barbie always looks photoshopped

Photoshop hack jobs and retouching disasters are among our favorite topics here at The Gloss. But maybe it’s time we all had a little bit of compassion and stopped complaining when magazines completely change women’s faces or erase the parts of their bodies that hold their vital organs. One professional photoshopper claims that “the general public knows very little about retouching,” and that the artists behind magazine photos “often make [women] bigger!” She’s also probably full of crap.

In a long-winded, delusional interview with the Huffington PostCarrie Beene talks about her experiences retouching big-name celebs like Queen Latifah, Liza Minnelli, and Catherine Zeta Jones. Beene strongly disagrees with proposed laws that seek to regulate how much retouching can be done to an advertisement, saying, “How dare anybody tell us what we can and can’t do to an image! That’s censure.” She adds,

This is our artwork and we are in the business of making beautiful images and that has much less to do with making the girls skinny than it does with composing pieces of an image together and manipulating color to give a certain feel. And by the way, I often make the girls look a little fatter rather than skinnier.

Yeah, it’s the “certain feel” part that bothers us. Look, we’re not arguing that we should altogether abolish the practice of digitally editing photos. We’re just asking that models remain the same race and not have their femurs shaved down. Also, if you’re trying to win over the people who judge your profession, maybe work on your wording a bit. We’re not saying you’re lying about making people “a little fatter,” we’re just saying you kind of sound like a jerk.

Our own Joanna accurately describes the way Beene comes across in this interview: “She takes herself so seriously, like a surgeon with a god complex, but instead of saving lives, she’s retouching pictures.”

I really do believe Beene when she says that retouching is a complicated process that the average Jane couldn’t just pick up in an afternoon. We’re not trying to belittle what she does. But, like, when your job has obviously contributed to a culture in which young girls have horrible self-esteem and even models hate their own bodies, you should maybe own up to it a little bit. Even if the people doing the photoshopping are just taking orders and aren’t personally responsible for the decisions that make magazine bodies unrealistic and unattainable, this is still a really flawed industry. It’s unfair to the women consuming these images to discount their criticisms.

Also, I’ll start believing that women are made “fatter” in retouched photos when magazine covers stop turning curvier actresses into Stick Stickly.


Via HuffPo / Photos: Mattel, Nickelodeon