Photo editors around the world are often guilty of a few things. Making women too thin, airbrushing every line from someone’s face, and strangely enough, pretending women don’t have armpits. I get the purpose of the first two: we, as a society, have decided looking sickly thin is most attractive and we’re currently trying to claw our way out of it, but most magazines and ads have not caught up. I blame Facetune for perpetuating this bullsh*t and making everyone think it’s okay to erase out their rib cages, too. The wrinkle erasing makes sense too because we also, as a society, are anti-aging, which is why so many people of my mother’s generation can’t move their faces. Neither can the cast of Vanderpump Rules, just because they are so afraid of aging. But like, I understand what they’re trying to do with those types of edits. They’re attempting to make everyone look young and thin. But seriously, what is the deal with the armpits?
Selena Gomez, one of the most beautiful women ever, posted some pics from her new music video:
And uh, I can’t help but notice something’s missing? Why are her arms growing directly out of her boobs? She should probably have that looked at by a doctor? I’m not sure why we’re at this point in photo editing where BASIC 👏 ANATOMY👏 RULES 👏 no longer apply, but come on, everyone has armpits, even celebrities! It’s how your arms connect to the rest of your body!
And BTW, this is not a hair removal effect. If you shave, you’ll still have follicles and pores showing. If you wax or laser and no longer have hair in the follicle, you still have creases and pits because that is how your arm attaches to the rest of you. I did laser hair removal, and I assure you, it does not laser off the entire armpit. This edit just makes you wonder, if they’re going so far to erase out something as basic as armpits, what else did they edit?
The second photo in the carousel shows that she kind of has real person armpits, but it’s a weird angle:
So I did some detective work to show you that this is not a real thing. But guess what?
There was more of this sh*t! Does Selena ask them to remove her armpits in every photo or is this just so widespread literally everyone does it now?
This one is a little better;
I mean, there’s at least a crease but it’s still smoothed out like she’s a Barbie doll!
It took me digging until 2015 to find a photo with Selena’s actual armpits still intact.
And it still totally looks like she got laser hair removal, btw. I would know, I am also pale with dark hair and you can see your follicles under the skin unless you wax/laser. But here is your proof! Selena Gomez DOES in fact have armpits. Like a real person! Celebrities, they’re just like us!
Now, if only we knew why they are constantly airbrushed out for no apparent reason? Do you guys notice when you see things like this airbrushed on celebrities? Do you think it’s creepy or that it actually looks better? How do you feel about women not being allowed to have armpits anymore to be considered attractive? What’s the weirdest airbrush job you’ve seen? LMK!
Giphy: Instagram (@selenagomez); Giphy
Another day, another Kardashian/Jenner abusing the laws of physics. Seriously, guys, if you quit posting horrible edits, I might have to actually get a real job. Thanks for keeping my paychecks coming! Anyway, as we well know, basic laws of the universe just don’t apply to the Kar/Jenner Klan. Their asses warp walls, they make millions from posting about diarrhea tea, Kim even gets people out of jail now. Actually, that one makes me really like her, like good for you for using your powers for good for once instead of telling women they need appetite suppressing lollipops. But today, the Jenner girls are once again abusing all that is science. Nothing is sacred in this family, especially not anatomy.
Is this physics? Maybe it’s more biology? Don’t know, I was an art major. But, guys, I hate to have to tell you this, but Kendall and Kylie Jenner somehow got into some freak accident and have now become joined at the hip. Literally.
My first reaction upon seeing this: What the f*ck exactly am I even looking at? It’s basically a Jenner octopus—just like, limbs all over the place. A Jennerpus. Nope, sorry, that is definitely the inevitable sex tape one of them will release in the near future. It’s an OctoJenner. Our new favorite sea critter! Whatever you want to call it, it is weird, and it’s a super strange ad.
Like, what are they trying to sell us? Apparently the new fall collection for the Kendall and Kylie line? One, I did not know this was still a thing, does Pacsun still carry it? Does Pacsun still exist, actually? Do the youths shop there? Two, they’re not even wearing pants. Like, what are they selling? This is not an appropriate fall outfit, even in SoCal. Their fall line consists of sheer tops, animal print panties/bikini bottoms, and a single Minion-yellow sweater? And a cowboy hat? Really?
That aside, this is just the strangest photo ever. I would like to compliment that at least the girls have a normal width-to-thigh ratio instead of the toothpick Facetune work they’re so fond of, but the perspective is so badly warped that what we are looking at makes no sense. Kendall’s knee is bigger than her face. Her hand is also enormous due to the distortion. Who was like, “yes, the perfect shot”—to sell clothing, no less—”is to take the picture vagina first. Everything should be at vagina-eye level”? I mean. What?
And it’s not just the director of this photoshoot that done f*cked up. THE EDITING. Where to even begin with the editing? If someone handed me this photo to retouch, I’d just throw it away. It’s too weird to even try to fix. The first thing is that I’m not sure they were even photographed on this backdrop. Which is weird, because it’s a really plain, easy-to-shoot backdrop. But they look like they were cut out and pasted on it. The lines around them are blurred and smoothed and flat in places that don’t make sense. Kylie’s hair is blowing in the wind, but only on the bottom half? The top half has clearly been cut from another image. I’m not even convinced they were both in the original photo. It almost seems like they cut two separate photos of the girls in weird pretzel positions and spliced them together. Or maybe just swapped out the heads?
Like, look at this:
In drawing, this is a big no-no. You never want tangent lines because they look unrealistic and confusing. You’re telling me Kendall’s hat just happened to end at the same super-smooth angle of her hair? And then there are a couple random strands placed back in. What did they cut her out of? Why didn’t they just take the photo on the backdrop? Did they just swap her face from a different photo and do it very poorly? The world will never know.
But that’s not all!
This one is funny, because I have opposing feedback for this portion of the photo. One part is too much editing and the other part is not enough. The too much is… why is Kylie’s ass glowing? Yes, I realize she paid a lot for it, and asses are their brand, but like… they literally just backlit only her butt cheek? I don’t understand? The photo has been lit in front of them, that’s why we can see shadows behind them. #Science. So. There should a shadow behind her ass, not a new source of lighting? Once again, science does not apply to this family. Unless Kylie has her own butt light at photoshoots now, which I wouldn’t really put past her, tbh.
This almost never happens, but Kendall’s hand behind Kylie is where I would actually criticize not enough editing. This looks f*cking weird. It also distorts where they are in space to me—like again, were they photographed together? I usually hate when limbs are edited out because it often looks really horrible and like there is clearly an arm missing. But in this case, Kendall is hidden enough by Kylie that we didn’t need to see her single finger poking out of Kylie’s asshole to understand that her arm is back there somewhere. This should have been edited out, 100%. It just looks wrong.
But here’s my favorite part:
WHAT has happened here? Kylie’s knee is literally growing into Kendall’s arm. What could they possibly have meant to do to result in Kylie’s knee disintegrating and blurring into Kendall’s wrist? I don’t even have answers here, but it again leads me to believe they didn’t take the photo together and then the editor didn’t know how to make it look realistic that Kendall’s arm is over the leg, so they just sorta… smashed it all together. It looks like her knee is cartoon chewing gum.
IDK girls, maybe next time you try to sell us clothing, strongly consider wearing the clothing in a cute way so we can see what it looks like on. Instead of posing in bikini bottoms on top of each other but not actually in the same room as each other. But if you don’t, at least I have job security.
Is the worst Photoshop job you’ve seen in a while? Did you notice immediately what was wrong with the photo? Do you think posing as pretzels is a weird way to sell clothes, or that it’s weird to lay on top of your sister when you’re both only wearing thongs on bottom? LMK!
On a body-positive note, Kim Kardashian did a whole tutorial today about the extensive process she uses to make her boobs not sag in certain outfits. I actually really love this. Look, we all have boob sag, we all have issues with backless or super low-cut clothing. My advice is to say f*ck it and wear it anyway. Kim’s method looks like it hurts and takes up a lot of time. But if you’re going to do some trickery like taping your nipples and boobs together to make them look propped up, being open about it is pretty cool. You can do whatever you want with your body, but I feel like most of the toxicity comes from the idea that this is what women are supposed to look like naturally, and how you look is “wrong”, especially when coming from a public figure. At least talking openly about it—even if she’s only doing it to charge you a ton of money for literal tape—shows that all women have this problem and no one has perfect boobs. Good job, Kim!
Images: Instagram (@kendallandkylie), (@kimkardashian); Giphy (2)
Because I am supremely lazy, get department store-induced migraines, and am under the age of 35, most of my shopping takes place online. I’m currently in hot pursuit of a wedding guest dress that says, “This is a fancy designer, but it was on sale” so I headed to the one place for this kind of lewk, Revolve, and let me just say, I’m disappointed. Either they have an incredible model scouter that has somehow managed to find all alien-women crossovers who have four-foot long legs and normal-sized torsos, or the brand’s photo team retouches the sh*t out of the models’ bodies. I’m no Photoshop expert, so the fact that even I noticed something was wrong is a serious problem. From a consumer standpoint, I am not tempted to buy a dress that, according to the photo online, will only flatter someone who does not have a ribcage.
I absolutely stan brands that are proud to show their clothes, makeup, accessories, etc. on models who look like real people. Beyond just showing size diversity, I love a brand that chooses to not erase stuff like scars, freckles, cellulite and a bunch of other sh*t photo editors consider unsightly in a picture. Clap once if you’re more down to buy something if it’s shown on a model who looks like you…but, like, really pretty because they’re still models. Since major beauty and fashion brands don’t do this often enough, I want to commend a few who don’t retouch their models to the point where they are unrecognizable.
This list is in no particular order, except for this first item because Rihanna is obviously the most amazing fashion designer/beauty guru/musical genius/God that ever walked the Earth and deserves to be first in everything. Riri showcases overwhelmingly diverse gorgeousness from Paloma Elsesser to Camila Costa to Slick Woods. I mean, all I can say is hell f*cking yes! I already knew Ri is a boss who does whatever the f*ck she wants, but what made me feel like this article needed to be written was an ad for her jewelry featuring a very untouched Aweng Chuol. The South Sudanese model is the definition of glowing. Like, what highlighter is she using? She has a few subtle facial scars, but so does everyone! I have one from the chicken pox under one of my eyes and, guess what, no one cares. Scars aren’t offensive and shouldn’t be edited out of anything—especially a beauty shot, which is a term I learned from ANTM. Thank you, Tyra. At the end of the day, Rihanna has the right idea here: she designs her makeup, jewelry, and clothing lines for all women to wear and feel hot in. We applaud you, Rihanna!
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Proving that age is just a number, 55-year-old marathon runner, mother and cancer survivor, Ruby, shows us there are no limits to what you can achieve, at any age ??♀️ Encouraging women in all walks of life to live their lives to the fullest, she’s an inspiration to us all ? Ruby wants to see more athletes that look like her, who do you want to see? Just click the link in our bio to upload your photo to Project #ShowUs. @girlgaze ?: @debysucha ?? ?: @gettyimages #Dove #ShowUs #RealBeauty #Athletes #WomenWhoLookLikeMe #Mother #CancerSurvivor #Strength #StrongWomen #girlgaze #GettyImages
I obviously couldn’t write an article about brands that celebrate real people without mentioning the OG. Dove boarded the body positive train way back in 2004, you guys. “As a beauty brand, Dove has always celebrated real women and their beauty. We believe the Mark will help women identify reality in what can be a confusing, digital world and relieve some of the pressure to look a certain way,” Amy Stepanian, Dove’s Marketing Director said of the brand’s No Digital Distortion Mark campaign. It’d be cool if there was no need for a campaign like this, but we live in a superficial world run by superficial people, so we’ll have to take what we can get for now. To me, Dove is the epitome of realness and, although their ads can be a little aggressive with shoving their agenda down our eye sockets every chance they get, I love what the brand stands for. They’re like the opposite of Abercrombie’s former CEO, who didn’t believe that larger people are capable of being the “cool kids.” Gag. Correct me if I’m wrong, but any full-grown adult using the phrase “cool kids” in complete seriousness is still bitter about not being invited to parties in high school. Anyway, cheers to Dove for not being like this. Now everyone go buy some soap!
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TBH I haven’t stepped foot in American Eagle since 2007, but I have ordered a few Aerie bathing suits and pajama bottoms online. The only reason I did such a thing was because I could get a sense of how the pieces fit because they are shown on everyday body types. The only evidence of Photoshop may be adding a cloud or two to their beach pics, but it looks like the models bodies are left intact. The fact that there’s like a bikini body ideal out there in the first place is gross, and brands like Aerie are thankfully shutting it down. Like, want a bikini body? Put on a bikini. Boom, done.
Aerie has been promoting body positivity sans photo editing for a while now—since 2014, actually. Yes, their creative teams edit the photos to give them a more editorial look, but they generally leave the models alone. When the brand first stopped editing women’s bodies five years ago, Aerie’s sales skyrocketed almost 30%. Wait, so you’re saying clothing that real women buy sells better when shown on real women? Color me shooketh! Well done, Aerie. We need more brands like this to show us the way when it comes to knowing your audience.
As far as I’m concerned, ASOS can literally do no wrong at this point. I liked the brand before I learned about their editing policy, and now I am addicted. They stopped airbrushing back in 2017 with its ASOS Face + Body launch, which was a rebranding done right, if you ask me. In fact, if you’re a big ASOS fan, you know that they reject the word “beauty” because it’s too subjective and broad. Check out their IG for a refreshing celebration of their values, which we all need to adopt. I’m sure some of y’all are wondering why I chose the pic I did to represent the absence of Photoshop, as this model clearly never had an awkward phase and it shows. The reason I chose it because she’s clearly stunning and has gorgeous skin, but you can see her pores! Unlike most severe closeups beauty brands use to highlight whatever overpriced cream they’re trying to sell by trying to convince us that it erases pores, ASOS left this girl’s pores alone. And guess what? She’s still really f*cking pretty and I would gladly trade skin with her. Regardless of if you buy a beauty product or not, you should be happy to have the skin you’re in—even though it has pores. Everyone has them, people. Literally everyone. If you see someone who doesn’t have them, get them help ASAP because something is wrong.
Images: Matthew T Rader / Unsplash; asos_faceandbody, aerie, dove, awengchuol / Instagram