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We all know digital retouching is common practice in advertising, but according to the industry insider the fashion and beauty industries are responsible for the worst of it, exposing a female audience to unrealistic images.
“With fashion work, I don't do a lot of distortion of women's bodies, which I think is terrible. I have been asked to slim down a waist or make the legs a little skinnier, but not anything too crazy,” says the industry insider.
“I think that overly retouched or distorted model is a horrible image to show young girls, especially in a publication like Teen Vogue, so I support [the campaign against it].”Related: Taylor Swift ad banned for Photoshop
Recently, a group of teens from the young feminist activist organization SPARK Summit staged a mock runway show outside the Teen Vogue’s offices in New York. The protest aimed to highlight the unrealistic beauty standards being published in the influential magazine.
“We have done our homework. That’s why we started this campaign, because three out of every four girls feel bad about themselves after reading a fashion magazine,” said SPARK member Emma Stydahar in a recent press release. “That’s not a statistic that the magazine industry should be proud of. It should change, and I know it will change if we continue demanding diverse, real images of beauty from Teen Vogue.”
Whilst fashion magazines seem to be the biggest target for outrage from the public over Photoshopped models, the anonymous retoucher says beauty campaigns are the worst perpetrators.
And what’s highest on the retouching list? Skin.
“We completely remove veins and freckles and moles and bags under the eyes all the time. We often remove body hair, subdue wrinkles, whiten teeth, pop the eyes… smooth kneecaps and veins in the hands and things like that — anything that's distracting that takes away from the product being featured.”
And those mascara ads? They’re the biggest lie of all.
“They wear false eyelashes, of course, in the photoshoot, and we completely draw the lashes in one by one so it's just like a forest of eyelashes… you can't achieve that.”Related: Model's hand disfigured in Photoshop disaster
But at the end of the day, the retoucher defends the industry, insisting everything we see in advertising is retouched, cars and other products included.
“I think the suggestion that images come with a disclaimer warning people they've been retouched is a little ridiculous. There's just no way an image would be released without any retouching at all so every single ad would have that disclaimer on it.”
In the closing of the interview, the anonymous retoucher finishes with this:
“I wish everybody knew everything was retouched. I wish young girls wouldn't look at things and say, wow, her skin is so perfect, there are no pores, no pimples, no freckles — I want my skin to be like that. It's not possible.”
Here are some far simpler ways to revitalise your skinFind more fashion news at Yahoo!7 Lifestyle's Facebook page