One of my favorite things on the internet is the frequent posts on Jezebel regarding magazine photoshopping. Imagine my delight upon discovering Photoshop Disasters, The Blog. Go on, spend 15 or 20 minutes browsing the archives there.
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One gem after another.

I cannot check out of a grocery store without doubling over in laughter at a magazine cover bearing a photo of Sandra Lee or (more frequently) Paula Deen. To say that they look like Barbie would be an insult to Barbie. To say that they look like porcelain dolls would invite lawsuits from the Franklin Mint. Seriously, look at this shit:

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH HER FACE. The eyes are a horror matched in intensity only by the teeth and lips. In comparison, Sandra Lee looks normal. Oh, wait. No she doesn't.

Although I enjoy Jezebel's continued coverage and commentary on this subject, I can't work up much rage over it because this crap looks so stupid to me. I am 100% certain that many magazine readers do not realize that these images are photoshopped but I cannot help my own reaction: "No one could possibly think this is real." It could not possibly look any more fake. It is just comical.

Promoting an unrealistic body image and beauty standard for female readers?
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Yes. Definitely. BUT JESUS JONES, LOOK AT HOW FAKE THAT LOOKS. Come on, people.

WHERE IS HER ASS? Look at the legs in relation to the body. I mean, this makes absolutely no spatial sense whatsoever. They have literally chopped her legs off at the hips and relocated them elsewhere in the photo. If not for this, the horrendous facial airbrushing would be more noticeable. They might as well have given her a third arm.

Oh, wait. They've already tried that one. Note to self – always photoshop an arm holding an ice cream cone into a picture of someone who is accused of being a fatty. Maybe next time Whitney Houston can have four arms, each cradling a White Castle Crave Case.

I know, I know. This should be a source of outrage and not entertainment for me. But it's too funny to be taken seriously on a regular basis (although the "anorexia photoshop" thing is patently offensive). As far as the media's pernicious habits go, I'd rather have one that makes me laugh than one that will give me horrifying nightmares.


25 thoughts on “NPF: PHOTOSHOP OF HORRORS”

  • That Holiday Baking cover — can't sleep, clown'll eat me! The cake looks surreal. Paula's eyes look like she bought them at a taxidermist's garage sale, and that held-for-seven-minutes-I-keel-you-now affect is a psych major's senior thesis at a glance. Paula's going to unhinge her jaw, eat the whole cake, and laugh as she eviscerates the photographer. These mags are really an untapped new genre for Fangoria.

    And while I give a better lecture on realistic body image than a lot of girls (sorry, we're women, we used to have a movement and everything) there is a part of me that loves the fashion Photoshopping. Models get to eat again! Magazines can erase, shave, smooth, condense, correct, elongate, and tint — hell, it's the witness protection program for thighs! Meatball subs all around, ladies; my treat.

  • "This should be a source of outrage and not entertainment for me."

    No, no, you got it right. Entertainment is the proper reaction.

  • I don't know who any oh these people are.

    2nd pic. Little ice cream emblem photoshopped in to disguise her coprophage (phagial? phaginal?) addiction. For you dummies: THAT'S NOT ICE CREAM!

  • I suppose there must be people who are upset about stuff like this. They need a fucking life. What I find more amazing is that someone must get paid to do this. They need a fucking job.

  • I watched Paula Deen's show a couple times and thought:

    "Allright Paula, we get it, you're from Georgia. Now could you please turn it down a notch? Nobody's THAT southern."

  • Photoshopping Paula Dean doesn't bug me so much. In fact, it is a lot like her food – totally fake and plastic. The way in which she's not only willing to product place in a recipe, but the way in which she simultaneously over-indulges the product placement item and wrecks a plausibly passable recipe by using processed crap instead of making something that takes maybe 30 seconds longer (or using a higher caliber ingredient) is astounding.

    Trust me, the reason she uses as much of the crap as she uses is to hide the fact that she's using crap. Who needs flavor when you're either overly assaulted by salt and or her preferred friend sugar?

    Yeah, Paula Dean being photoshopped is semi disturbing, but seriously, its about the only way that one could imagine that what she's doing is food to begin with. (Don't ever get me started on her chili recipies. A can of Cycle-4 Dog food is better and healthier for you.)

  • Seeing that magazine cover with Paula Deen startled me recently to the point that I nearly dropped my artichoke (not a euphemism). Putting that junk next to a checkout line is irresponsible. Also, Holiday Baking? In August (when I first saw it)? WTF?

  • Monkey Business says:

    @Major Kong: You have clearly never been to The South. And by The South, I'm not talking about Atlanta or some kind of urbanized Disney version. I'm talking Alabama and Mississippi, the kinds of places where Paula Deen comes across as being downright Yankee in comparison.

  • I actually work for a photographer, and occasionally do some portrait work on my own. It's very sad to me how much this kind of shit (things like the images you've posted) effects most people's ideals. You'll spend an hour (or longer) on a single image, and you'll tell yourself going into it that you will not remove anything permanent, just touch-up blemishes and remove trash from the background and what-have-you. But then you'll present your images to clients who proceed to SCREAM at you because you somehow neglected to follow their explicit instructions to make them look like someone else who is younger and more attractive. They will return things or refuse to pay for them until you've eliminated those unsightly lines on their necks, even after you've pointed out to them that you've been working on photos of babies for years, and even babies fresh out of the womb have neck-lines.

    There was this amazing older woman who came in once, and requested that I leave all of her lines and wrinkles alone. "I've earned them", she said. Of course, she wasn't from the US, and was a college professor and generally very intelligent, and as such seemed to have other things going for her than her appearance. I just wish that more people felt that way.

    More terror:

    I love that men get to keep more of their wrinkles because it makes them look more 'manly' or something.

  • Paul W. Luscher says:

    Well, that explains why so many of the women of those magazine covers look look like they're made out of plastic. Amazing how many of those crop-to9p babes have perfectly smooth and shiny torsos.Certainly explains why Angelina Jolie looks like a Perfectly Poreless fembot.

  • Sadly, lots of people DON'T realize those women in fashion and girlie magazines are photoshopped. Which is the only problem with it–people get unrealistic expectations of what the human body is supposed to look like. Can we talk about how all the kids these days shave their pubes?

    However, it has gotten out of control and it is to laugh to see the nonsense.

  • (This is an "I ain't reading all that shit" type post)

    I didn't know who Paula Deen was. I still don't really know. I do know I saw her on a cover much like the one posted above, might even have been the same one, I don't recall. I didn't think it looked photoshopped, I just thought it looked "OH GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING" sort of wrong. I read enough of the cover to figure out that the thing depicted was called Paula Deen.

    That name is now synonymous with "GET IT AWAY! GET IT AWAY! OH GOD MAKE IT GO AWAY" in my mind.

    I think I'll have another beer and try not to think of that name.

  • Paula Deen is almost a unique case. She may be the first human being to have successfully crossed the uncanny valley from the other side. Not only is there the macabre photoshopping on the magazines, her television appearances (in which, to be fair, she's at least recognizably of this species), there's still the dreadful got-work-done rictus smile at play, and the results of the spackling-knife-and-paint-roller school of foundation application.

    But the really funny part is how her schtick is to present herself as some homebody southern matron. If grandma looked like that, she didn't spend all her hours on her feet cooking.

  • Jezebel has been an excellent source of outrage, recriminations and happy, snappy snark.



    ps Swung by on a tip from John Cole. Nicely done!

  • @Ben If you really have watched Paula Deen, as you claim, you would know her preferred friend is not sugar, but about a pound of butter. Per serving.

    For shame, sir, misrepresenting yourself like that.

  • Every time I see a magazine display these days, at least half of them are so clumsily 'shopped, it's distracting. Most commonly, they put a model or celebrity's head on some other body (sometimes her own, sometimes not), and it's out of proportion, or she has no discernible neck, or one hand is extra-long and bendy, or you can't tell where her shoulders are because they've draped vast swirls of shiny cascading hair.

    I mean, I get the touch-ups of blemishes, shadows, stray hairs, weird lighting, or simply artistic effects. But jeez, it's like they use Colorforms to patch their cover models together, and they pay big bucks to do it, and why on earth would they settle for such shoddy work?

    There's other stuff that's just odd, and can't bode well for catalog models. I don't get that many catalogs any more, but I always get the low-budget lingerie catalogs, you know, with the Hanes for Her, and specials on Bali bras, Playtex, Maidenform. There's this one model I've seen in the catalogs for years. Years. I think she's pretty. But it's been years, and her face never changes. I suspect they've been using her archived head on other bodies. (They also forget the bellybuttons half the time, but one expects that in such catalogs.) And I wonder how she's paid. It can't be at the same rate as when you show up for an actual shoot.

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  • Good take on this horror of horrors. You ask a good question about people (readers) noticing these images look fake. Well, yes, some do. But think about it–many many young people, mostly women, have grown up surrounded by images of impossible bodies and impossible beauty (ahem). They are used to it–it seems real to them. How do you think they get sold so much crap that promises transformation? They think that with enough money and hard work they can be "perfect." It might be useful to mention that images of men are rarely photoshopped to the extent images of women are.

  • that's not funny.

    paula lives right down the street. i drive past her compound everytime i leave my compound.

    she's good for savannah. and heart disease. and her dentist. and a host of other entities, i'm sure.

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