Loading...
The Daily Dose Blog The Daily Dose Blog Home

What People Really Think of Retouching

Glamour readers weigh in on airbrushing

By MSNLiving Feb 8, 2012 8:00PM
By Cindi Leive, editor-in-chief Glamour Magazine

Years ago, I was at lunch with a group of magazine editors-in-chief when the subject came up of French legislation proposing limits on retouching pictures in popular publications. “Well,” said one of my colleagues, laughing, “there goes my editor’s note photo.”

It was a joke, of course, but her point was this: Retouching does happen at magazines—and, in this era of digital photography, almost everywhere else in our world, from movie posters and CD covers to Facebook images and Match.com profiles. It’s nothing new (even Abraham Lincoln was once essentially photoshopped!), but with 70 iPhone apps out now allowing women to do it themselves, it’s newly ubiquitous—and controversial. So does retouching inspire unrealistic expectations? Or is it no big deal, like the digital version of a good concealer? In our March 2012 issue, we asked the experts. And by experts, I mean 1,000 women just like you.

Nicholas and Elizabeth, before retouching (Courtesy of Glamour)Real-life couple Nicholas and Elizabeth, pictured here in Miami, in an unretouched (and cute!) vacation shot.

Nicholas and Elizabeth, after retouching (Courtesy of Glamour)In common retouching procedures, one expert says, “women move toward Barbie, and guys toward G.I. Joe.” Elizabeth’s not into it: “I look scary here!” She’s right—this is taking it way too far.

You can read the complete results of the survey here—and they are fascinating. Bottom line: You’re OK with a little retouching. But not a lot. Sixty percent of you say it’s OK for a woman to retouch her own personal photos (now very common on dating sites and Facebook). But you’re skeptical when the media does it, unless it’s for minor stuff like getting rid of a pimple or “steaming” a wrinkled skirt. Three-quarters of women are fine with those kinds of changes (“you have to want to look like the people on the pages,” notes Jessie Wohlgemuth, 27, of Belmont, Massachusetts), but only one in four approve of altering what Mother Nature gave you: curves, birthmarks and other distinguishing characteristics. “I want to look like me on my best day,” said one typical respondent, “not change my body.”

What you do with your own personal Facebook and Match.com pictures is up to you, of course. But how should a magazine like Glamour handle retouching? In the March issue, we published the pledge below. And we plan on sticking to it:

Yes, we DO do it—and so do most fashion publications in the age of digital photography, since retouching includes everything from darkening a sky so a headline reads better to keeping models’ nipples from showing through a shirt (done in our March issue—twice!). But as your responses make clear, retouching has its limits—or should—and Glamour plans to take a stronger role in setting ours. You told us you don’t want little things like freckles and scars removed, and we agree; those are the kinds of details that make each woman on the planet unique and beautiful. And while our policy has always been not to alter a woman’s body shape, we’ll also be asking photographers we hire not to manipulate body size in the photos we commission, even if a celebrity or model requests a digital diet (alas, it happens). “I believe Glamour should take an active role in encouraging unretouched photos,” says Jessica Gordon, 29, of Los Angeles. “It has to start somewhere.”

What do you think of photo retouching? Has it gone too far, or is it to be expected? Tell us on Facebook.

More from Glamour:
14 Sexy Going Out Dresses You Can Wear When It's Cold Out
Cute Haircut Ideas for Midlength Hair

50 Things Men Are Afraid to Ask For But Want Super-Duper Badly

6Comments
Mar 22, 2012 4:04PM
avatar

We are far to concerned and consumed by our own vanity. Pretty sad. On re-touching photos .... I bet Ansel Adams is rolling in his grave.

Mar 22, 2012 3:21PM
avatar
Against photoshopping out flaws!  Love reality!  The value of a person is not in any outward appearance.  The more we buy into the concept that outward appearance increases value, the less we value character, honesty, integrity, work ethic, etc.  I personally don't care if celebrities are embarrassed that they don't look 22 years old when they're 40.  But I do care that impressionable people are made to feel ashamed if they don't emulate the celebrities.  Let's see reality, and value character and content over appearance.
Mar 22, 2012 2:27PM
avatar
I believe that photoshop are used just to bring the sales .
Mar 22, 2012 12:27PM
avatar
While Photoshop can be very useful - and is pretty easy for most people to use - the ALTERING of photos has been around for much of the past century, making it possible that NO photo is what it appears to show. This was extensively done in Stalin's USSR, where alterations to well-known photos were carried out to delete or add people in line with political shifts. For example, photos of Lenin during the revolution had images of Trotsky deleted [he fell afoul of Stalin] - and images of Stalin added [implying that he had been present with the leader of the Bolshevik revolution and founder of the USSR]. For much more on this, see the excellent book, :Making People Disappear."
Mar 22, 2012 11:09AM
avatar
 Lets be honest. Skilled photographers/artists can "create a lie" with the camera/brush/pencil through angles and lighting. However I wouldn't put it in the same field as Photo Shopping.

I honestly don't understand why companies pay millionsof dollars for models?  Get some bum off the street for pennies and Photo Shop them instead.

avatar
I'm into photography! It's not real, not the picture that was taken. No one nowadays can be real they have to keep messing with everything! I'm against it! It's fake and a fony. It's actually a lie! As with any photo that's been touched up in Photo Shop. It's one thing to crop, lighten or darken a bit but other than that, a lie.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

inspire: live a better life

  • 13 ways to improve your life this spring

    13 ways to improve your life this spring

    No one looks forward to washing windows or storing the ski gear or the other chores associated with spring-cleaning. But this annual ritual does not have to be a drag, if you approach it in a slightly different way. "You've been cooped up with this cave-like mentality all winter; now it's time to break free and play," says R.D. Chin, a feng shui architect and consultant in New York City. "It's time to follow the cycle of nature, get rid of the clutter, and free up your mind." Here's our idea of what a truly effective spring-cleaning can look like.

  •  David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images //  David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images ( David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Top Americans of all time named

    American presidents garner most votes over celebrities in a poll ranking the 100 most significant citizens.

  • The 10 coldest travel destinations on Earth

    The 10 coldest travel destinations on Earth

    Heading to a world-class beach town is always a safe bet for a great vacation, but if you want something that tests your limits, consider a more extreme spot. Here are 10 places around the world that require a winter coat year-round and offer spectacular glaciers, ice features, and the best snow anywhere.

  • 50 hidden gems in the US

    51 hidden gems in the US

    From the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. boasts world-famous national parks, historical sites and landmarks. Beyond the well-known locations, there's a wealth of undiscovered destinations stretching from coast to coast worth visiting. From scenic sand dunes to wild mountains, here's 51 places within America that you've probably never heard of.

  • Hudson Bay has old earth rocks

    10 interesting facts about the Earth

    How much do you really know about the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, April 22, we explore some interesting and fun facts about the fifth-largest planet of our solar system.

  • stress and happiness

    Beat stress and boost happiness

    Most of the stuff we worry about never happens.

  • How to end an email

    You've written an email, and need to wrap it up. You could end with a simple "Sincerely," tack on your name, and then shoot it out the door, proving definitively that you suck at communication.

  • Go where few have gone

    Craziest places to visit on the planet

    Here are nine of the most extreme trips on the planet -- and the outfitters that take adventurers over the edge and back again.

  • 10 serious adventures anyone can conquer

    10 serious adventures anyone can conquer

    A true challenge is within your reach. All it takes is a few months to get in shape and a few days off work.

  • How to set a world record

    How to set a world record

    Think you got what it takes to be included in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records? We consult one of the judges to help you on your quest.

  • User-friendly home automation

    8 ways to smarten up your home

    Just a few years ago, the term "home automation" meant a bunch of blinking lights and a headache. But thanks to simpler interfaces and the rise of smartphones, new tech can transform your house into a safer, more comfortable, less wasteful place.

  • The 13 most annoying people on the airplane

    The 13 most annoying people on the airplane

    If you're like most people, flying around in a big metal tube in the sky isn't your idea of a fun time. From the terrible food to the cramped space, flying can be a miserable experience. Don't make the flight even more soul-sucking by breaking airplane etiquette. We've compiled a list of the worst-inflight offenders. by Rebecca Pattee

Loading...
about rich maloof
Loading...
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
inspire videos
editor's picks
Loading...