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Celebrities before and after Photoshop: what are they hiding?

July 23, 2018 at 11:58:55 AM GMT+3


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Nowadays a lot of people accuse the celebrities in excessive use of Photoshop. We often can hear: “It’s they who are the reason for the inferiority complexes of many people. It's because of them many girls torment themselves with useless diets, work hard until they drop in the gym and spend a lot of money for the beautician. And anyway (anyway, damn it!), they cannot achieve the same ideal appearance as the celebrities on the pages of magazines. While some 47-year-old Hollywood celebrity boasts of perfectly clean skin and slender legs, her 20-year-old fan looks with horror in the mirror all her wrinkles, pimples and too large (in her opinion) hips.”

But after all "the factory of stars" is a continuous deceit. The difference between the truth and what is being presented to you in the mass media is huge. By the way, how is Madonna doing?

01.jpgOn the right hand side is what you see on the Internet and in magazines; this is the reason for women’s complexes. Left image is the original. That's what a pop singer looks like in life, celebrity before retouching (or rather, she looks after the professional work of a make-up artist).

What happened? Yes, you know the answer yourself. The photo was retouched by professionals using special software (Photoshop). That's the whole secret of an ideal figure, smooth skin and "eternal youth."

The rules of the game are strict. All the celebrities’ photos are retouched; even if she is 20 years old, and she has beautiful appearance. Unfortunately even the “celebrity without photo editing” campaigns are also largely hypocritical. After all, the celebrities are the same people as we are, and they also are horrified by their reflection in the mirror after a stormy party in the evening.

But let's figure out why the celebrities use the services of the retouchers. Let’s imagine what will happen if we refuse to process the photo. Also we will try to convince you that retouching is not a bad thing - the main thing is to know the measure.

Stars without Photoshop - how realistic the photos are?

After the celebrities before and after Photoshop images appeared on the Internet, when people became aware of the difference between real appearance and faces on the covers, campaigns against photo retouching started. In general, advertisers who use the image of stars to promote goods tend to do this. For example, a well-known fashion brand posted a photo of Lady Gaga without processing:

But what do we see here? At a minimum, the base retouching was made (color correction, contrast adjustment). Also work of a professional make-up artist is notable. Of course, after deep processing, the result would be even better, but even without it everything looks good enough. And still the light is well exposed here; the pose of the model hides the possible shortcomings of the figure. In general, the photographer worked well on the composition, which allowed refusing deep processing with changing the pixels.

In general, the truth is too far - it is hidden behind the cosmetics.

Why are stars so afraid of their "real" photos? Celebrities without photo editing.

It is easy to refuse a deep retouching when you work with professional models. A perfect figure and even, healthy skin are part of their professional duties, as well as the ability to take advantageous poses in front of the camera. Add the professional work of art director, make-up artist and photographer to this and you will get a result that needs just slightly to be edited.

But everything is more complicated with the celebrities (actors, artists, singers and other pop stars). Their work, though, supposes caring for appearance, but they cannot devote all their free time to improving their figure and skin (otherwise, when should they be acting, playing in theaters, recording songs, have concerts?).

The solution to this is a deep photo retouching. And, sometimes it is very deep: up to reducing the buttocks by a few centimeters and masking cellulite. Kim Kardashian will show us an example:

Therefore, the reaction of most stars to the truth is the toughest: usually photos without processing that accidentally hit the Internet are hastily deleted. To do this, the celebrities have lawyers who quickly sue the site owners. No one should violate the standards of the "dream factory"! Even if these standards mock at all humanity.

In general, the conclusion is this: the appearance of most celebrities is far from perfect. And sometimes it is even very far. The reason for this is a busy schedule, an incorrect lifestyle, pernicious habits and much more. Do you really want to see celebrities without retouching on the poster of the new movie? Are you sure that after this you still will be willing to go to the cinema?

In 2008, one of the best specialists in post-processing of photos Pascal Dungeon had a great interview with a well-known publication. Discussing "real beauty," he exclaimed: "Do you know how much work you have to do to make the skin beautiful, but to preserve its naturalness?"

Celebrity before and after retouching: how ethical is this?

On the one hand - it's a lie. On the other - part of the business, because the appearance of the star should be “sold” profitably. Where is the golden mean?

We also are engaged in professional retouching, including processing of photos of some celebrities. Do we think that they are the reason of the girls’ complexes? Do we set non-existent standards of beauty?

On the one hand, we are involved in these "crimes": it is we who slim the waist, lift the chest and lengthen the eyelashes. On the other hand, a modern man in the 21st century should not perceive images on posters and in magazines as a "standard of beauty". Any gloss is a fairy world full of illusions and should be taken accordingly.

A usual modern person must learn to perceive and love its body. Even if you force Congressmen to ban Photoshop, there will always be a person who has a smile in her photo that is more snow-white, and the waist is thinner than yours. The grass always seems greener on the other side. So the stars should not be blamed for it – their images look according to the standards of the world of dreams. And it was created to move you into a fairy tale away from everyday problems.

Imagine for a moment the page of the glossy magazine without retouching. For example, the famous "angels" of one of the lingerie brands:

Are you sure you will be happy to scroll through such a magazine? Such "images" you can always see at any beach. Therefore, you buy a magazine to look at the ideal figures that do not exist in real life.

But how far can they go, changing the appearance of a celebrity? Alas, there are no clear standards in this area. They cannot exist, because the concept of beauty is subjective. There are only unspoken requirements and constantly changing trends (a small priest - a big priest, thin lips - puffed lips, etc.).

The tasks of a retoucher when processing a photo of a celebrity are usually to:

  • make the celebrity more slender;
  • remove wrinkles on the body or clothing;
  • remove facial wrinkles, spots and bags under the eyes;
  • preserve the skin structure and the naturalness as much as possible.

Trends in celebrities’ photo editing: emphasis on naturalness

Do you think retouching appeared only in the era of Photoshop? No! It exists since the invention of mass photography. Simply what had to be done in the laboratory for several days or months, now can be done in a couple of hours. It is obvious that in the mid-90s and early 2000s photo editing specialists were enjoying a powerful tool with might and main.

Now, fortunately, the trends have changed. Yes, we change the reality, but the emphasis is on preserving the natural color of the skin, the natural curves of the figure.

When retouching the celebrities ‘photos the retoucher need to realize the intention of an art director or photographer. To do this, you can use all these:

  1. Increase the volume of the hair;
  2. Lengthen the neck;
  3. Remove horizontal wrinkles on the neck and double chin;
  4. Remove the pigment spots;
  5. Make skin color even;
  6. Remove red veins in the eyes;
  7. Change the shape and size of the lips;
  8. Close / open mouth;
  9. Edit eyebrows:smooth lines, remove superfluous hair;
  10. Correct and color the nails;
  11. Smooth the unaesthetic folds of the body;
  12. Make the waist slimmer;
  13. To delineate the natural lines of the body;
  14. Remove the goose-skin effect;
  15. Clean the heels - and so on…

As you can see, we do not do anything "criminal" in retouching work. What's wrong if the celebrity photo becomes more aesthetic after editing? Don’t the ordinary people give their best shots for editing? Do many girls wish to have a portrait with all the pimples and uneven eyebrows in the graduation album? Reality can be sugar-coated - especially when there is such an opportunity.

Of course there are the exceptions: when some art directors need to rejuvenate the celebrity for 20 years or make her slimmer a couple of sizes. But this is not so often in the modern world. A professional team usually works on the appearance of the stars. The retouching is usually needed for pictures, on which the celebrity looks not very good. This is understandable, because the photos can leak to the Internet, and no one wants to take risks.

Therefore, the task for retouching photos of a star is to slightly change the picture in order to realize the idea of the author. A retoucher can make a talented-made photo ideal, good one - even better, and a bad one – good enough. But he is not a magician, and cannot turn a 70-year-old celebrity into a 20-year-old slender girl. Too obvious deception will cause indignation of the viewer. So everything has limits. Moreover, sometimes celebrities themselves complain about excessive processing and show the original pictures. This happened to Lupita Nyong'o:

Where is her hair? As a result, the editor publicly apologized to her.

Illusion of beauty: celebrities before and after photoshop

Do you still believe that the stars are perfect? Understand at last - it is impossible to look so good, given the tight schedule of filming, concerts and parties. There is not so much time for proper self-care. And so the stars use the services of retouchers. Just look at the difference between the original and the result you see in magazines and on websites.

Lady Gaga

Britney Spears

Lindsey Lohan

Justin Bieber

Cindy Crawford

Sharon Stone.

When the retouches overdid it

Let's look into the recent past to evaluate the covers of fashion magazines and advertising posters, which look like the retouchers worked on them. And, this work, to put it mildly, was not the most ideal. These are the situations where an excessive retouch has only spoiled the photo.

Kate Middleton

The Duchess of Cambridge can be called one of the most stylish aristocrats. It is not a secret that the editors of glossy magazines wish to get her photo for the cover. But the trouble is that Kate does not make photos for gloss, as she is not supposed to be according to rules of the Buckingham palace. Therefore, some editors without thinking twice create collages: they force retouchers to transplant the head of an aristocrat onto more or less suitable bodies of models. And here's what can happen in the end:

This photo reminds little of the Duchess: from make-up and up to the strange clothes in the South African style. It would be better if they did not experiment...


She is already an adult woman, and she does not hide this much. Nevertheless, the popular singer has still kept a good fit. However, this is not enough for the editors of some glossy publications. "We need even slimmer!" - shouted the boss on the team of retouchers, and it turned out this:

What do we have as a result? The muscles on the arms disappeared (this was more feminine, the editors thought), the waist became thinner and the thighs more smooth. But special changes were made to the face. For some reason, the retouchers poked out cheekbones and changed the color of the eyes. However, it should be said that Madonna herself, apparently, was not against. At least, the cover came out, and there were no scandal after that.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Have you ever seen the Chinese fakes of expensive things? Apparently, the same authors of these fakes were working on a photo of the actress and celebrity. These "professionals" made from Sarah ... a real Chinese beauty!

Pay attention to these thick dark eyebrows, narrow eyes and even nose. It is not a problem for them that the actress does not look like herself at all. Asian readers like it!

Demi Moore

Hollywood divas cannot grow old - damned standards of beauty make them desperately struggle with wrinkles. Demi also cannot afford an elegant old age: a few years ago her deeply retouched advertising poster came out.

In this case, there can be no questions about what we said above: "retouching, preserving the naturalness." Here the star was "overphotoshopped", turned into a porcelain doll. But maybe this was the idea?


The American singer has fluffy hips. But for some reason Beyonce is too embarrassed about her forms (although Kim Kardashian is sticking it out with might and main, but of course after deep retouching). Therefore, the singer's team carefully asks the editors of the glossy magazines "to remove the superfluous."

Do you know the situation when you ask the hairdresser to "cut a little bit", but in the end you lose 10-inch curls? It looks like the same situation here, but only with retouching the hips:

Seriously? Is it Beyonce with such thin legs? Although the singer herself certainly liked it: once she reduces the excess volume even on her personal photos from the vacation.

Emma Watson

Well here is a blatant unprofessionalism. On one of the promotional photos made a few years ago, they just ... cut off Emma’s leg. Given that a huge team of professionals was working on such projects, it was hard to understand - HOW DID NOT THEY SEE THIS?

Lady Gaga

Surprise and shock - this is what a pop singer adores to do. For the sake of this goal, a team of makeup artists and clothing designers works for her. But if their fantasy is not enough, the team of retouchers is ready to come to help. For example, for one of the photo sessions the retouchers changed the features of the singer's figure.

Have you ever notice her hips to be so such wide? We do not even mention so slim waist: it is too far from reality.

Princess Diana

Another mockery of the royal family: the editors of one of the magazines tried to imagine what would be Princess Diana in our time. If the stars are used to rejuvenate with the help of retouching, here the retouchers had to age one of the portraits of an aristocrat. Yes, and "paste" next to a photo of the daughter-in-law.

The result is awful: it is unlikely that Diana would like it. Fans of the princess were not happy about this, but it's already the affairs of bygone days (the magazine came out in 2011).

What do the stars think about retouching?

Kim Kardashian usually uses the services of professional cosmetologists and allows publishing only deeply retouched photos. However on a regular basis the real pictures of Kim sleek to the Network. Her figure and skin in them are far from what we see on the glossy pages. We need to pay tribute to the star - she reacts with dignity: "Yes, I have cellulite, but which girl with a magnificent figure does not have it? I on the cover and in I in real life - these are completely different people. "

Brad Pitt is not the same young handsome man in whom millions fell in love. But he does not try to regain his youth. On the contrary, Brad often agrees to shoot with Chuck Close: a photographer who does not accept deep photo retouching. They both managed to show the beauty of a mature man. Isn’t it so?

Jennifer Lawrence criticized the advertising campaign she was filming for. "I do not look like that! People cannot look like that! "- commented the celebrity deeply retouched photos. Jennifer also often spoke out against debilitating diets: "Starving for standards is extremely stupid."

Our conclusion

There are no ideal people. The fact that a person is famous does not make him or her a deity with an amazing appearance. The stars get old the same as we do; they also have wrinkles, pigment spots and pimples. A popular singer can have a great voice, but also too fluffy hips. The actress can be famous for an excellent game, but without makeup will look like your brother having a hangover.

Producers, art directors, editors of glossy magazines, photographers and the retouchers - all these people work to create a beautiful fairy tale. So just look at the unreal ideal images and enjoy them, the same as in the childhood you enjoyed watching cartoons. Finally, all this is done for you and your entertainment.

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