Unretouched photos of Doutzen Kroes shooting a Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog surfaced online at The Fashion Spot a few days ago–and were noticed by Jezebel yesterday. According to Jezebel, the images were accidentally posted to a public area of the retailer’s website and will appear in the forthcoming September catalog. They definitely show a much more natural-looking Doutzen–but if you’re looking for an ego boost, look elsewhere. The pictures confirm our suspicions that Doutzen is pretty darn close to perfect all on her own, without the help of any photoshop trickery. Which begs the question: Why on earth is she being retouched in the first place?
Of course the answer is that while Doutzen is one of the more beautiful humans on the planet–she is, after all, human. Which means that when she squints in the sun, she gets a wrinkle between her eyes, and when she contorts her body, her skin folds ever-so slightly to accommodate. She bruises, and she gets razor burn. Her eyes don’t magically light up from within.
We think that’s all fine and well because humans, especially Doutzen, can be pretty freaking beautiful, flaws and all. But, as we all know, imperfect humans don’t sell clothes. And they definitely don’t sell swimwear. A side-by-side comparison of the unretouched photos and photos of Doutzen that have been fully produced and published on the Victoria’s Secret website (they aren’t the same pics obviously, but some we found of her in similar poses just to illustrate), reveal the subtle ways that images can be futzed with–smoothing out here, airbrushing there, making the background more vibrant. However, it should be noted that while changes were made, Victoria’s Secret’s photoshop practices are, in this instance, not too heavy-handed: In fact, Doutzen’s actual body shape was hardly touched at all. Which leaves us feeling both better and worse.