Last week, style blogger Tavi called out Nordstrom for photoshopping an image on its website, and Nordstrom was quick to respond with before and after shots of the model. Nordstrom claimed it only smoothed out a few wrinkles and upped the color, but didn't shave inches off of the woman's waist (although 82% of you didn't buy it). But today, a Nordstrom rep wrote to Tavi and admitted that the retouching was "a bit heavy-handed" and said that they have no "policy against 'thinning or thickening'" models:
For the sake of clarity, as we previously mentioned, the orange t-shirt photo was indeed retouched: we smoothed out the model's nipples, removed a few wrinkles from the pants and shirt and punched up the shirt's color. In addition, as some of you pointed out, we also smoothed out her left hip (something that we neglected to originally mention). After taking a closer look at the final image, we think the smoothing was a bit heavy-handed and we're disappointed with the result.
We also said in our response that we have a policy against "thinning or thickening" models. That's not the case. It turns out that we don't have a consistent policy on this. Actually, there have been times when we have "thickened" or added weight to a model or "thinned" a model by smoothing out bulges that may distort the shape of the clothes. It's not a common practice for us, but we have done it on a case-by-case basis when we think it will make an image and the clothing we're featuring look better or more true to life.
We're still unclear on how the t-shirt looks better or more true to life, but we have bigger fish to fry--er, dog images to doctor--today.