Retouching: Miraculous or Disastrous?

Today I saw a lot of Twitter buzz regarding the art of Photoshopping.  This comes just a couple of days after Victoria’s Secret put a rather poorly edited image on their Facebook page, leading to a tremendous amount of rage and frustration from the Facebook followers.  I couldn’t believe the image when it popped up on it first popped up on my news feed!  The women in the middle image looks unbelievably fake.  Her legs are bowed and her rear end is almost gone!  (as pictured below)

This photo belongs to Victoria's Secret
See anything “off” about the center image?

(All rights to this photo belong to Victoria’s Secret)

I mean no disrespect to those who work for Victoria’s Secret, but this image brought up a few questions for me.

1) How could anyone behind the scenes have found this “body” to be attractive?

2) How did anyone allow this image to get posted?

3) Victoria’s Secret is such a huge company….how is it that they can’t find someone who has the capability to retouch without it LOOKING so unbelievably retouched?

The biggest question of all: How far is too far?  If you read the thousands of comments left on that particular image, many people are upset by the amount of editing that goes into these photos.  Can we blame them?  It is sad to think that women can’t be depicted with their “normal” body types.  Frankly, it sets a terrible example for young women who look up to those they see in the media.

Personally, I think the editing needs to be limited, however, it also depends on the editor/photographer and what it is that they are going for.  There is creative editing and there is retouching.  I don’t have a problem with either one of these, as I practice them both in my own work.  However, there is a fine line between retouching and virtual plastic surgery.  One of my pet peeves is seeing overly edited images where the skin looks like plastic.  It seems more often than not, the amazing capabilities of Photoshop are abused, causing nothing but editing disasters.

What do you think? How much editing is too much editing?


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My name is Jennifer and I am an artist/photographer/designer/traveler.

2 thoughts on “Retouching: Miraculous or Disastrous?

  1. I don’t know Jen…I think that sometimes a pic which shows natural imperfections is preferable to an unnatural perfect look!!

    Does NASA “Photoshop” their Hubble Telescope Pics??

    Just The Facts Miss!!


    1. I agree Bob! A lot of people take editing WAY too far and it just doesn’t look right. I think some minor editing to take away any very distracting elements is better than the “I am heavy handed on Photoshop” look.


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