Some drama occurred recently when Deborah Needleman, editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, said she considered adding some fat to a cover model she thought was too thin. Naturally some people were outraged, because they apparently have never picked up a magazine. Margaret Sullivan, the Times’ public editor, followed up on the situation, and found that the Times holds fashion photos to a different standard than news photos.
Michele McNally, the Times’ assistant managing editor for photography, explained, “Fashion is fantasy. Readers understand this. It’s totally manipulated, with everything done for aesthetics.” Philip Corbett, associate managing editor for standards, added, “This is a different genre of photography [than news]. It has different goals, different tools and techniques, and there is a different expectation on the part of the reader.”
In other words: Don’t be an idiot. Of course fashion photos are altered. If you’re upset by this, consider taking photos meant to sell material goods a little less seriously.