Do you know what a re-toucher does?

Image #1, original photo
Image #2: re-touched photo

Parents of teen girls: listen to this. Have you ever heard of a re-toucher of fashion photography? A retoucher uses programs such as Photoshop to change photographs.

When I look at magazines with teens, I want to remember to tell them that many photos are re-touched to slim a figure, take away blemishes, make hair look silky and styled, breasts rounded and full, or fill in or reduce to give an idealized superhuman body image. It's not real. The super model doesn't look like that. No one does.

Want to learn more? The video Killing Us Softly 4, about Jean Kilbourne's work, is a must-see. [Update 2/17/14 - a trailer of the video is here.]

Terry Barrett explains it in Criticizing Photographs.

He writes, "Art directors and admen call Pascal Dangin when they want someone who looks less than great to look great, someone who looks great to look amazing, or someone who looks amazing already--whether by dint of DNA or MAC-to look, as is the mode superhuman...

In the March issue of Vogue Dangin tweaked a hundred and forty-four images: a hundred and seven advertisements (Estee Lauder, GucciDior, etc.), thirty-six fashion pictures, and the cover, featuring Drew Barrymore...

Vanity FairWHarpers BazaarAllure, French Vogue, Italian VogueV, and the Times Magazine, among others, also use Dangin. Many photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia, rarely work with anyone else. Eighty employees work with him in a four-story warehouse in Manhattan."