What is the deal with photoshop? (Yes, you definitely should have read that in Jerry Seinfeld’s voice.) I don’t know what’s happened lately, but the retouching has gotten so out of hand that it seems pointless to even have anybody pose for the pictures. They might as well just be created entirely with a computer. Take, for instance, the newly leaked photos from Lady Gaga’s Versace ad campaign. They appear to be unretouched, and when you compare them to the final ad, things definitely look different.
One of the photos, via Gaga Fresh Online, appears above. For comparison, one of the final ads is below. Jezebel suggests the color has been corrected and the contrast increased. Her makeup also appears exaggerated, bruises on her knees removed, and her arms slimmed.
I don’t think Gaga looks bad in the unretouched version, but it’s jarring to see that she has such washed-out makeup. A few Jezebel commenters suggest that she was given that look to make it easier to add makeup digitally afterward. And when you compare it to what we’re used to seeing in magazines, and especially when you compare it to the post-Photoshop result, it’s downright shocking. The fact that Gaga often wears so much makeup and costume and here appears so natural also contributes to that.
Have we really gotten to the point as a society where we can’t look at the image of a realistic human person anymore in order to be convinced to buy a handbag? I’m not saying photos need to remain completely unretouched in every campaign or spread, but when it looks like the original is just a placeholder for the overdone after photo, I think things have gone a little too far.
Lady Gaga has spoken out against Photoshop before, so I’m not sure how she feels about what’s been done to her image, but I’m personally ready for this trend to stop.
(Images: Gaga Fresh Online and Versace via Jezebel)