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Lady Gaga Criticizes Her Own Overly Photoshopped Magazine Cover

By Hanssie on November 12th 2013

Lady Gaga, no stranger to controversy and outrageous statements, spoke her mind last night at Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year Awards. In a bold move, (or a typical Lady Gaga move, I suppose), the singer criticized the magazine for their gratuitous use of Photoshop on her December 2013 cover.

Known for her outlandish styles and unconventional fashion statements, Gaga took to the stage to accept her award and remind everyone about her platform of non conformity – as if her overly teased wild blonde wig, white eyeliner, all white outfit and sky high platforms didn’t emphasize it enough already. In reference to the December cover and the subsequent photos in the article, Gaga stated,

I felt my skin looked too perfect. I felt my hair looked too soft. I do not look like this when I wake up in the morning…

She continued by saying, “I don’t even look like this,” in reference to her eccentric outfit for the evening:

Gaga scolded the magazine for “tweaking” and “smoothing” images which causes damaging effects on the young people who see them en masse. She then urged any young people that were listening to “fight back against the forces that make them feel like they’re not beautiful.” In a room full of Glamour editors, staff and higher ups – basically, the people that makes the decision to Photoshop models into unrealistic looking Barbie dolls,  Lady Gaga called for magazines to change:

It is fair to write about the change in your magazines. But what I want to see is the change on your covers… When the covers change, that’s when culture changes.

Love her or hate her, I applaud her for her stance against the blatant use of Photoshop and her outspokenness on acceptance.

Last week during a Q&A, designer Karl Lagerfeld also had this to say about Photoshop,

[We are] easily in a period of over-retouching… Some models [end up] look[ing] as if they are coming out of a funeral parlor, all life taken out of the face, I hate that.

With stars starting to speak out more and more against airbrushing, do you think magazines will start to listen? I’d love to know your thoughts.

[via @Huffington Post/Images via @Glamour]
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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. The Face Behind the Photoshop: Celebrities | The Photoshop Reality

    […] against Photoshop is Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is the queen of costumes and characters but she recently criticized Glamour for her overly edited cover image on the December 2013 […]

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  2. Vivian B

    This from the woman who wore meat and Frankenstein shoes. I suppose she doesn’t look that way in the morning either! How disingenuous.

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  3. Rodger Dawson

    “P-shopping” is no different than makeup or a suntan! Government’s role is to provide “equality for all” – not regulation of personal & social opportunity and freedom of choice!
    Admittedly some social values can be distorted by the press or Hollywood, but the individual benefits by learning to discriminate for themselves what is appropriate for their own selves – not Gov’t deciding for them!

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  4. mark

    Does the world criticize a sculptor for making his art too smooth? Then why a photographer? One manipulates stone, the other light. Nothing more… nothing less! People need to get a grip & realize that this is art not true life.

    It’s not the magazine editor’s responsibility to educate kid’s on what’s real or not. It’s a parents job. Oh… where ARE they in this whole mess when people talk about the influence magazines have? Grow up, stop trying to get someone else to do your thinking for you.

    +1 to all who have said the retouched mags sell for a reason. i.e. people buy what they like to see!

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  5. Lieutenant Norals IV

    When I capture a subject, I feel that one should be able to pick them out of a line up… I try not to go wild with retouching. Blu of BluTintPhotography

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  6. Peter

    It’s about money, ultimately. Whatever makes bank = companies will continue to do. If they’ll make more by NOT photoshopping, then they’ll do that not because they care about the self-esteem of consumers, but because there will be more digits in the black.

    I mean, Kim Kardashian isn’t talented or anything, but why is she talked about so much? Because PEOPLE CLICK TO READ, AND CLICKS = GENERATE $$$.

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  7. Kevin Stoohs

    Here’s an idea, release a special issue every year dedicated to ‘UN-RETOUCHED’ raw photography. It would be a behind the scenes look at how the original photo was shot and capture models in their true natural form. This would essentially increase awareness that people are not born with perfectly smooth skin and soft flowing hair. I would call it Glamour ‘RAW’.

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  8. Damian

    I have a REALLY hard time believing that OVER retouching celebrities sells MORE magazines? I would bet society wouldn’t give a CRAP if the celebrity’s body was left alone!

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  9. Tanya Smith

    I think magazines will continue to do whatever it is that sells magazines and the products their sponsors sell…

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    • Hanssie

      I agree. Unfortunately. Everyone wants the ideal and the “perfect.” It’s gonna take more than a few magazine covers to change society’s current views.

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    • GioPhoto

      Yes Tanya, you are correct. Although modern consumers are smarter and more educated than those of the 80’s and 90’s. With the ever growing torrent of information broadcast by the internet in every medium, consumers are growing very aware that the images displayed on today’s magazine covers are not real. This includes the very targeted group of well informed teens that I would hope are a new generation of tech savvy non-automaton set of individuals that know who they are and what they want. I am pretty sure that today’s magazine editors know that their market is changing, and it is in their best interest to cater to it.

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