Admitting your flaws and putting them out to show the world is not what today's celebrities are known for. Unless of course you are Jamie Lee Curtis when she did a More magazine spread that showed her thighs in their true, unaltered form.
When every magazine ad or cover is showing you a full color glossy of a perfect, beautiful woman or man you start to question yourself and ask if you measure up. But, as we should know, all of these images are 'chopped and cropped', touched up or digitally manipulated.
Whether it is heavy airbrushing, zapping zits, brightening those baby blues, contouring or more aggressively removing some unwanted back fat and pushing the eyes two inches apart so that the face appears more doll like- it happens. Some editors even go the other way and make the image worse than it originally was.
Magazines that run these doctored shots believe it gives them an air of exclusivity or originality, but sometimes they are shown as the fakes they are and even the celebrities seem to be fighting back. We have some ads and covers that really push the pixels on a photo and others that do it with a more subtle approach.
Red Book – Faith Hill
We know what you're thinking. "Faith Hill, she is naturally beautiful, what could they possibly do to fix her up?" But it happened. If you can't easily notice the changes, look at the size and length of her left arm in the before picture, the cover photo makes it look freakishly thin. Also under the eyes is much lighter. Her little bit of back fat above the dress is gone and her neck is elongated above her upper back removing the hunch.
Gawkers Media Jezebel obtained this before photo from the shoot for the cover. So it goes to make a 'beautiful' point- that even naturally gorgeous women get touched up in a big way. Redbook shattered our 'Faith' on this one.
Dove – Artificial Beauty Time Lapse
To illustrate the staggering amount of retouching that goes into creating an ad, Dove produced this time-lapse video of a model being made up and then digitally touched up for their Dove Real Beauty Workshops for Girls. This workshop sums up all the reasons this type of manipulation is so wrong and harmful to our society.
CBS Watch! Magazine – Katie Couric
Forget what you know about Watergate, this one has been dubbed Weightgate! In May 2006 CBS News anchorette Katie Couric was being pre-promoted with the photo to the left. In September the same photo was used, but touched up considerably, in CBS's Watch! Magazine to promote her and she looks to have lost 20 pounds.
The magazine is distributed to CBS employees as well as on American Airlines flights with a circulation of about 400,000 copies. According to this Washington Post story, it was the fault of "an overzealous employee in its publicity department" who gave a digital nip and tuck to help improve Couric's physical appearance.
Redbook – Julia Roberts
On Redbook's July cover, Roberts' head comes from a paparazzi shot taken at the 2002 People's Choice awards. Her body, meanwhile, is from the Notting Hill movie premiere four years ago. Look at the dresses, look familiar?
Publisher Hearst admits its mistake: "In an effort to make a cover that would pop on the newsstand, we combined two different shots of Julia Roberts. We acknowledge that we may have gone too far and hope that Ms. Roberts will accept our apology."
Time – O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson appeared on the 1994 cover of Time magazine shortly after his arrest on murder charges. The original mug shot appeared on the cover of Newsweek. Time was subsequently accused of manipulating the photograph to make Simpson appear "darker" and "menacing."
TV Guide – Oprah Winfrey
The practice of digital manipulation for cover models and ads is certainly not a new trend. Back in 1989 Oprah's head was attached to Ann Margaret's body on a TV Guide cover.
This cover was created by splicing the head of Winfrey onto the body of actress Ann-Margret, taken from a 1979 publicity shot. The composite was created without permission of Winfrey or Ann-Margret, and was detected by Ann-Margret's fashion designer, who recognized the dress.
Star – Jennifer Aniston
OK, even accessories aren't safe these days! What happened to the sunglasses and the image on the book she is holding go?
Did the magazine want to play with our imaginations and have us think that she was preparing a manuscript or a juicy tell all on Brad?
Men's Fitness – Andy Roddick
Just when you thought it is just the women that get all the attention. Tennis superstar Andy Roddick supposedly stopped in his tracks when he saw this cover for Men's Fitness while walking in an airport.
Look at those arms! The guy is a professional athlete, he is already in super shape, but those arms are monstrous and extreme. Just goes to show that everything that is pushed in our face must be extra special or freakishly not like the person being depicted to give it that edge.
Redbook – Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer took offense when she found out she was on the cover of Redbook without her consent, and we don't blame her, it looks so fake! Jen boycotted the magazine after she said her head was placed on another woman’s body. Originally she declined a Redbook cover because of a commitment to Harper's Bazaar. Redbook informed Jennifer eight weeks before the cover hit that she'd be on it anyway.
A Redbook spokeswoman had this to say: "The only things that were altered in the cover photo were the color of her shirt and the length of her hair, very slightly, in order to reflect her current length."
Seventeen – Sarah Michelle Gellar
This one is less blatant but it still caused a stir for both parties. Sarah Michelle Gellar granted an interview but not a photo shoot, so following standard practice for the industry, the magazine purchased a retouched photo of her from a syndication house.
They changed the shirt color from black to purple and somehow made her left arm look weird and elongated. Gellar stated that she looked like a paper cut-out.
GQ – Kate Winslet
GQ's issue with Kate Winslet on the cover showed a Kate with very slim legs. Kate has been known to have publicly railed against Hollywood's obsession with skinniness and weight. Winslet said, "I was pretty proud of how my legs actually looked in the real picture, I have Polaroids from the shoot and I thought I looked fine."
The actress is not outraged, but says she spoke out because "it just was important to me to let people know that digital retouching happens all the time. It's probably happened to just about every other well-known actress on the face of the planet."
Newsweek – Martha Stewart
Newsweek's March 14 cover showed a photo of Martha Stewart coming out from behind a curtain. Stewart was due to be released from prison just a few days later.
The face was Martha's, but the body was an unnamed model. Inside the magazine Newsweek told its readers that the cover was a "photo illustration", also known as a "fake photo". A news release on the organization's web site calls the cover a "major ethical breach."