International fashion magazine Numero has come under fire for editing a spread involving Karlie Kloss a little bit differently than what we’re used to hearing about. Rather than removing wrinkles to the point of inhumanly smooth skin or chopping off so much fat, the model looks like she can’t properly stand, Numero instead chose to add weight to Kloss’ extremely thin frame by editing out her quite prominent ribs. I’m sure this is not the first time this has happened, but given that it’s a high-profile supermodel and the results are striking compared to the original, it’s gathered a lot of attention today.
I’m quite torn on this one, Lovelies. Also, while the photo is censored, it is definitely NSFW.
The photographer, Greg Kadal, released some of the photos from the upcoming spread yesterday, but was upset when he realized that the photos he had taken were altered by the magazine. “It was Greg’s desire to represent Karlie as she naturally is … slender, athletic and beautiful,” reads a statement. “That is why he released the images as he intended them to be seen by the public. He is shocked and dismayed that unbeknownst to him, Numéro took it upon themselves to airbrush over his original images.
Okay, on the one hand, I want to say that it’s not a terrible thing. Women are shown images of extreme thinness constantly in the media, particularly the fashion industry. So while Kloss’ body is still exceptionally waif, by airbrushing out her rib cage, it lessens the appearance of being underweight. There’s anything wrong with being naturally underweight (my own brother is 6’2″ and naturally about 155), but it’s widely known that dispersing images of very thin models affects young girls’ and boys’ perceptions of themselves, leading them to associate beauty, fame, success and wealth with being skinny, which (A) is not a prerequisite to being successful, (B) ends up making the cycle go around and around and (C) can lead to dangerous eating disorders and dieting patterns. So, a part of me wants to believe that this is an okay step; after all, the “before” image is rather shocking and could be seen as glamorizing a potentially dangerous level of thinness.
On the other hand, I’m against the overuse of Photoshop in general. While I do feel that extreme thinness in the fashion industry can be detrimental to those who see and aspire toward it, I also feel like it’s bizarre to have those standards set, then override them using airbrushing. Of course, one magazine doesn’t necessarily represent the entire industry, but nevertheless, it is unique compared to most airbrushing we see. Yet it’s still her body being altered immensely by a tool, so it’s not actually that different in theory.
I want to be optimistic and say that perhaps, this is an indication that more magazines will slow down on visibly reducing the appearance of weight on every actress, performer, model and anyone else in their pages, which could lead to a lot more body acceptance and variety in those magazines. Sure, there can still be thin models, but having more body types recognized and represented would also be wonderful and extremely refreshing. However, I feel jaded enough toward the fashion industry to feel as though this was either a publicity stunt to gain more attention or it’s just a sort of depressing occurrence.
A few more shots from the shoot are below, check ‘em out and see how you feel.
Lovelies, what do you think about this particular case of Photoshop? Is it more responsible, more insulting or anything in between (or outside!) of those categories?