Self Editor Defends Kelly Clarkson Photoshopping

self.pngYep, Kelly Clarkson’s cover shot for this month’s Self was Photoshopped, says Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danzinger. So what?

What some took to be Self‘s attempt to hide Clarkson’s curvy frame Danzinger simply defended as commonplace clean-up. In a blog post yesterday, Danzinger said the retouching to Clarkson’s photo was simply meant to enhance the beauty of the shot and sell magazines, not detract from Clarkson’s “amazing spirit” and “contagious confidence.”

Here’s how she described the post-production process that follows every cover shot:

“[W]e edit the film and choose the best pictures. This is done in tandem with the star; the creative director, Cindy Searight; the photographer; and myself. Then we allow the postproduction process to happen, where we mark up the photograph to correct any awkward wrinkles in the blouse, flyaway hair and other things that might detract from the beauty of the shot. This is art, creativity and collaboration. It’s not, as in a news photograph, journalism. It is, however, meant to inspire women to want to be their best. That is the point.”

We understand the need to clean up wrinkles and flyaway hair, but Clarkson’s photo seems to have helped the pop star shed some pounds. Although she didn’t say exactly what was edited on Clarkson, Danzinger stood by the picture’s accuracy. Or rather, she said the accuracy didn’t really matter for a cover photo.

“Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best,” Danzinger said. “Did we publish an act of fiction? No. Not unless you think all photos are that.”

What do you think? How far is too far when it comes to Photoshopping — for cover photos and other photos as well? Do you think cover photographs are journalism?

Pictures that please us Lucy’s Blog