Career Confidential: The Photo Retoucher Who Usually Doesn't Have To Distort Bodies

07/23/2012 10:43 am ET
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I've been working as a professional retoucher for many years. Now I mostly work on fashion and beauty ads, but I've done everything, including product and car ads. With fashion work, I don't do a lot of distortion of women's bodies, which I think is terrible. I have been asked to slim down a waist or make the legs a little skinnier, but not anything too crazy. There is a lot of body distortion, and sometimes directions — and they always come from art directors, retouchers never make these calls on their own — get me upset, but it hasn't been that bad for me. I think if I worked in a position where it was that bad, it would probably upset me that much that I would leave.

I think that overly retouched or distorted model is a horrible image to show young girls, especially in a publication like Teen Vogue, so I support [the campaign against it]. You can never have no retouching across the board, because some of it you just have to do if something's really distracting in a picture. But if people are calling attention to distorted bodies, it's good. At least when an art director tells you, can you slim down this waist? it might become not such a normal thing anymore.

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