In a recent interview with an anonymous veteran of the retouching industry as part of their intriguing “Career Confidential” series, Buzzfeed Shift found out the brass tacks on what we all already knew but were to afraid to proclaim: All photos in magazines are Photoshopped. Every last one. Even if someone says they’re not altering the photo’s authenticity, they’re still smoothing out imperfections and making things appear more pleasing. I don’t find this appalling, or even surprising, but it turns out that’s not the worst of it.
According to the interview, the most shameless use of retouching — if you could even call it that — is the outright fabrication of the details in beauty ads.
I do work on a lot of cosmetics images, too, and the mascara ads are just ridiculous. They wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photoshoot, and we completely draw the lashes in one by one so it’s just like a forest of eyelashes. That’s like the biggest lie of all — you can’t achieve that.
said the anonymous contributor, who seemed cavalier about revealing the secrets behind the ads. And I don’t blame him or her — it’s an industry all its own. I think we’re so used to it, I don’t know about you, but I take any makeup ad with a grain of salt. And hair ads! I did hair for 8 years, I know how hard hair is to photograph. I don’t blame them for ‘shopping in some shine. And, in defense of the industry, the interview uncovers that the actual shape of models’ bodies isn’t altered that much. They’re “genetically blessed” and “chose their job and succeed in it for a reason,” says the contributor. But, they report, all skin imperfections are taken out, which kind of makes sense.
We completely remove veins and freckles and moles and bags under the eyes all the time. We often remove body hair, subdue wrinkles, whiten teeth, pop the eyes. We also smooth kneecaps and veins in the hands and things like that — anything that’s distracting that takes away from the product being featured.
The interviewed seems to take no side in the issue, but is simply clear that things aren’t just ‘shopped to distort our worldview — the smoothing serves the purpose of conciseness and pleasingness to our eyes, and to helps to sell a product seamlessly. So while we’re quick to get up in arms about too many nips and tucks for the sake of a lithe photo shoot, not all Photoshopping is in itself evil. I know I wouldn’t agree to have my picture taken and published without a little help in the skin-smoothing area. Celebrities and models, despite their best efforts, aren’t perfect either.
Check out the full interview at Buzzfeed.
Lovelies, do you find this news at all surprising?