To Photoshop or Not to Photoshop


Retouching has grown into a heated issue as Jessica Simpson, Kim Kardashian and Joy Bryant join the growing list of beauties who have posed in magazines without the aid of Photoshop. Last year, French Elle made waves in the fashion industry with unretouched covers featuring makeup-less stars like Monica Bellucci, Eva Herzigova and Sophie Marceau. In an unexpected move,  Britney Spears released both the original images and the final retouched images from her recent Candie’s ad. Spears hoped releasing both images would highlight the pressures on women to be perfect.

Recently, U.K. department store Debenhams announced in June that it will no longer retouch models in campaign images and catalogs. The latest ad shows a set of images that disclose the controversial Photoshop tricks of the trade.

Retouching has become such an issue that even governments are getting involved. Last September, French lawmakers proposed a law that would require Photoshopped images to be visibly labeled. And the British government recently announced their intent to pressure the fashion industry to reduce or eliminate airbrushing in magazines and advertisements. Has the quest for beauty reached its limits?

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.