Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photo retouching in glamour magazines




Photo retouching makes it possible to beef up a guy's physique or give a woman a wasp waist. The resulting images of models in magazines present impossible ideals for people. (Image above from Glamour magazine)

The teen glamour magazine called Seventeen has made a pledge to its readers about how it will and won't digitally manipulate photos of young models.

The magazine responded to an online petition by 14-year-old Julia Bluhm, who observed that many girls in her ballet class complained that they were fat.

Seventeen's pledge to its readers says that it will never change a girl's body or face shape, and will change only incidental details, like "flyaway hair," a confusing background, or an out-of-place bra strap. They set up a special blog that takes readers behind the scenes at photo shoots and shows the images before and after retouching.

The magazine "Glamour" has also responded to criticism, polling its readers about what how much retouching is good, and they produced a video where women answer the question "What makes you feel good about your body?"












Seventeen's photo shoot blog
Seventeen's Pledge
New York Times article 


9 comments:

Sheryl Westleigh said...

I'm glad Seventeen is taking the petition seriously. It's one thing to clean up a photo a little and another to completely change the model into something they aren't.

Leaving aside how such images might affect young girls still forming their view of the world and themselves the resulting images are often flat and lacking personality or narrative. I know it's possible to manipulate photos and preserve or enhance those things, I've seen some amazing photo manipulations, but these magazines aren't going in that direction but only look to have the most "perfect" photos even if they are lifeless and distort already beautiful models into proportions that are impossible for anyone to have without missing ribs and internal organs.

amiroarrr said...

Thanks for posting this up, James! It's good to hear this happening.

Personally, i had worked in a photography studio. There were pictures i had to manipulate that goes against my beliefs. Most of the models were already pretty thin and to my horror, they would still want me to pinch a little here and there. Most womens' armpits/boobs/waists or mens' chests/arms/jawline and many other things are mostly retouched.

Had to leave after a few months working there, really didn't feel comfortable with distorting people's (esp. teens') idea of a good body.

aclassicallife said...

I think that Seventeen's pledge to not retouch will back fire. I feel it puts ADDED pressure on young girls and models. When photoshop is used, girls and models can reasonably say "Oh that's been photoshopped for the magazine photo, she doesn't REALLY look like that so I am okay not looking just like that". Whereas now, the models in Seventeen magazine still have a huge team behind each photo spending hours on hair, make-up, perfect lighting, expensive wardrobes, etc. that the average girl/model can never have in real life. So telling girls they can look that way NATURALLY with NO photoshop is way not true.

Also, how do we know they are being honest about the no photoshop thing? That could cause even more pressure if they are using photoshop and lying about it.

Just my two cents!

Amelia
www.aclassicallife.wordpress.com

Scorchfield said...

In background, disappear kiosc of Miami Beach lifeguard, we are in Pacific, in Bora-Bora!

Autumnforest said...

Honestly, I modeled and did pageants from 16 to 22. I didn't need touching up. It's the best time in a girl's life looks and body wise. It's the middle-aged actresses on magazine covers with no crinkles or undereye circles or crepy skin that do the worst for women's self images. Seventeen has a good idea, but they also aren't showing all kinds of teen girl's figures either.

Sheryl Westleigh said...

@Autumn Forest: I agree, I think a wider variety of body types and ethnicity is needed too. Glamour magazines show only a tiny sliver of how women look, tall, very thin, busty, and mostly white (leave out the busty bit if it's a fashion magazine like Vogue). Where are the short girls? Girls larger than a size 4? (nothing wrong with being thin but most girls are not a size 4 or smaller while most models are). I would love it if magazines would show that beauty exists outside the narrow range they portray now as it certainly does.

When I was going to life drawing group (just moved and haven't found a new one yet) I loved the wide range of body types the models had. It was a lot more interesting than to draw the same body type over and over and they were all beautiful from the young college girl to the 60-year-old grandmother.

Anonymous said...

aclassicallife, I don't know about you, but even if I don't trust people that much I'm willing to assume good faith.

Anonymous said...

"A few messy details - cleaned up. Her gorgeous smile - totally authentic!"

Well, except for all that makeup.

Jenifer Jeny said...

I anticipate a added array of physique types and ethnicity is bare too. Glamour magazines appearance alone a tiny sliver of how women look, tall, actual thin, busty, and mostly white (leave out the ample bit if it's a appearance annual like Vogue).


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