Celebrities and Photoshop, is this the norm for magazines?
I am often asked by patients about celebrities and two extremes of results. First, why do they look so good? The second question is why do they look so bad? Don’t they have good plastic surgeons in Hollywood? These questions and comments are a result of the many celebrity focused magazines and TV shows.
Last week I was sent supposed “before and after” photos of a third-tier celebrity to comment on what she had done; facial plastic surgery or other minimally invasive procedure such as Botox and/or Fillers. The problem was that the “after” photo was so photoshopped that it was a joke. I declined to comment replying to the inquiry, that with the amount of “work” that was done to the photo it could easily be Zsa Zsa Gabor at her current age instead of the forty-something reality TV star.
The N Y Times had an article on that very same topic this week. One former talent agent along with a Dartmouth University computer science forensics expert discussed Photoshop changes on celebrity magazine photos. In a scholarly paper for the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Prof. Farid suggested a software tool for measuring how much a beauty photo has been altered. With this new tool and more “truth in advertising” the consumer would better be able to see what models and celebrities really look like. This could also reduce the often extremely high expectations of individuals seeking cosmetic surgery.
The AMA actually has a policy on truth in advertising. Cosmetic surgeons are supposed to identify when a website or an advertisement has a model and not a real patient of theirs. Of course, before and after photos should always be un-retouched. Lastly, plastic surgeons should identify if the photos on their websites are actually theirs or generic. All before and after photos on my website are actual patients that have given us written consent for use of their photos.
As for the “bad” side of celebrity cosmetic surgery; this is a topic for another blog. I have addressed fillers in past blogs. For some reason, if 1 cc of filler is good for a lay person’s lips or cheeks, for some reason in Hollywood they think 3+ syringes is better.
Celebrities often look better in magazines as a result of Photoshop. Plastic Surgeons cannot do this, so why can the media? Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS