Oh do you remember when Shape magazine claimed none of their cover models are airbrushed? Editor-in-chief Valerie Latona responded to accusations of photo fakery in her monthly letter from the editor in the March edition saying she “emphatically and truthfully” promises that “we do not alter stars’ bodies.” Latona says her magazine “features ladies who are healthy role models and aims to give credit to women – celebs or real-world folks – for the dedication, hard work and sweat they put into their physiques.” Never before had a US ladymag come right out and swore on a stack of Conde Nast shiny bibles that they do not, as a policy, airbrush their covergirls – girls that have included the impossibly beautiful Faith Hill, Angie Harmon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and others. Apparently the emphasis really is on the impossible and not the beautiful.
There was a slight furor when Angie Harmon, November 2007’s covergirl, mentioned offhand that photographers always edit out her c-section scar. Most of us, while we didn’t really understand why one would ever wear a bikini bottom cut low enough to show a c-section scar, could at least understand photoshopping out the occasional zit or scar.
And then along came Jenny McCarthy, this month’s covergirl, who posed – how else? – in a bikini standing thigh deep in water. In an interview about the photoshoot, Mcarthy says:
“It’s eating healthy and also a crap load of airbrushing… I keep myself in very good shape… but it is definitely a little touched up.
“I have freckles… and stretchmarks that you do not see here, and they add a little shadowing to make these muscle things happen that don’t exist on my body.”
So now it’s not just about taking out minor skin imperfections or fixing lighting issues, but a fitness magazine is airbrushing in muscles. I guess that’s the real secret to “Get flat abs fast!!” No cardio, no weights, just good old fashioned trickery. The sad part to this story is that Shape magazine had a really unique opportunity to make good on their word. Sure, nobody believed them at the time but if Latona had expressed a desire to change her mag for the better, rather than just lying outright, I think she could have had a really positive impact on the industry. Instead, she’s just a liar.
PS> While I’m complaining, it really bugs me that their cover story on McCarthy is “I used to weigh 200 pounds!” She did, but only right after giving birth to son Evan… who is now 6 years old. Is this really still news?
UPDATE: Self magazine has issued a rebuttal saying that they did not photoshop Jenny McCarthy. Jezebel has the full press release and the pictures for you to compare.