Advertisers Cause Magazine Photoshopping

Marketers to Blame ... Again

By Published on .

Yesterday, Gawker Media's Jezebel unveiled an undoctored photo of Faith Hill that, after some Photoshopping, landed on the cover of Redbook. It was a good get and a good point to make -- even a naturally beautiful woman is chopped and cropped for magazine covers.

Today, though, in explaining just what it is that upsets them about it, they work their way around to laying the blame at the marketers who advertise in the pages of those magazines.

So why do women's magazines continue to insist on providing readers just the opposite? Is it stubbornness? The selling of fantasy? Or the selling of other things, i.e. advertising revenue? And if so, is it really necessary to shave 10-15 pounds off a woman and erase exactly what it is (the freckles, the moles, the laugh lines) about her that makes her human and accessible and interesting in order to sell a bit of fucking soap? ...

And, a bit later:

But as necessary as retouching may seem in order to fill the coffers of corporate behemoths like Procter & Gamble, Revlon or Warner Brothers Records it is not okay for the rest of us -- the readers, that is -- that this goes on.

Never mind that Unilever's Dove just won at Cannes making the same exact point that the Jezebel post does. Hell, that just proves how sick and demented marketers are. Because Dove is cynically using "real" women and exposing the process just to make money.

We can all agree that what happens on magazine covers is ridiculous, but blaming the advertisers is a bit off the mark -- if not surprising from a media outlet that loves media so much. Advertisers don't care what's on the cover -- unless it's the name of one of their products. I certainly couldn't imagine someone at Procter & Gamble telling Anna Wintour what to do with her magazine. Even harder to imagine is Wintour listening. Advertisers go where the readers go. Readers go where the "pretty" covers are. Who decided what's pretty? I'm not sure. Maybe the soap companies do. But it seems the bulk of the responsibility rests on those who actually do the airbrushing, touching up, etc. In this case, it's the magazine's editors (and perhaps magazine marketing execs) ... not the folks toiling away at the soap-making factories.

Ok. Ok. You can blame the fashion industry a little. And perhaps the booze industry. And maybe the cosmetics industry. But, damnit, leave the package-goods guys alone!
Most Popular