Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

Target apologizes, takes down images of Photoshopped models on website

Compiled by Sarah Petersen, Deseret News

Published: Wed, March 12 1:30 p.m. MDT

 Two overtly Photoshopped images that appeared on Target.com have caused the company to receive criticism from not only the Photoshop watchdogs, Photoshopdisasters.com, but from many customers and body image protectors through social media as well.

Two overtly Photoshopped images that appeared on Target.com have caused the company to receive criticism from not only the Photoshop watchdogs, Photoshopdisasters.com, but from many customers and body image protectors through social media as well.

(Rick Bowmer, Associated Press)

Two overtly Photoshopped images that appeared on Target.com have caused the company to receive criticism from not only the Photoshop watchdogs, Photoshopdisasters.com, but from many customers and body image protectors via social media as well.

The images of young women in bathing suits are not only causing controversy because of the extra skin that didn't get erased under the armpit or on their hips, but also because of the promotion of the trending "thigh gap" ideal for young girls.

"Someone decided it would be a good idea to crudely take the erase tool to what looks like a teen model’s hips, arms, and most notably crotch to create a thigh gap," TIME reported. "It’s sloppy, and demonstrates an unhealthy depiction of a human body all at the same time!"

Utah locals and creators of Beauty Redefined, Lexie and Lindsay Kite, joined in on the conversation on their Facebook page.

"This latest 'Photoshop Fail' on a juniors swimsuit model is just one example of how industries are coming up with unattainable ideals for us at every turn, including the 'thigh gap' (which most women don’t have naturally)," Lexie and Lindsay stated on the Beauty Redefined Facebook page.

"These ideals are so unreal that even models and beauty icons can’t meet these standards, so they are Photoshopped every time," Lexie and Lindsay said. "These latest examples from Target are so egregious that we're hoping they're an act of rebellion from someone on the inside!"

Target spokesman Evan Miller released an apology to ABCNews.com Wednesday.

“It was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize,” Evan Miller told ABCNews.com. “We removed the image from the site and we’re working to get a new image up there.”

But many customers and parents have expressed on social media their disgust along with cries for an end of Photoshopped images.

Wednesday morning, Good Morning America discussed the controversy with Business Insider retail reporter Ashley Lutz.

"Target has put out these totally unrealistic images, and they're really laughable," she said. "But at the same time you have to question what they were going for."


ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

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1. Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT,
March 12, 2014

So if Target did use a model with the exact same body shape as the picture that ended up being shown would the feminists and body image people stop their crying?

I don't think so.

If the argument is based solely on the fact that Photoshop was used - fine, go cry about it. Tell us how its impossible.

But what about next time a very attractive and thin model is used somewhere and she ISN'T photoshopped?

You're still going to cry and say its unattainable.

We have a bigger(pun intended) problem of big people in this country than we do of too skinny people.

So if our choice is the country obsessing over losing weight vs. obsessing over what their next fast food meal will be - I'll take obsessing over looking skinny.

2. Happyinlife
PROVO, UT,
March 12, 2014

Chris B,
Extremes in either direction are never a good thing, but you clearly don't seem to know much about the dangers of obsessing over looking skinny. I have been one of those who obsessed about being skinny to the point of being nothing but skin and bone because I wanted to be more like the models being thrown in our faces from the media. Fortunately I have been able to recover somewhat, though it has taken years, and can see how unrealistic and unhealthy the obsession really was. Anorexia and other eating disorders are real and dangerous and I have known many, many girls who have struggled to overcome them. These images from all over the media (including adds from Target) that proudly show the gap that so many pro ana girls are striving for is anything but good.

Good to see people stand up to unrealistic views of how a woman should look.

3. Maudine
SLC, UT,
March 13, 2014

@ Chris B: "But what about next time a very attractive and thin model is used somewhere and she ISN'T photoshopped?"

Depends - did she get that way without surgery but through proper diet and exercise?

If a model is healthy and thin, that is great - 30 years ago that was the standard. The standard nowadays is too often surgical enhancement or photoshopping - both of which prevent very impossible standards. (And for the record, this is so prevalent, they are now doing the same thing to male models causing young men to have body image concerns also.)

I will agree with you that being overweight is also a concern, but we are not talking dichotomies here - the choice is not skinny or fat. There is a very valid middle ground and that is where we need to encourage people to be.

4. Maudine
SLC, UT,
March 13, 2014

@ Chris B: "We have a bigger(pun intended) problem of big people in this country than we do of too skinny people.

"So if our choice is the country obsessing over losing weight vs. obsessing over what their next fast food meal will be - I'll take obsessing over looking skinny."

Interesting thing about that - individuals who suffer from eating disorders related to being thin are a smaller (no pun intended, the subject is too serious for that) percentage of the population than individuals who are obese, however individuals with eating disorders related to being thin, particularly anorexia nervosa, have an increased risk of death higher than the increased risk of death related to obesity.

An obese individual is 3x (300%) more are risk of death than an individual of normal weight - an individual with anorexia nervosa is 6x (600%) more at risk of death than an individual of normal weight, twice as at risk as an obese individual.

Just because they are harder to point out in a crowd and their appearance may not be as "objectionable" as that of someone who is obese, doesn't mean it is a better state - it is actually much more dangerous.

5. I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT,
March 13, 2014

Target + Picaso

Not much different than the rest of the shopped world these days. The sad part, is with how much people obsess about their "health" these days, it's not much different than some actual people either.