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News & Insight

‘Truly, Madly, Cheeky’ | Victoria’s Secret’s Blatant Photoshop Malfunction

By Kishore Sawh on October 7th 2015


They are by no stretch of the imagination, absolutely some of the most visually beautiful women on the planet, with body measurements so unreal and features so striking that pretty much make them goddamn unicorns. But in this day and age, even they, it seems, aren’t without wanting of a little dodge & burn and liquify. They are human after all, but it seems a retoucher and editor have decided they should look a bit less, well, you’ll see…

An image posted online on their Facebook page not long ago shows a VS model ass-backwards to the camera to show off their new ‘cheeky’ underwear. The lighting is pretty, their skin is flawless, the hair as lustrous as the mane on the dog from Neverending Story, but something was amiss. The left thigh and butt cheek of the model show clear signs of over-tampering in Photoshop, to the point that they blend into one another. There’s also signs of mishandling on the upper right arm, but it’s not quite the main attraction.


This isn’t the first time VS has been caught over-shopping their models, and I’ve met a few of the VS Angels in person on more than a few occasions, and most don’t look like the average mortal, even in the casual settings we were in. So it really begs the question:


Especially when we consider the traction that positive body image has been making, and that companies like Aerie, another underwear brand, has allegedly stopped airbrushing their models entirely, it seems strange.



I personally have no issue with models being photoshopped, as long as it’s not within a hair’s breath of a parody, nor do I have an issue with brands picking the most stunning women out there to represent their product. I don’t subscribe to the ‘let’s market the average person to the average person’ mantra at all. However, I hope images like this don’t serve to act as a precedent for other photographers. More than anything, it should be a cautionary tale to once again take care in your retouching and always err on the side of ‘less.’ Discretion is the better part of valor…and retouching.

Source: Business Insider

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Gabriel Rodriguez

    Lmao!!! This is funny and ridiculous…

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  2. Kayode Olorunfemi

    Love the summation. I think ‘photoshopping’ a model is ok as long as it doesn’t transcend into a parody of beauty.

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  3. Tom Blair

    It is nice to be alive

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  4. Robert Marriott

    How on earth did everyone miss this before making it public ?

    Do wish they’d stop over Photoshopping images, there is no need for it

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  5. Steve Madden

    Her forearms look wrong too!

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  6. Bill Peppas

    That’s why it’s best that you have at least 2, ideally non-sympathetic, people look at your job before you print/sell.

    Sometimes we fail to see our own mistakes, careless ? because we are tired ? because we are arrogant ? somehow, we manage to miss even obvious things.

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  7. lee christiansen

    True I do notice it now… Funny, sometimes you can look but not see. I’m guessing the same happened to an unfortunate art director…

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  8. lee christiansen

    Do we actually know what this model looks like in real life. If we don’t have an original RAW image to compare it with then how can we tell if it’s been tweaked.

    We can’t just say it doesn’t look like how we expect, so it must be badly photoshopped. That’s like saying a model’s nose is impossibly straight so it must have been adjusted.

    Without a before / after comparison, this is just one of those stories that is gaining unwarranted attention. Or are we living in a world where you must be guilty because I said you are…?

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    • Bill Peppas

      There’s no need for a before-after shot in this case.
      It is simply TOO OBVIOUS.

      From the skin tones, to the stance of the model, the shadows cast on the wall, etc.

      Something you haven’t noticed yet, look how straight the last curve of her left upper part of the buttcheek is.
      Almost if not a perfect straight diagonal line… sure nature can’t be that perfect :D
      ( it also mismatches the shadow )

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  9. Justin Haugen

    It wouldn’t surprise me if that was not photoshopped. There are some models with very thin body types.

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    • Stan Rogers

      I originally considered that. A surprisingly large number of the things that end up on sites like Photoshop Disasters are the result of people never really observing what happens in the real world (what limbs look like in certain positions, how foreshortening works, etc.). Her left leg would have to be considerably forward compared to her right for that to be natural (and yes, it can happen); the problem is that the wall shadows don’t support that hypothesis — they actually suggest that her right leg was slightly forward, which would put the heavier crease under her left cheek. I’m thinking that something got fixed (tattoo, bruise, scratch, rash, whatever) while the retoucher was zoomed in heavily, and it was never given a “fresh eyes” look zoomed out. Long day? Who knows, but working too tight and not walking away for a while is the usual suspect for over-smoothed images.

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    • Kayode Olorunfemi

      If it wad not photoshopped the its an aweful shot… either way the image is not right.

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  10. Eric Sharpe

    Yeah… That’s terrible.

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  11. Marc-Andre Digiacomo Donato

    Funny to see this article today. I went shopping with my girlfriend yesterday and I told her this exact image look bizarre and she agreed. I can’t believe no one saw that

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