If you follow a fashion blog or two, you’re probably aware that there’s a wave of did-they-or-didn’t-they Photoshop hysteria going on right now. The latest cases in point: Karlie Kloss’ disappearing ribs, Candice Swanepoel’s lopsided boob-controversy and American Apparel’s, uh, floating horse head conspiracy.
It was high time we checked in with a qualified expert for some insight into this matter. Luckily, the supermodel-populated God’s Love We Deliver event honoring Michael Kors was the perfect place to gather intel and we honed in on Victoria’s Secret Angel Erin Heatherton to share her expert opinion.
Fashionista: So what do you think of all the attention paid to Photoshopping models lately?
Erin Heatherton: I think it’s people’s own prerogative to be able to look at something and know the difference between ‘this is what someone looks like with makeup on’ and ‘this is what they look like in real life’. This is what happens when you do a photo shoot; retouching is an essential part of our job, you know. We’re not selling reality; we’re selling a story. It’s all about creating this fantasy. And I don’t think people should confuse fantasy and reality because no one is perfect–we all know that, and I think people should embrace themselves and not really focus on where people are depicted as perfect and where they’re not. So, I think it’s kind of a waste of time.
What about when the actual body is changed, like when the waist is made to look smaller, etc? What type of message does that send?
It’s not a fair message, but at the same time I think we’re all intelligent enough to know the difference between what’s real and what’s not. I think that’s something that children should be taught by their parents, it should be taught in schools. Healthy body image is not something that you’re going to learn from fashion magazines. But at the same time, Photoshop makes things look beautiful just as you have special effects in movies. It’s just part of life and I think that you’re missing the main problem. I think the main issue is people just knowing their own body, having strength in their own body image and their own confidence, which shouldn’t be affected by these kinds of things.