post the unedited picture, which showed the braid in place. She simply captioned it with “dtmh,” an acronym for “don’t touch my hair.”
Believing that her nose was photoshopped in a picture from her April 2014 Fashion magazine photoshoot, Lorde took to her Twitter to repost the image, pointing out that her nose in the photo doesn’t look like her nose in real life. The “Royals” singer praised the picture’s aesthetic, aside from the very obvious altering of her nose’s shape and size.
“apart from the fact that i’m pretty sure this magazine gave me a new nose (:|), i really like this photo,” she tweeted.