photoshop tricks of the day
Supermarket check-out mag Redbook has ticked off actress Julia Roberts, who appears in a cover story titled "The Real Julia," by digitally pasting a recent image of her face onto an older one of her body for its cover photo. The month before, Redbook did the same thing to its cover photo of actress Jennifer Aniston, according to the actress' publicist.
Roberts' head was allegedly plucked from a paparazzi shot taken at the 2002 People's Choice Awards, according to a story in USA Today, while her body was borrowed from the Notting Hill movie premiere four years ago. The clipped-together photo is accompanied by a headline that blares, without a trace of irony, "The Real Julia."
The practice of airbrushing cellulite and stretch marks or tweaking an errant nipple is standard procedure at most magazines that count on their flawless cover shots to woo readers. But the practice of pasting different body parts together is drawing criticism, especially when said body parts aren't perfectly proportional.
In light of the controversy, publisher Hearst issued an apology earlier this week. "In an effort to make a cover that would pop on the newsstand, we combined two different shots of Julia Roberts. We acknowledge that we may have gone too far and hope that Ms. Roberts will accept our apology."
That will come as little consolation to Jennifer Aniston, who was the victim of a butcher job on the June cover of Redbook. Her publicist claims the photo was a composite of three different shots, which gives Aniston an oddly disjointed look, and says the Friends star is allegedly considering legal action over the cover photo.
A spokesperson for the magazine denied the allegations to USA Today, claiming only the length of Aniston's hair and color of her shirt were changed.
I'm glad the magazine acknowledges that it "may have gone too far." The Weekly World News can get away with using ridiculously Photoshopped images on its cover -- this one, in particular, is a scream -- because no one takes it seriously. Fixing up a little boo-boo is one thing, but if Redbook and its ilk can't afford a decent photographer, it should just hang it up, or stop featuring real people on its cover entirely -- from the looks of things, they're just about there anyway.