From chopped thighs to missing limbs and forgotten butt cheeks, here are 10 of Victoria’s Secret’s most epic Photoshop fails.
- 1. Martha Hunt’s Magic Floating Elbow
- 2. The Case of the Missing Butt Cheek
- 3. Lais Ribeiro’s Super-Long (and Super-Thin) Arms
- 4. Candice Swanepoel’s Mismatched Breasts
- 5. Candice’s Jacked Delts
- 6. Candice’s XL Thigh-Gap
- 7. Candice’s Shrinking Ribcage
- 8. Adriana Lima’s Vanishing Hips
- 9. The Craziest Thigh-Gap Ever
- 10. Marisa Miller’s Amputated Arm
- Victoria’s Secret photo editor reveals surprising secrets about how models are Photoshopped
- Victoria’s Secret Is Getting Some Serious Backlash for an Alleged Photoshopping Incident
- Victoria’s Secret: Have the Angels Fallen from Grace?
- Crisis mode
- Lingerie wars
- This photo explains Victoria’s Secret’s downfall
- 15. Ashlie Molstad (@foodiegirlfitness)
- 14. Anna Victoria (@annavictoria)
- 13. Iskra (@iskra)
- 12. Sara Puhto (@saggysara)
- 11. Jen Widerstrom (@jenwiderstrom)
- 10. Jess (@plankingforpizza)
- 9. Imre Cecen (@imrececen)
- 8. Rachel (@rayray_recovering)
- 7. Milly Smith (@selfloveclubb)
- 6. Jess King (@jessraeking)
- 5. Nikkie De Jager (@nikkietutorials)
- 4. Hailey Bettencourt (@haileybettencourtfitness)
- 3. Dulce Candy (@dulcecandy)
- 2. Maeve Madden (@maeve_madden)
- 1. Laura Ivette (@lauraivetteg)
- This savage Insta account is finally calling out the celebs and influencers editing their photos
- Holly Hagan
- Kim Kardashian
- Tana Mongeau
- Kady McDermott
- Tammy Hembrow
- Zara McDermott
- Tyne-Lexy Clarson
- Rita Ora
- Abigail Ratchford
- Anastasiya Kvitko
- Related stories recommended by this writer:
- This Instagram account is calling out every celeb’s horrible Photoshop fails
- Bella Hadid
- She slims herself down by about an inch
- She slims herself on her own account
- She shortens her chin
- And she edits in cheekbones
- Kendall Jenner makes her nose thinner
- And slims herself down
- Not to mention the butt she photoshops on
- Model Elsa Hosk photoshops her abs
- And thins her stomach and arms
- Model Meredith Mickelson gets rid of her traps and underarms
- Iggy Azalea snatches her waist and makes her hips bigger
- Eiza Gonzalez makes herself WAY skinnier
- Chloe Lloyd thins herself
- Emma Rose edits out arm ‘fat’
- Dove Cameron majorly slims herself
- And edits her face and jaw
- Sarah McDaniel photoshops her tits on
- Hannah Stocking slims herself and edits her tits
- Kamilla Osman slims herself
- Georgia Fowler slims herself
- Inanna Sarkis slims herself
- Related stories recommended by this author:
1. Martha Hunt’s Magic Floating Elbow
In August, Victoria’s Secret posted a picture on Instagram of Martha Hunt (left) and Stella Maxwell (right). Fans of the brand commented that one of Martha’s arms looked unnaturally smooth, while the elbow pointing out from behind Stella made Martha’s other arm look unnaturally long, as if the photo was the result of two pictures being spliced together. “Did anyone actually look at this photo before it was published?” wrote one commenter.
2. The Case of the Missing Butt Cheek
According to the Daily Mail, an image posted on Facebook in 2015 featured a topless model pressed up against the wall, displaying a pair of the brand’s signature mesh-back “cheeky” panties. The problem? She only had one ass cheek. One Facebook user called the picture “deformed” and another wrote, “I don’t think you can call it ‘cheeky’ if she only has 1 cheek.”
3. Lais Ribeiro’s Super-Long (and Super-Thin) Arms
There were a lot of complaints in 2012 about how long and thin Lais’s arms looked in this ad. They said her elbow looked wider than her bicep, and that, with her arms fully extended, her fingers would reach down past her knees. They also said that her midsection appeared to have been shaved down and smoothed over.
4. Candice Swanepoel’s Mismatched Breasts
Back in 2012, Victoria’s Secret launched their “Add Two Cups Multi-Way Bra,” which was modeled by Candice on the company’s website. Unfortunately the Photoshopper in charge of this image appears to have added two cups to just the one breast, leaving the other one tragically diminished by comparison. Ironically, this sort of makes the photo look more real rather than less. After all, no woman’s chest is perfectly symmetrical. Not naturally, anyway.
5. Candice’s Jacked Delts
When the retouchers at Victoria’s Secret got ahold of this photo, they slimmed down the model’s waist and hips, per usual, while appearing to leave her shoulders and deltoids in tact. As a result, Candice actually looked kind of jacked, which would be fine except that she’s totally not jacked at all. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, a lot of people at this time were critical of her extreme thinness.
6. Candice’s XL Thigh-Gap
In an ad posted to the V.S. Facebook page in 2012, a model that looked a lot like Candice (poor girl, she’s getting all the crazy airbrushing) wore a variety of swimsuit bottoms. Unfortunately the one the lingerie label put front and center included a nearly impossible to achieve thigh-gap that had obviously been altered to look bigger post-shoot. Internet commenters were not pleased and they let V.S. know it.
7. Candice’s Shrinking Ribcage
This time, the negative comments focused on her waist, particularly where it met her wrist. That kind of waist-to-hip ratio is just not possible IRL.
8. Adriana Lima’s Vanishing Hips
Adriana went from curvy to Y-shaped when the retoucher in question got ahold of this photo, and completely decimated her hips and thighs.
9. The Craziest Thigh-Gap Ever
In 2011, Victoria’s Secret came under fire for reshaping the thighs of a model to the point where her legs looked almost as narrow as her arms, which were also retouched to look slimmer.
10. Marisa Miller’s Amputated Arm
Back when Victoria’s Secret sold polo shirts and popping collars was cool (aka the early aughts), Marisa was one of the brand’s most popular models. To repay her for all her hard work and dedication, the retouchers at Victoria’s Secret chopped off her left arm. Here’s hoping she’s right-handed!
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Rachel Torgerson I’m Cosmopolitan’s fashion editor—you can follow me on Instagram at @racheltorgs.
Victoria’s Secret photo editor reveals surprising secrets about how models are Photoshopped
A Victoria’s Secret Photoshop fail. Victoria’s Secret via Photoshop Disasters It’s not exactly a secret that Victoria’s Secret heavily Photoshops its ads.
The company is often guilty of egregious Photoshop fails that border on comical, from missing body parts to mysteriously-shaped waists (as pictured right).
But beyond the occasional laugh-inducing blunder, just how much does the company alter its models images?
A Victoria’s Secret Photoshopper, who went by “Sarah,” recently divulged some of her secrets to Refinery 29, revealing that what women see in photos is not often what photographers see in the studio.
That starts with padding women before they even take the photos.
“If you hold up the bathing suit in your own hand, it’s so heavy because they have all this s*** sewed into it.” Sarah said to Refinery 29. She also said that the women often wore padded bras underneath bathing suits.
That all might change now, though; the company has been selling bralettes as a natural look takes hold in the fashion world.
Sarah also told Refinery 29 that the models usually wear hair extensions, too. “I don’t think I ever was on a shoot with a model that had real hair,” she said.
And if the model’s proportions look unrealistic, that’s because they probably are. Sarah told Refinery29 that the photos are heavily altered — and sometimes body parts are even swapped out for other people’s respective body parts.
Interestingly, though, the models are often made to look curvier than they actually are.
“Models are thinner than you actually think they are, and we retouch them to look rounder,” she said.
Victoria’s Secret Is Getting Some Serious Backlash for an Alleged Photoshopping Incident
Victoria’s Secret might have just hit a major Photoshop snafu.
A recent photograph posted to the company’s Instagram and Facebook accounts has caused users to accuse the lingerie brand of Photoshopping. In the ad, models Martha Hunt and Stella Maxwell are posing to look extra sultry in their Body by Victoria bras, but what sticks out the most—literally—is Hunt’s elbow.
Hunt’s awkward arm may or may not be a consequence of lighting or pose, but social media commenters stuck the blame on Photoshop. Victoria’s Secret did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
People have mentioned that Hunt’s arm (on the left) appears too smooth, whereas her elbow is sticking out too far behind Maxwell. One person commented, “The Photoshopping on the arm of the girl on the left is concerning.” Another commenter wrote, “Did anyone actually look at this photo before it was published?”
This isn’t the company’s first bout with body image criticism, either. In an interview with Motto, former Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton spoke out about the pressure to maintain her image and weight. “I was really depressed because I was working so hard and I felt like my body was resisting me,” she says. “And I got to a point where one night I got home from a workout and I remember staring at my food and thinking maybe I should just not eat.”
Victoria’s Secret has dealt with Photoshop allegations in the past as well. In October 2015, an ad for a pair of underwear captioned “Truly. Madly. Cheeky,” features a model who seems to be missing, well, a cheek. People quickly took to Twitter to comment on the “cheeky” ad with questions such as, “Where’s her left buttock gone?”
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Ever feel like you don’t quite live up to the expectations you have of yourself?
I’ll never forget, a few years back I was chatting with a girl in her mid 20’s and talking about my health and workout regime, and how I was looking to gain some weight to be more “normalized” and just look like I was a healthy weight for my height.
Around that time, I was 6’2″ and about 135 pounds – like a female supermodel – except I was a man. It wasn’t the most attractive thing to women.
This particular girl said, “Well why don’t you just start lifting some weights or something?”
Now imagine my frustration when she said that, because I had been in the gym 4-5 days a week for FIVE YEARS at that point. And apparently it didn’t show whatsoever. It honestly didn’t, because I didn’t know what I was doing.
Thousands of hours of hard work, and I still really didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, and to be perfectly honest I was more concerned that women didn’t like what they “saw” of me.
Ironically, later on this would be really useful – my own body image issues have really made it easy to connect with the struggles of some of the readers here and my own clients and students – who are 90% women.
Most of the press we see in the news and on TV is about female body image usually, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that men suffer from this ridiculous body manipulation that the media does too – and men are having increasing levels of body image issues that are unprecedented.
I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to have an idealized version of yourself, and although I think it’s important to “just love ourselves” even if things aren’t going great, I just want to point out just how much effort the media puts into making us feel inadequate.
How The Media Willingly Lies To You
A pretty prominent “cover up case” that gained attention recently was Justin Bieber.
He did a photo shoot for Calvin Klein magazine, and some time later his (actual) photo was leaked.
Take a look at a few things that were altered:
- His chest size (bigger)
- His arm size (much bigger)
- His head size (smaller – to match his body)
- His… male parts
- His butt
- His legs
In this case, take a look at Avril Lavigne in a Russian Cosmo magazine:
- Eye lines removed
- Skin whitened
- Forehead veins/hair lines removed
- Nose touched up and area under the nose lightened to look more blemish-free
- Frizzy parts of hair covered up
So let’s take a look at how she was touched up quite a bit:
- Her eye bags and lines were completely removed
- Her skin all over the body was lightened to look younger
- Her face (and even hair) was lightened
- Her arm size was cut in half
- Her face was made skinnier
Let’s take a look at the work done here:
- Her arm “wrinkles” were removed
- Her waist is tightened up, to emphasize her bust
- A significant amount of her waist bulge has been removed
- Her cellulite on her legs was removed
- Her legs were made skinnier
Let’s look at some of the work done here:
- The original (left) she has no bust, on the right she has a substantial one
- Her face has been made smaller
- Her face and hair was darkened
- Her waist was significantly tightened up
- Her arms were made skinnier
- Her cheekbones were accentuated
This woman was skinny enough and they figured “eh, let’s just remove half of that belly just for good measure.”
What happened to Penelope Cruz?
Well, she got a boob job free of charge (they made them the same size too!).
They pushed in her waist to make it look thinner throughout.
She got a face lift, which is magically blemish free now. And guess what? Even her hair got lighter. They also made her breastbone protrude less, to give the illusion of her having a larger bust with a little more meat on her bones.
Ahh Megan Fox, the bombshell from Transformers. Surely there can’t be anything wrong with her, can there!? Whelp, as you’ll see, yes, she is indeed human and photo altering does a great job of covering up her skin blemishes.
It also magically changed her eye color from light blue, to dark (unnatural looking) blue. Her lipstick became more red, and even her eye brows got some retouching to look more done up.
So How Do They Even Do Photoshop?
You know I’m always kind of interested in what the process looks like and today I managed to dig up a nice video showing what it looks like in reality.
There’s a bit of an interesting video here on how photoshop can be misused.
Check it out below:
The Ultimate Consequences
To be honest? I think beyond just “accepting ourselves 100%” – if we genuinely know we’re doing things that aren’t good for our health, then we need to change. Yeah we need to love ourselves – no matter what – because we don’t really have a choice. But I don’t think settling if something really is wrong, is the right way to approach life.
It’s like having an extremely dysfunctional kid at school that’s causing trouble, and we just say to the teacher, “Oh that’s just how he is” – without trying anything to help him improve or get better. We can sometimes use it as a cop out. It doesn’t solve the problem, does it?
If we’re becoming sick due to our lifestyle choices, and we constantly choose the Oreos over having a nutritious lunch – something has to change.
But this whole media movement, and it is a movement, has one huge scary undercurrent behind it:
The feeling of inadequacy.
It’s the feeling that no matter how GOOD life gets, it’s NEVER good enough. It’s this insidious parasite that has been put in our brain by not only the media and major industries, but often by our friends and family.
It’s the whole “keeping up with the Jones” thing.
You’ve got green grass? Awesome. The Jones family across the street has greener grass, so you better hire an entire landscaping team for $300 a month to make sure you beat them and become the envy of the block.
Life purpose realized? hehe…
You’ve got the latest designer fashion purse and clothes? That’s great. Too bad in the spring catalog Coach is going to tell you that it’s out of style and you need the new one (but don’t worry – in case you’re not cool, we’ll have a cool new one next year too).
In fact, when you think about it our entire consume culture is built on CREATING the feeling of lack – and the health industry is no exception.
And what do you do when a woman is already beautiful? You make her intangibly beautiful. You take her eye bags, because she’s a human and doesn’t sleep well some nights, and you remove those.
Any and all wrinkles she has, just phase those out.
And maybe some little arm fat, let’s just push delete on that. Honestly, it’s like it doesn’t even matter what size the woman – or man – is before hand – you can make them look like whatever you want.
What I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me
Listen – I’m not going to rant and rave about how you should just “accept your lot in life” the way you are – that’s not for me to decide.
That’s for you to decide.
Yeah we have to accept life. There isn’t a choice there – we shouldn’t resist what our current life circumstances are.
But should you constantly seek improvement – daily step by steps and tiny habits that get you closer to where you want to be, continually? Of course.
Life is a process of continual improvement, inching towards that ideal vision we have for ourselves. And it’s not fair for me to take it away from you – if you want to lose 50 pounds (or gain a few pounds of muscle/toning) you should do it. You should commit to it, take baby steps, and absolutely commit 100% to becoming the best possible version of yourself.
There’s a saying that the goal is irrelevant – the point of setting huge goals is because it turns us into the kind of person that can achieve that goal – and once we’ve leveled up our life, we are capable of so much more.
In fact, goals that once seemed impossible now seem like they’re just over the horizon.
That’s the best reason I’ve been able to find out for setting huge, dream goals that get you up in the morning.
What are your thoughts on this whole photoshop thang?
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I’ll help you come up with a plan for looking and feeling amazing… without photoshop :-).
In this weight loss & energy kickstart I’ll help you come up with a step by step roadmap to looking and feeling amazing, we’ll figure out what you need to work on (that’s holding you back), and come up with a specific plan of action for the road ahead.
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It’s no surprise that models and celebrities get the Photoshop treatment in magazines, photo shoots and advertisements (hello, Beyoncé for Roberto Cavalli!).
However, despite all the proof which shows just how much airbrushing is used to change a woman’s body, we can’t truly get over the mindblowing effects that Photoshop has.
So how powerful is Photoshop, really? Well, a video called “Body Evolution”, created in 2011 and recently resurfaced, reveals the full extent to which a person’s shape and face can be changed with the flick of a mouse.
The video shows a young makeup-free woman posing in a bikini and within just a few minutes, her body is made slimmer, her breasts more full, her face without pores, her hair more voluminous, her eyes wider and her stomach more taut.
The video, made by GlobalDemocracy.com, was created to help shed light on the extent of airbrushing that is done on models and celebs.
The site also calls for mandatory disclaimers on all photos of airbrushed models. The :
“We all now know that seeing thousands of “perfect” body types in the mass media is having negative affects on young girls and more. Airbrushing as a practice should be discouraged when it transforms otherwise permanent features on models. A “mandatory disclaimer” to state that a model has had her physical body manipulated on a computer is a very simple step in the right direction to addressing the harm that we’re causing.”
Even some models are expressing their doubts about the practice. Victoria Secret Angel Erin Heatherton said about her photos, “I feel like it looks like someone else. I guess it’s not fair… You look better, but it’s a lie.”
Photoshop even we could spot:
Back in August, Victoria’s Secret accidentally published a set of two dozen raw, unretouched images from a photo shoot with supermodel Doutzen Kroes. Although we had to take down the unretouched images from our post after some kind of legal crap from VS, we knew the publication of the retouched versions in the brand’s catalog was only a matter of time. And now we can show you all the images, both before and after the VS airbrush job.
Many of the differences between the retouched and raw photographs are not terribly shocking. There aren’t any missing limbs, or drastic alterations to the shape of Kroes’ body — she’s a supermodel, after all, and the woman sure knows how to pose. This is, to be honest, mostly pretty subtle, “good” Photoshop. The biggest change by far is that Victoria’s Secret brightened up the colors and corrected for lighting conditions that had some of the raw shots looking a little washed-out or dull. Now, it comes as no great surprise that a company should want its products to be seen in the best light possible, even if that is the magical, fake, golden light of Photoshop. An advertiser using lies to make a product seem more alluring than it really is? Well, I never!
But it’s still interesting to see exactly what changed — and what didn’t — during Victoria’s Secret’s post-production process. The retouching of women’s bodies in advertising is normally intended to be invisible: it takes advantage of the presumed objectivity of photography but instead gives us an image that has been highly manipulated. The standards to which images are edited vary from brand to brand and magazine to magazine, and in a world where virtually every image of a woman we ever see (outside, perhaps, of news photos) has been manipulated and “perfected,” whatever information can be gleaned about these standards helps foster media and body literacy.
It’s easy to forget just how very recent the advent of Photoshop was in our visual culture. Images have always been retouched in the darkroom, sure, but the cost and time-intensiveness of darkroom retouching often meant that magazines and brands simply didn’t have the time to “fix” everything. When digital retouching became the norm in the late 90s/early 2000s, our bodily ideal for women began to change, too. A lot of the things that got Photoshopped out of these Victoria’s Secret images — folds of skin visible at Kroes’ side when she thrusts out a hip, expression lines, traces of body hair, the texture of her skin — were visible in ad campaigns for global brands and on fashion magazine covers even as recently as the 1990s. We did not always think of the place where the pectoral muscle meets the armpit as something “ugly” in need of “fixing.” We did not always think that it looked “bad” for a woman to squint slightly in the sun.
So let’s take a look, shall we? Scroll through the images at top to see how your gorgeous sausage gets made; click the bottom right of any image to enlarge.
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Changing the colors of garments in post-production (1) is one of the most common image edits; the transparency of the tankini fabric was also reduced with the recoloration. The photograph’s colors were brightened in general (2) and lighting errors were corrected. Part of Kroes’ back below her armpit has also been removed (3), as have the expression lines on her face (4). The hemline of the swimsuit bottoms has also been redrawn (5).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Again, expression lines have been removed (1), and skin folds created by the exaggerated position of Kroes’ hip have been smoothed (2) along with part of her back below her armpit (3). Kroes’ lower body has also been subtly reshaped to elongate her legs and slim part of her right inner thigh and buttock. Aside from the overall color (4), the biggest change of all between the unretouched and retouched images is the removal of her swimsuit strap (5). That’s one way to get the cleavage of a standard swimsuit top in a bandeau: Photoshop.
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Notice that this is the same swimsuit seen in our first slide? The color has been changed yet again in post-production, and again the garment fabric has been made more opaque. Here expression lines have also been smoothed (1), the folds of skin around the side of Kroes’ back are gone (2), and the faint armpit stubble visible in the unretouched image is gone (3). The hem of the swimsuit has again been adjusted in post-production so that it falls straight across her lap (5).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Here is another strap removal (1). Kroes’ expression lines have again been erased (2).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. The natural folds of Kroes’ armpit were erased (1), along with her expression lines (2).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Multiple changes have been made to Kroes’ body along her left side. Folds of skin have been removed (1), along with part of her back visible below the armpit (2), and the area around her armpit where her pectoral muscle was previously visible has been extensively smoothed and modified (3). The nude underwear originally visible underneath the swimsuit bottoms has also been edited out (4).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. A bruise on Kroes’ right hip has been removed (1) and her abdominal muscles have had some of their tone retouched away (2).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Wrinkles in the swimsuit have been magically smoothed out (1) and Kroes’ expression lines were — once again — taken away (2). Faint scars or scrapes on Kroes’ right hip were also edited out, and her inner left thigh was slimmed down.
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Kroes’ abs are looking a little smoother and less defined in the Photoshopped image than they are in the original on the left (1). And once again, the swimsuit top has been magically turned into a bandeau (2). Kroes’ expression lines are gone (3).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Notice how they straightened out the horizon line (1). There were also changes made to her right armpit.
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Gone are Kroes’ expression lines (1), some of the definition to her abs (2), and the hair that spilled out behind her shoulders (3). Also gone are the fingers of her left hand (4).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Folds of skin along Kroes’ side have been smoothed out (1), along with veins in the crook of her arm (2) and the area around her armpit (3). Shadows have been deleted from her abs, making them look less toned (4). The nude underwear is gone (5).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Another total garment color change (1).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Note that this is the same swimsuit as seen in the 10th slide, except that here the color has been altered. Kroes’ expression lines have also been smoothed (1), along with the skin around her armpit (2) and the veins in crook of her arm (3).
Left: the unretouched original. Right: the final Photoshopped image. Note that this is the third shot using that same tankini from our first slide. In this image, wrinkles in the swimsuit top have been smoothed (1) and the lay of the hem of the swimsuit bottoms has been changed (2). Kroes’ expression lines are gone (3) and her armpit has been smoothed out and any hint of body hair removed (4).
Victoria’s Secret: Have the Angels Fallen from Grace?
The strongest coverage drivers for both the “Body inclusivity” and “LGBTQ+diversity” topics were the comments which 71-year-old chief marketing officer Ed Razek made in a 2018 interview with Vogue that quickly went viral. Razek, who reportedly has final say over who’s in the televised fashion show, said that he didn’t think Victoria’s Secret‘s fashion event should include transgender or plus-size models because it is supposed to be “a fantasy”.
“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should,” he said. “Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.”
The remarks prompted a strong backlash from consumers. As with the most severe social media crises, Victoria’s Secret was embroiled in an outrage cascade — outbursts of moral judgment which start to drive the conversation around brands, their products and their corporate messages. In these cases, the virality of moral judgements is facilitated by the fact that most of the content on social media feeds and timelines is sorted according to its likelihood to generate engagement.
The fact that fashion brands in particular face a growing number of crises could be explained by the supposition that fashion items are often taken to be markers of cultural and social identity, and thus are susceptible to be perceived as controversial across social networks. For instance, designers often draw inspiration from other cultures’ traditions, which has recently given rise to accusations of “cultural appropriation”.
For more on this topic, read our analysis “The Anatomy of a Social Media Crisis: Lessons from the Fashion and Food Industries”.
Razek later used the company’s Twitter account to issue a formal apology, saying that his remark “came across as insensitive.”
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria’s Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
In August 2019, Razek retired just days after the lingerie brand hired its first openly transgender model for its teen label PINK: Brazilian Valentina Sampaio. The hire was generally welcomed by commentators – for instance, Kendall Jenner, daughter of trans icon Caitlyn Jenner, posted “celebrate trans women” to her 98 million Instagram followers.
Meanwhile, media monitoring organisation GLAAD, which deals with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, said Sampaio’s move comes as transgender people are becoming more visible in advertising. Examples of the trend include recent campaigns by Calvin Klein, Gap and H&M, while Playboy’s first transgender Playmate appeared in 2017.
Another strong coverage driver within the ‘Body inclusivity‘ topic was the protest outside Victoria’s Secret‘s store on Oxford Street in London, in which protesters stripped to their underwear and held signs demanding more diversity in fashion. To address such concerns, the latest investor meeting saw Victoria’s Secret deciding it will no longer rely on a small group of supermodels to promote its sexy lingerie, in a bid to use more inclusive marketing.
An example of this new strategy was an Instagram post of model Barbara Palvin, which was celebrated for being more body-inclusive, as social media users perceived Palvin to be curvier than the other supermodels. The post received over 780,000 likes in two days, generating 4.2 times the average number of likes, with users commenting that the model looks “normal” and “healthy”.
But the brand wasn’t that successful in managing another crisis: the widely publicised ties between L Brands founder Les Wexner and financier Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker who committed suicide in jail. Although Epstein didn’t actually work for Victoria’s Secret or L Brands, he had control over Wexner’s finances and personal life, according to reporting by The New York Times, and used his connections with Victoria’s Secret to facilitate his alleged crimes.
L Brands tried to distance itself from Epstein, saying it had cut ties with him nearly 12 years ago and disclosing that it had hired outside counsel to review the case. Wexner said: “Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved, is something that I’m embarrassed that I was even close to. But that is in the past.”
In many media reports, the ‘Epstein ties‘ topic was closely related to the ‘Sexual harassment‘ topic, which was dominated by a petition urging Victoria’s Secret to take a stand against sexual harassment and violence. The open letter was addressed to Victoria’s Secret CEO John Mehas and signed by more than 100 models, many of whom have worked with the brand in the past, and also by the Model Alliance, an advocacy organisation in the fashion industry, and the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment which was founded in response to the Weinstein effect and #MeToo.
The petition cited “numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models”. Several of the company’s photographers have been accused of misconduct, on top of the links with Jeffrey Epstein. A Victoria’s Secret spokesperson said the firm has been in conversations with the Model Alliance “for some time”: “We are always concerned about the welfare of our models and want to continue to have dialogue with the Model Alliance and others to accomplish meaningful progress in the industry.”
Ed Razek‘s aforementioned controversial comments regarding transgender and plus-size models made him the most often quoted spokesperson in the discussion around Victoria’s Secret:
Razek’s dominance in the conversation underlined the crisis of perception the brand suffers: his remarks were taken by many media outlets as a sign that the brand is unwilling to adapt to the current sociocultural climate. Models who have previously worked with the brand and who had a relatively large share of voice in the media conversation were quick to criticise him. For example. Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge posted a photo reading “Trans and GNC people are not a debate” to their Instagram stories.
Karlie Kloss was one of the most vocal critics: she recently told Vogue that she had decided to terminate her relationship with Victoria’s Secret because the image was not “truly reflective” of who she was and the “kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful.” Model Tess Holliday was harsher, leaving a message to Razek on Twitter following his Vogue interview: “Who needs VS anyway? They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah. Kiss my fat ass, .”
The majority of media reports on Razek’s retirement announcement cited these remarks as one of the key points in his career and highlighted that he was one of the main figures in the highly sexualised beauty ideal put forth by the brand. The crisis of perception was also emphasised by the fact that L Brands CEO Les Wexner, another major corporate spokesperson in the conversation, was quoted primarily in relation to the Epstein scandal.
However, some of the spokespeople portrayed Victoria’s Secret in a positive light. Adriana Lima, one of the best-known Angels, quit the label after two decades and 18 fashion shows with the brand, sharing the news on Instagram with a heartfelt caption: “Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly.”
And while she presented the brand positively, some media publications reminded their readers of an interview she gave to Grazia in 2011 in which she outlined the physical challenges she went through in order to be in shape, especially after her pregnancy.
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Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly. ❤️ to the best fans in the 🌎! Love, Adriana 💖
Angel Behati Prinsloo tried to defend the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show against the criticism for its lack of transgender models and diverse body types. In an interview with Elle, she explained what the show stands for: ‘There’s a lot of talk about everything but I think people need to also understand that it’s a show. It’s not saying negative or positive about any body type, it’s ‘this is who they are’.”
In the meantime, Barbara Palvin was named as a Victoria’s Secret Angel after the successful Instagram post which customers perceived to be more body-inclusive. She announced the news to fans also via Instagram and her hire was generally interpreted by the media as a sign that the label is finally starting to listen to its critics.
CEO John Mehas‘ comments about the brand’s marketing shift were met with similar enthusiasm, especially his plans to include messaging that responds to the #MeToo movement. But the most warmly welcomed move was the hire of Valentina Sampaio: although some publications suggested that the brand’s first openly transgender model came too late, most commentators said that the retailer has finally moved in the right direction.
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Never stop dreaming genteee 💋💋💋 #staytuned #bastidores #new #vspink #campaign #representatividade #diversity #beauty #selfie #life #fashion #usa #vstorm #valentinasampaio 🌈✌🏼
While Victoria’s Secret is caught up in a fierce discussion, L Brands‘ other flagship label, Bath & Body Works, a personal-goods retailer, continues to report strong earnings, supporting its struggling parent. Many reports on Victoria’s Secret‘s controversial reputation outlined this development, making Bath & Body Works the most frequently mentioned brand in the conversation:
While L Brands is firmly focused on the Victoria’s Secret turnaround story, Bath & Body Work is perceived as staying relevant with updated stores and new product tests, maintaining a wholesome image as “America’s sweetheart of beauty brands.” Its loyal core consumer base of millennial women is boosted by fan blogs and YouTube accounts dedicated to sharing new products. The brand also plans to ramp up volume by having a digital makeover for the first time in India.
Investors have even started pressuring L Brands to make Bath & Body Works a standalone company which would not be associated with Victoria’s Secret. Hedge fund Barington Capital, whose CEO James A. Mitarotonda was one of the few corporate spokespeople in the conversation, sent a lengthy letter to L Brands CEO Les Wexner arguing for a spinoff.
But after Bath & Body Works posted its first unchanged quarter of store traffic in five years during 2019’s second quarter, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik suggested that the best days for the bath and candle retailer may be over. Konik also said that the teen brand PINK is the next sore spot for L Brands, with sales falling by low double digits in the fourth quarter, as the label is “without fans and rudderless.”
ThirdLove, American Eagle Outfitters and Savage X Fenty were identified as the main competitors which have capitalised on Victoria’s Secret’s reputational struggles. ThirdLove, an online bra startup which was launched in 2013, was perceived as coming head to head with Victoria’s Secret as it focuses on inclusive sizing and marketing, which have helped its annual sales to grow at a rate of 180% for the past four years.
The brand opened its first pop-up store in New York in July 2019, putting itself in direct competition with Victoria’s Secret as the lingerie giant had a store less than a 10 minutes’ walk away. ThirdLove also joined the discussion around Razek’s comments, taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times, in which co-founder and co-CEO Heidi Zak said she was appalled when she read them: “I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier. How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?”
When asked whether Victoria’s Secret was worried its customers might now be looking for something different, Razek mentioned ThirdLove: “We’re nobody’s ThirdLove,” Razek said. “We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.”
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American Eagle Outfitters was also viewed as one of the main companies to break Victoria’s Secret‘s grip on the apparel industry by offering fitting bras and using messaging which pitches inclusiveness and comfort over sex appeal. Its activewear and lingerie brand Aerie has built an image of an “anti-Victoria’s Secret” label with untouched ads featuring models of all shapes and sizes. Kyle Andrew, American Eagle’s CMO, said the company’s success is due to its willingness to experiment and find ways to better listen to its teen customer base.
Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty recent show, streamed on Amazon Prime, has been making headlines everywhere, with commentators saying it was everything that Victoria’s Secret’s annual runway show wishes it could be by featuring models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds, with a clear focus on body inclusivity and acceptance.
Meanwhile, retail corporation Target also tried to capitalise on Victoria’s Secret’s struggles with a strategy similar to ThirdLove, American Eagle Outfitters and Savage X Fenty: it launched a new bra and underwear brand called Auden with a campaign featuring women “in all different shapes and sizes.”
Nike was mentioned as one of the brands which have gotten ahead of the curve with their socially-conscious marketing efforts featuring ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had participated in racial justice demonstrations during national anthem ceremonies. Fast-fashion brand H&M got involved in the discussion for selling a $199 bra similar to Victoria’s Secret’s $1 million Fantasy Bra as part of its collaboration with Moschino.
Victoria’s Secret‘s reputational woos come at a time when the fashion and apparel industries occupy a central place in the extensively covered #MeToo movement and play a major role in ongoing media discussions around gender and identity. Since such issues naturally polarise consumers, brands which are dealing with products directly related to them are regularly caught up in fierce debates.
The growing importance of the debates around gender in the fashion industry has also been highlighted in the accelerating gender-neutral trend. The latest seasons have seen luxury brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent and Haider Ackerman combining menswear and womenswear runway shows, Others, such as Proenza Schouler and Rodarte, have started showing women’s pre-collections or women’s ready-to-wear during the back-to-back menswear and couture calendar. Meanwhile, fast-fashion labels such as Zara started releasing ungendered collections with models of both sexes dressed in the same clothes.
There are also a growing number of new brands like the Phluid Project, Agender and Rebrand which are built around the concept of non-binary dressing. Beyond fashion houses, the trend has also been recently reinforced by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which added a unisex/non-binary option for New York Fashion Week. Spokespeople for the CFDA explained that this decision came as a response to “a growing number of designers whose collections are not delineated by gender”, which “reflects the cultural momentum.”
For more on this topic, read our analysis “Gender-Neutral Fashion: A Millennial Whim or a Trend to Stay?”
This photo explains Victoria’s Secret’s downfall
WHEN supermodel Lais Ribeiro strutted her 6-foot frame across the stage last November at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, her 31-23-33 figure was barely contained in the company’s Fantasy Bra.
As she did her thing, Harry Styles gyrated on the stage and belted out his hit single, Only Angel.
The crowd went crazy, and it was difficult to know if they were cheering the $2 million bejewelled bra Ribeiro was wearing or the Brazilian beauty herself.
By most measures, the November extravaganza in Shanghai, China, was a success.
Ribeiro and a dozen of her supermodel pals were at their sexy best in an estimated $12 million production that company executives arranged to have telecast around the world.
But the world yawned.
Viewership of the show plummeted 32 per cent from the previous year in the coveted demographic – to just five million. The company insists it is still the most watched fashion event in the world and that more people are tuning in online.
That may be true, but the 41-year-old brand that sells sleek and sexy has clearly grown tired in its middle age, critics say.
Once among the hottest and most buzzed about brands in the world, Victoria’s Secret has posted declining same-store sales at its brick-and-mortar US locations for seven straight quarters, while profit margins have gotten squeezed and inventories bloated.
Models pose at the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show In Shanghai. Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Investors in L Brands, the lingerie maker’s parent company, are taking a beating as shares are down more than 45 per cent this year – making it the worst-performing stock in the S&P 500.
In hopes of turning things around, company execs have cut prices and extended its sales longer. Neither has worked as sales per square foot, down in the past two years, continued to erode in the first quarter.
Perhaps even more troubling, younger and more aggressive rivals are now circling Victoria’s Secret like a bunch of hungry sharks – each with a marketing pitch that is resonating with young women.
“Victoria’s Secret is an example of a company that thought it was too big to fail,” Lingerie Addict editor and founder Cora Harrington said. “I don’t think they ever considered that American consumers would go elsewhere.”
Walk into almost any of the 1,124 Victoria’s Secret stores across the US, and you can instantly see the problem. Where are all the shoppers?
There’s looping video footage of Angels walking the runway, seductive framed photos of them hanging above the lingerie displays, and throbbing music.
But one recent afternoon inside the chain’s Midtown Manhattan flagship – the bras and panties on display, meticulously stacked and seemingly untouched – spoke volumes about store traffic, or the lack of it.
The company has admitted in regulatory filings its customer traffic in stores is troubling.
One sale – five panties for $US28.50 – stretched longer than usual, but to no apparent benefit.
Sales at the brick-and-mortar stores were down 5 per cent in the first quarter after falling 6 per cent in 2017 and 1 per cent in 2016.
Its teen-focused Pink brand – which has fuelled most of the lingerie company’s gains over the past five years – started to cool late last year and has not rebounded. Operating income for Victoria’s Secret has decreased 33 per cent since 2015.
What went wrong? How could an iconic retailer that was the standard bearer of all things sexy, with oodles of pricing power and a stable of super models, fall so hard?
Self-inflicted wounds, say industry experts.
Victoria’s Secret’s once-effective marketing strategy of using super models – Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen and Gigi Hadid are Angel alums -has for the most part backfired on the Columbus, Ohio, company.
“It’s had the same positioning for decades, associating sexy with super models, and it just doesn’t work anymore,” said Konik.
The #MeToo movement that exploded on the public consciousness last October didn’t help. The brand’s image has been banged up since then, according to a recent survey by YouGov.
“The Angels are unrelatable, while the stores look too much like an outdated boudoir,” observed retail consultant Gabriella Santaniello of A-Line Partners.
Victoria’s Secret watched on the sidelines as a growing number of rivals seized on fashion trends like bralettes and plus sizes – and thrived.
British model Iskra Lawrence is the face of Aerie.
It also failed to react as new competitors, like American Eagle’s Aerie brand, undercut its pricing by as much as half.
Aerie reported a 38 per cent spike in comparable store sales in the first quarter this year largely on the strength of its #AerieREAL campaign that featured unretouched photos of both professional models and ordinary customers.
Last month Aerie unveiled a marketing campaign featuring women with various medical conditions and diseases, including a young woman with an insulin pump protruding from her belly and another with the skin pigmentation disease, vitiligo.
AerieREAL grew from a no-retouching campaign in 2014 to a body positivity and empowerment campaign, a spokesperson said.
Aerie model Iskra Lawrence is part of a push toward a more natural look that appears to be wheeling Victoria’s Secret and its flagging angels to the sidelines.
Aerie’s body-positive marketing may be paying off
“Victoria’s Secret has always been about self confidence,” a spokeswoman for the brand said via e-mail addressing the body positivity movement, adding “When your bra fits, you stand a little taller, your clothes fit a little better, and you feel more comfortable and confident – and that’s sexy.”
Victoria’s Secret also hurt itself when it got out of the swimsuit business. Shoppers had one less reason to go to the stores, say experts. Top brass revealed in an earnings call in May that it may dive back into swimwear.
Miranda Kerr walks the runaway during the 2008 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Picture: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images
No one in management seems capable of breathing new life into the company, including longtime chief Les Wexner, who bought a tiny five-store Victoria’s Secret business in 1982 with $US1 million and a dream.
The 80-year-old billionaire has been described as a retail genius – and rightly so. Wexner took a sleepy, family-owned brand, The Limited, and made it the mall brand for young women in the Eighties.
Wexner, worth about $US6.7 billion, according to Bloomberg, has kept close tabs on Victoria’s Secret, taking over the helm of the chain in 2016 when its CEO of a decade, Sharen Jester Turney, abruptly left.
Her successor, Jan Singer, was named three months later, but Wexner has never faded into the corporate board room.
“Les has been remarkably involved,” noted Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel. “We’ve seen a number of founder/CEOs step aside over the past decade, but he is among the most involved in the company he started.”
Others say Wexner is part of the problem.
“At the end of the day he’s out of touch with today’s reality,” said Jefferies analyst Randal Konik.
The company, through a spokesman, declined to make Wexner available.
Recent interviews with the legendary retailer drew attention to his seeming lack of understanding of the #MeToo movement and the impact technology is having on retail.
When asked by the Financial Times whether the fashion industry’s objectification of women has encouraged male bad behaviour, Wexner replied, “I think that’s just complete nonsense.”
Victoria’s Secret, he argued, couldn’t take advantage of women because it’s run by women.
“The business has been headed by a woman. The marketing director is a woman. These aren’t women that are exploitative,” he told the FT.
In 2016, when plus-size model Ashley Graham made the cover of Sports Illustrated for the first time, it prompted leading plus-size manufacturer Only Nine Apparel to pitch Victoria’s Secret on a line of larger sizes.
“Unfortunately at this time we are not looking to expand our focus into larger sizes,” a senior executive replied via email on March 2, 2016.
“My company has tried numerous times to sell them plus, but the answer was always ‘not at this time,’ ” said Only Nine founder, Jamie Gorman.
Now a bevy of new lingerie competitors from Adore Me to Third Love have launched plus-size lines and are nipping at the heels of Victoria’s Secret – both, ironically, with the help of former Victoria’s Secret executives.
“Our business started to take off in 2016,” said Heidi Zak, founder of Third Love, an e-commerce retailer, which increased the number of sizes it offers from 50 to 70 in June, nearly double Victoria’s Secret’s 39 sizes.
While it is always dangerous to underestimate a retail guru like Wexner, the picture isn’t getting any brighter for Victoria’s Secret.
Next week, L Brands is expected to report that the chain’s same-store, brick-and-mortar US sales in the second quarter fell five per cent – its eighth straight quarterly decline.
That’s better than the 11 per cent drop a year ago – but still a sign that these angels’ wings are in need of a refresh.
This article originally appeared on The New York Post.
Victoria’s Secret Angels (left to right) Behati Prinsoloo, Marisa Miller, Heidi Klum, Doutzen Kroes, Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambrosio during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the Lexington Armory in New York.
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In a time when we are bombarded with beautiful bodies everywhere we look, it can get a little discouraging. Celebrities, models, and bloggers not only show off their perfect figures from TV and magazines, but now tons of different social media outlets as well. Men experience this too, but the pressure is even worse for women. Photoshop, makeup, great lighting, personal trainers, dieticians, and knowing how to pose just right all help make the ladies we see on our screens attain the perfect figure. But it’s hard to remember that and not compare yourself to them! Luckily, many Instagram models and fitness enthusiasts have decided to use the social media platform to preach body positivity. While they are paid to look fit, they also emphasize that it takes a lot of work (and not just at the gym) to look the way they do. Most of the time, when they are relaxed and in regular clothes, they don’t have the perfect body. They have to manipulate their bodies both in real life and using photo editing tools to make them look just right. If you saw them walking down the street, you probably would not even recognize them! Read on to learn about 15 Instagram models who look nothing like their photos.
15. Ashlie Molstad (@foodiegirlfitness)
Fitness enthusiast Ashlie Molstad fills her Instagram feed with videos and photos of her working up a sweat. Alongside the photos of her ripped abs and “unicorn hair”, are memes about drinking wine and photos of delicious cupcakes she says she can’t resist. When you first see her body, it’s hard to believe that Molstad actually indulges in any treats. But this workout queen also frequently shares “non-posed” photos of herself to show what her body looks like most of the time. Without flexing and standing at the perfect angle, her belly becomes soft and makes her look just like the rest of us.
A certified personal trainer and the very picture of what all women wish to look like, Anna Victoria is a fitness beast. Her slender muscle tone and model good looks are the envy of 1.3 million Instagram followers. While she usually posts photos of the bodies she has helped to transform and snaps of herself in tiny swimsuits living her best life, she also isn’t afraid to show her “real” side. Anna Victoria has posted many side by side photos of herself to show that even people who work out for a living don’t have the perfect body 100 percent of the time.
13. Iskra (@iskra)
An international model for brands like Aerie, Iskra seems to have the perfect set of womanly curves. Her shapely hourglass figure has attracted an Instagram following of over 3.8 million people. But she isn’t here for body shaming no matter what your shape or size. Iskra recently created a video and accompanying set of “before and after” photos, where she reveals the poses models use to get the ideal figure instantly. Just by changing her angles, this model slimmed her face, tummy, arms, and back in seconds. While she continues to post photos of her amazing life as a model, Iskra reminds her followers that “social media lives aren’t Perfect and neither are us or our bodies.”
12. Sara Puhto (@saggysara)
Body positive Instagrammer Sara Puhto is one of the realest people on the social media platform. A vegan and fitness enthusiast, she shares her healthy meals and photos of how her body has changed through exercise. Just as frequently, Puhto shows fans her “true self.” She often shows one Insta-worthy shot where her abs are defined, makeup is done, face is on point, and booty is round. Right next to it she then shows an outtake from the photoshoot with her belly puffed out, she’s making a weird face, and her butt looks flat. Puhto emphasizes that changing lighting, clothes, and poses make all the difference in photos and that’s why you should never compare yourself to others!
11. Jen Widerstrom (@jenwiderstrom)
Jen Widerstrom is one of the fittest ladies on Instagram. She shares tons of photos of herself working out and her nutritious, clean meals as well as fitness tips for her followers. While her muscles could be seen from a mile away, Widerstrom wants people to stop beating themselves up over having the “perfect” body. She stresses in one post that everyone’s body looks different from different angles and poses. Even this super in-shape lady has some belly fat rolls when she sits down! If you were sitting next to her on a beach, you might never know she had ripped abs.
10. Jess (@plankingforpizza)
Australian plus-size model Jess King often shares glamorous photos of herself in lingerie, swimwear, and dresses. Her curvy, feminine figure seems unattainable to most of us. An hourglass shape but with no jiggly parts or tummy? How does she do it? In this photo she shows followers how she stands differently in photos to make her legs and belly look slim, and to emphasize her collarbones. When she is relaxed, standing like she would on the street, she looks just like you and me. King shows that even without Photoshop, people can look super different, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to people we see online or in magazines.
9. Imre Cecen (@imrececen)
Instagram model Imre Cecen fills her feed with the life many of us dream of. She’s always decked out in amazing outfits doing some cool activity, or dressed in designer active wear showing off her rock hard abs. While she totally beautiful, Cecen makes sure to remind her followers that she isn’t perfect! She talks about how everyone’s body is naturally different and we should love who we are. In more than one post, she has shown how lighting and pose can affect the look of cellulite, muscle tone, and body shape. Even a super fit girl like her has thighs that splay out when she sits down!
8. Rachel (@rayray_recovering)
Instagrammer Rachel shares her journey as she tackles mental and physical illness through fitness. She shares inspiring shots of her getting sweaty at the gym, as well as yummy and healthy treats she makes. In order to help herself and others who are recovering from eating disorders, she discusses self-love and acceptance of all body types often. In this set of photos, she shares how a simple change in posture can give the appearance of major weight loss. Rachel urges her followers to stop comparing ourselves the others on social media, because we only see the best shots of them, not their everyday look and life.
7. Milly Smith (@selfloveclubb)
Another woman recovering from an eating disorder, Milly Smith, shares her whirlwind life on her Instagram page. She is a mother, a mental health and chronic illness survivor, and a current cancer warrior. Smith often posts side by side photos from when she was at the height of her eating disorder and the present; showing how far she has come with her recovery. This set of photos, though, show how different she can make herself look just with clothing and pose changes alone. She shares that looking at photos from different angles from the same photo shoot like this, help her realize that her body is beautiful and gets her through episodes of body dysmorphia.
6. Jess King (@jessraeking)
Fitness enthusiast, and author of the self-empowerment book Planking For Pizza, Jess King shares the ins and outs of her fitness journey. Her impressive “gains” have gotten her over 209,000 followers on Instagram. Her jokey captions about getting in shape just so she can eat junk food without care are beloved by her followers. Amidst all of her amazing workout photos, Jess posted this set of snaps. She explains how adjusting her swimsuit bottoms and standing in a different position gave her an instantly slimmer look. She tells followers, that both “versions” of her body are worthy of being loved by herself and others!
5. Nikkie De Jager (@nikkietutorials)
While she is more of a YouTube star than an Instagram model, Nikkie De Jager shows her millions of followers the power of transformation. With the right amount of time and makeup, she can create any look she wants for herself, nature be damned! Even people who know her personally might not recognize her from one day to the next. She obviously loves beauty products, and teaching people how to use them, but still is not ashamed to show her real face. Many of Nikkie’s tutorials start without any makeup at all to show that cosmetics are for having fun, not because there is anything wrong with how you look naturally.
4. Hailey Bettencourt (@haileybettencourtfitness)
Hailey Bettencourt, a personal trainer and super fit lady, amazes her followers with photos of her enviable body. She shares a good mix of both fitness pictures, some of her living her normal life, going out with friends, and enjoying vacations. In this set of photos, she addresses a common problem most women don’t discuss: bloating. While Bettencourt usually rocks killer abs, here she shows a puffy tummy, the result of a carbohydrate-heavy meal. Our bodies all do the same crazy things, no matter who you are! She explains that she is not “a magical unicorn that walks around with a 6 pack all day.” Preach!
3. Dulce Candy (@dulcecandy)
Known for her beauty tutorials on YouTube and finished looks on Instagram, Dulce Candy shares gorgeous makeup looks in even more beautiful locations. From Halloween looks to an everyday face to red carpet ready makeup, she does it all. Each design she creates transforms her into a different person almost. But Dulce Candy knows there is more to life than looking pretty for others. That is why she begins many of her videos without a drop of makeup on her face. She wants to show her viewers and followers that you can be beautiful, whether you like to wear cosmetics or not!
2. Maeve Madden (@maeve_madden)
This inspiring Irish model and personal trainer has a unique story. She struggles with chronic illness, and uses exercise and healthy living to help keep her body strong. Sharing videos of her crazy workout, Madden hopes to help others achieve their fitness goals. However, in this photo set, she shows that even the most in shape people you know don’t have toned abs 24/7. Here she explains that a combination of food intolerances, IBS, and fluctuating hormones often lead to a bloated belly. Madden says she feels it is important to share all parts of her reality, not just the good days.
1. Laura Ivette (@lauraivetteg)
We have saved the most stunning difference for last! Laura Ivette is known to her 530,000 Instagram followers as an amazing model. Her womanly curves and sultry photos, attract both male and female fans. But Laura is also a hardworking molecular technologist! When she is going to work, as she explains in this post, she wears her glasses, comfortable clothes, flat shoes, and little to no makeup. Even her biggest admirer probably would not recognize her! She then discusses her struggle with posting the “mundane” parts of her life, as well as the glamorous model photo shoots, to prove that all parts of life are important.
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This savage Insta account is finally calling out the celebs and influencers editing their photos
Do you know what’s fucked? The fact that photoshopping apps have evolved to the point where you can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t anymore. That’s what Instagram account Beauty.False is trying to tackle. It’s calling out the celebrities and Insta influencers who have supposedly been using FaceTune and angles to deceive their followers about their real life appearance.
And honestly? It’s so nice to see that these “perfect” celebrities aren’t actually so perfect and look like real people outside of their curated Instagram feeds. Before anyone says calling out celebs for using FaceTune on their pictures is shaming them, it isn’t. It’s a reminder that you’ll never look like them and get a waist that small, because what they’re showing you isn’t even real.
Holly from Geordie Shore has always been accused of photoshopping her body to look like it has unreal proportions.
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Turns out Kim’s skin isn’t the smooth and poreless canvas we’ve been lead to believe. And that’s okay. Because no one has skin like that.
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Bad angle or Photoshop?🤔➡️ @kimkardashian on Instagram📱/in life📸 TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #kimkardashian #kim #instagramreality #photoshopfail #kardashian
In this Photoshop edit of Kim Kardashian, her leg is stretched out to make her appear taller and arm is made to look slimmer.
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The controversial YouTuber has been accused of making her waist smaller in Instagram pictures, but she literally looks fine as she is.
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@tanamongeau on instagram📷/ Reality🤷🏻♀️➡️ TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #tanamongeau #tanamongeauedits #tanamongeauedit #instagramreality #photoshopfail #beautyfalse
The ex-Love Islander has apparently been making her waist appear smaller and bum bigger on Instagram.
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Reality star Kady McDermott⭐️ @kadymcdermott on instagram📷/ Reality🤷🏻♀️🍑 TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #kadymcdermott #loveisland #realitystar #instagramreality #photoshopfail
If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that Tammy knows her angles and knows how to make that booty pop.
Some are accusing her of photoshopping her pictures, but I’m not sure because if you look at her videos, she really does have insane proportions. It’s definitely the angles and knowing how to flex.
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The photo angle plays an important role☝🏼 @tammyhembrow on Instagram📷/Reality👉🏼 TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #tammyhembrow #tammy #photoangle #instagramreality #photoshopfail #beautyfalse #fitnessgirl #fitnessmodel #australiangirl
The series four Love Island beauty has been accused of making herself look slimmer in her Instagram photos. And not going to lie, that picture of her in the red top does maker her look suspicious. 👀
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Australian reality star Zara Mcdermott ⭐️ @zara_mcdermott on instagram🤔/ Reality🙈➡️ TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #zaramcdermott #realityshow #realitystar #realitystars #australiangirls #australiancelebrity #photoshopfail #instagramvsreality #beautyfalse
Tyne-Lexy appeared on the third series of Love Island and has been accused of photoshopping to make herself look slimmer.
However, these pictures of her could have been taken at different times as she put on some weight and lost it all again for a fitness DVD.
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Reality star Tyne-Lexy Clarson⭐️ @tyne_lexy_clarson on instagram📷/ Reality🙈 TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #tynelexyclarson #lexy #loveisland #instagramreality #photoshopfail
The photoshop on Rita Ora’s picture maker her back seem smaller and strangely, her eye is stretched up and out, to make her eyes look wider and eyebrows more angled. Is this the equivalent of a face lift?
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English singer Rita Ora🎙 @ritaora version/Original 🤔➡️ TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #ritaora #rita #photoshopfail #instagramreality #beautyfalse
The American model and social media personality with nearly nine million followers has been accused of making her waist smaller.
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@abigailratchford on instagram / Reality➡️ TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #abigailratchford #abigail #eroticmodel #instagramreality #beautyfalse
The Disney Channel actress posted a picture to her 24 million followers, in which her eyes appear wider and chin seems slightly smaller from the “original” photo.
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The Russian glamour model has nine and a half million followers. And she seems to look different in her Instagram posts to how she looks in photos taken by other people.
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Russian Glamour model Anastasiya Kvitko🇷🇺 @anastasiya_kvitko on Instagram📷/Reality🙈 TAG YOUR FRIENDS❣️⬇️ #anastasiyakvitko #kvitko #russianmodel #instagramreality #photoshopfail #beautyfalse
It could just all be angles and lighting to be fair.
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@anastasiya_kvitko on Instagram /Reality📸 What do you think about this?🤷🏽♀️Tag your friends⬇️ . #anastasiyakvitko #kvitko #bikinimodel #photoshopfail #photoshopfails #instagramreality #beautyfalse
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This Instagram account is calling out every celeb’s horrible Photoshop fails
There’s something about regular girls editing their grams that doesn’t bother me at all — and by regular girls, I mean girls with less than like, 500K followers on Instagram.
I guess it’s because I see other photos of them? I see things their friends and family upload to Facebook before they can get their hands on it and I see them at work or at parties, so I know what they look like in real life.
But the only place we ever look at celebrities or influencers is on their Instagram accounts. So when they photoshop we don’t realize it, and we just end up feeling like shit. And imagine how girls in like, middle school feel.
But Celeb Face is an Instagram account dedicated to comparing paparazzi and event photos of celebs and models before and after they posted them to IG, and literally nobody is safe.
Famous for her chiseled cheek bones, not only are they deeply photoshopped on her own account, but the shape of her eyes is changed to be more catlike as well. The sides of them point up instead of out.
She slims herself down by about an inch
A repeat offender, Kim’s waist is about an inch thinner in her own Instagram photo, and you can see the door of the car curving higher behind her because of it.
She slims herself on her own account
She shortens her chin
And she edits in cheekbones
Kendall Jenner makes her nose thinner
And slims herself down
Not to mention the butt she photoshops on
Model Elsa Hosk photoshops her abs
And thins her stomach and arms
Model Meredith Mickelson gets rid of her traps and underarms
Iggy Azalea snatches her waist and makes her hips bigger
Eiza Gonzalez makes herself WAY skinnier
Chloe Lloyd thins herself
Emma Rose edits out arm ‘fat’
Dove Cameron majorly slims herself
And edits her face and jaw
Sarah McDaniel photoshops her tits on
Hannah Stocking slims herself and edits her tits
Kamilla Osman slims herself
Georgia Fowler slims herself
Inanna Sarkis slims herself
And this is just the beginning. Thousands of photos have been uploaded to their page.
The account is private, but if you request to follow them they’ll accept within a few hours. It’s much easier to see the difference between the photos there, because they’re made into quickly changing videos.
So next time you’re not going to photoshop something, consider the fact that everybody else would.
We’ve reached out to the account for comment.
● Kim trying to lie her way out of a major photoshop fail is worse than the actual photoshop fail
● Photoshop is like steroids for Instagram influencers, and advertisers shouldn’t work with models who use it
● Lupita Nyong’o just slammed this magazine for editing out her natural hair