When Does Digital Photo Retouching Go Too Far?

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A model’s hips narrower than her head? A torso as long as a giraffe’s neck? Take a look at this New York Times article and see what can happen when digital photo retouching gets out of hand.

We’re not the only ones shaking our heads. Britain’s Liberal Democrats want to put an end to it and French Parliamentarians want warning labels on manipulated images (that ought to clutter up magazine spreads!).

Truth be told, manipulated images have always been rife in media, from OJ’s digitally darkened face on Time in 1994 to Katie Couric’s slimmed silhouette on a CBS magazine in 2006 to Andy Roddick’s bionic biceps for Men’s Fitness in 2007. Heck, even Abraham Lincoln’s portrait was altered in an 1860 portrait in which his head was placed on another politician’s body.

So, what’s right and what’s pushing it? Hey, we’re all for banishing red-eye and who couldn’t use a little teeth whitening now and then, but when does photo (digital retouching)  re-touching go too far? Aren’t we all a little slimmer in our mind’s eye? Where’s the line between aspirational and just plain wrong?

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