It’s Ridiculous That V Magazine Photoshopped Ribs Onto Lady Gaga To Make Her Look Skinnier (NSFW)

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An unedited photo has leaked from a 2009 V Magazine shoot featuring Lady Gaga, and it’s pretty disconcerting when placed next to the final product. Despite the fact that we obviously know that Photoshopping happens all the damn time, it’s always unnerving to see exactly what arbiters of beauty deem worthy. What’s worse is that Gaga is being painted as some sort of fallen body positivity heroine, over a years old, Mario Testino-shot photo spread which she had no part in airbrushing.

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The before and after photos are pretty run of the mill for the most part–it looks like they swapped out the face with one from another shot, made her tattoo brighter, smoothed out some skin tones, hid some nipple, and made her more orange and shiny. What’s bizarre is the added rib cage and dramatically slimmed down figure–she looked slender to me in the original picture. If that person isn’t thin enough to be deemed acceptable, then I just don’t know what.

What I find especially upsetting about this is that that it’s being reported alongside mention of Gaga’s own struggle with eating disorders, as if she had anything to do with the photoshopping that happened in this photo. As Celebuzz put it:

Lady Gaga is a huge supporter of promoting a positive body image after struggling against a 10-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. However, unedited photos from her 2009 Magazine photo shoot have surfaced and showed how her already-enviable curves were retouched to look slimmer.

It’s not relevant that Lady Gaga struggled with eating disorders. Some person who was not Lady Gaga cut her body up and drew on some ribs because he or she didn’t think she was skinny enough. This isn’t some big disappointment from someone who used to be a positive body image role model–it’s V Magazine and Testino who made those alterations. It’s absurd to even mention her health issues in this context, as if they make this worse, somehow. Or as if Gaga should be above having her photos edited, something over which she has no control.

The bottom line is that we have enough before-and-after example to add to the collection of highly edited visuals that we see on a daily basis, and confirmation of V Magazine‘s concept of beauty. It’s disturbing that they found Gaga’s body lacking, and unacceptable that this has been and will continue to be reported with mention of Gaga’s health struggles. It’s a different story and doesn’t have a place in this conversation.

Photo: Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

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    • Lindsey Conklin

      photoshopping RIBS? new low.

    • Samantha Escobar

      This makes me so sad. It’s like a reverse of the Karlie Kloss situation a few years ago when I magazine photoshopped out her ribcage.

    • dubious

      those arnt before and afters, you can see by her lips and and nip slip, and how her hand are around her navel that the shots are different. isnt it possible gaga sucked her stomach in more in the second photo?

      • Rhysknows

        Not by that much she cant. You can swap sections of photos with photoshop you know. You can do more to pictures with that stuff than you think. They are before and afters you can see the way they airbrushed her skin evening out the skin, blurring the textures and so on.

    • Sab

      Of course it matters to mention her eating disorder history. Not only are images, like this, disparaging to women everywhere! It has to impact the woman the pictures are if, she herself could be triggered by someone indicating that her healthy body “is not skinny enough.” The writer must be rather naive regarding these issues and their impact.

    • yup

      not the same picture. You can edit the contrast, the “nip slip” even swap the face.. bit her hand placement shows it’s not the same shot.

    • ÅNTØN¥

      the whole photoshoot was designed to be a gross inflation of hollywood beauty standards, hence the fake tan, bubble gum lips, and ridiculous lashes. Photoshopping ribs on, in line with the theme, makes sense for what the shoot is trying to convey.