The Evils Of Photoshop Laid Bare [Video]

Fashion photographers have always been guilty of applying a little too much airbrush in a bid to make their subjects look as flawless as possible (cosplayers can be even worse). However, you may be surprised by the level of digital manipulation involved in modern images. This astonishing time-lapse video reveals just how crazy Photoshop trickery has become.

The above video was produced by the non-profit crowdsourcing group Global Democracy to demonstrate the most common Photoshop techniques used in the fashion industry prior to the publication of an image. Everything from body weight to eye size has gone under the digital surgeon's knife. As you can see, her digital transformation is startling — not to mention unattainably perfect.

What was once a normal, healthy looking woman has been moulded into an ethereal vision of plastic Barbie Doll perfection. Is it any wonder that so many woman in the world develop body dysmorphia? The models they are striving to compete with aren't even real.

Perhaps I've been desensitised by the shiny CGI in video games, but the image on the right doesn't looks that bad to me. In real life it would be freakishly terrifying, but I'm just seeing a comely NPC I want to buy stuff from. Slap some blue on her and she could be from Mass Effect. This probably says something about the objectification of women in gaming. Or maybe I just play too many video games.

Global Democracy is pushing for mandatory disclaimers for digital manipulation in advertising. You can find out more at the GD website.


    It's no wonder people grow up with body image issues.

      Not enough that every image tells you that you're not perfect but when that's reinforced by pretty much every person you meet...

    I like how they do half of the work first with makeup before any photoshopping even starts.

    why did they show the part where they put makeup on her? the biggest change in her appearance is from no makeup -> makeup. the additional changes made with photoshop are not as drastic as the makeup job and its disingenuous to show before and after pics including the model without makeup. they're not saying that make up is bad are they?

    Last edited 17/12/13 11:34 pm

      Dude, they extended her legs... I think that's pretty drastic.

        Oh its hardly any different to extending the arms on a set of headphones!

        and yet they didn't bother to photoshop out her dirty feet. strange isn't it.

          Dirty feet are probably what they're going to make sexy next year


    Dove did this about 7 years ago, and did a better job I think.

    Dont get why people get so offended or shocked about this. Makeup and photo manipulation has and always will be used in entertainment industry.
    It was actually some poor bastards job to digitally remove acne marks in each frame on Daniel Radcliffes face for the Harry Potter films.
    Exercise, eat healthy and look after yourself = nice looking.

    Last edited 17/12/13 11:17 pm

      its just cool to hate the popular and perfect thing these days
      hipsters are running out of things to whinge about

      the next step from this is one of those "this is what a femnist looks like" campaigns

    ...did Chris Jager just see the latest South Park episode?

      Haha I was thinking that too! One thing that gets me is it's always the girls that seem to be that target with photoshopping. I'm sure that this happens with males as well.

      Last edited 18/12/13 12:35 am

    They were trying to prove a point and started with a rather unattractive woman so more photomanipulation was required to get her to fashion model shoot level, and in the end, they overdid it. Actual photomanipulators are much more subtle so you don't even suspect there was digital image alteration.

      Actually I thought the model was pretty good-looking to begin with :-)

      lol, harsh man. You'd be suprised how much difference a little (or a lot) of make-up can make. The model in this vid looked quite good (IMO) with the make up, but then the crazy leg stretching and boob erasing just made her look freaky. Obviously there are natural beauties out there, but even so, I've seen some decidedly not so subtle photomanipulation. When it's not required in the least.

    I wonder when they're going to realise that they don't have to pay models and can instead use a 3D model instead? Maybe there are laws stating that they must use humans for certain advertisements, though I wouldn't be surprised if the lawmakers haven't caught up to this century yet.

    So.... Photoshop is a game?

    Not sure of how this is relevant to video games. I get it, Kotaku, you're an ally of feminists. I get it. But if this story is relevant to video games, I can't see it. You've reached pretty far on this one.

    Watch South Park = Work done for the week.

      Which episode are you guys referring to? I feel like I've missed one... or just forgotten what happened lol..

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now