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I considered posting this to the Women’s Studies course blog since it has everything to do with gender but I thought it fit our ongoing discussion about photoshopping.

I don’t even know what to say about these ads for body waxing.  On one hand, I find them awfully clever, a play on the double entendre, the slang we use for genitalia.

On the other hand, these ads tend to only enforce the ideology about grooming our genitalia.  And there is certainly an entire critical discussion that can be had about this topic.  The purpose of posting this on our blog, however, is to stir discussion about the responsibility of photoshopping our media and then actually publishing it for public consumption.   Some of it can be fun, I admit:

Though some if this image altering can certainly stir up debates concerning our ideological views on gender, class and race.  The below image prompted a lot of controversial arguments during the OJ Simpson trial:

How might making Simpson appear “darker” than he actually is help fuel our ideas about violence and African-American men?  Photoshopping has certainly helped promote our notions of sexism.  Consider this now familiar image of Sarah Palin:

Not a true photograph of Palin, yet it was a familiar image to circulate during the 2006 political campaign.  Then there is this shot that was all over the Internet directly after 9/11:

Again, not a real photograph but it certainly was a direct appeal to pathos concerning the victims of 9/11.

We have discussed how fashion photography and celebrity images have skewed how we view women—the whole Ralph Lauren issue is still in discussion for some of you.   Many of you argued against photoshopping images of women into thinner, unrealistic representations of beauty.  This image is, though contemporary, already a classic in the eating disorder online communities:

So what do you think?  Should there be a responsibility that should be recognized when altering these images with photo retouching software?  Or would creating public policy against publishing such photoshopped images only stir issues of censorship?


just to add to our fantastic discussion last week about photoshopped images. This was actually published in magazines this month:


According to Ralph Lauren:

“For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”


Apparently, the model for this ad has been fired by Ralph Lauren. For being too big.


oh, Ralph Lauren is not having a good week. This ad was just found. Seems the fashion line has made this photoshopping thing a habit: