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Fashion magazines Photoshop problems continue

  • Published on October 27, 2015
Fashion magazines Photoshop problems continue

There has been yet another problem with a fashion magazines use of Photoshop this past week. Over-editing and excessive retouching are continuing to cause embarrassment and problems for magazine publishers. This week the fashion magazine Modeliste pulled an entire printed issue of the publication before it went into circulation after being publicly shamed for using highly-edited images of Zendaya, a model, actress and singer. This is a case of an editor doing everything we discourage in the Photoshop classes and retouching classes at American Graphics Institute.

While some singers and actresses are thought to Photoshop their own images before sharing them publicly, Zendaya is taking the opposite approach. In a post on Instagram, she argues against excessive retouching. She wrote “I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.” She goes on to thank the magazine for removing the excessively retouched images. The magazine released a separate statement indicating that an outside image editor had worked on the photos, and that they would instead post revised images.

It is easy to see why Zendaya was not happy with the retouching. In a poor use of Photoshop, the hips were over-sculpted and the legs were compressed to an unnaturally thin state. While she rightfully complained about the disfiguration, the color correction as equally as bad. The post-Photoshop images includes uneven coloring from one leg to the next, and across her head, neck, and chest as an effort was made to use Photoshop to create a plunging neck-line.

The images edited for Modeliste are a perfect example of what to not do in Photoshop, and serve as a warning for others involved in image editing roles. Keep your images looking natural and believable. Otherwise the attention is focused on the Photoshop work and not on the original intent of the photos.

Zendaya released the original image, shown on the right, and the Photoshopped image on the left side.

About the author

 is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices. Jennifer holds the CPUX-F credential from the UXQB.

Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern UX Design, and worked closely with the Microsoft Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including XD, Sketch, Balsamiq, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Blend for Visual Studio. She also works extensively in the fields of presentation design and visual design.