Lady Gaga appears on the cover of Vogue's September issue -- arguably the most important and noteworthy issue of the year -- but it is not her flamboyant dress or crazy hair that has people talking.
The fashion magazine is taking heat over allegations that Gaga's photo has been retouched.
The Gaga who appears in the sneak-peek video from the September photo shoot, released by Vogue earlier this month, looks mighty different than the Gaga who appears on Vogue's cover.
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Screen grabs taken from the behind-the-scenes shoot might not have been the most flattering, but many could not deny the dissimilarities, and media outlets soon began pointing out the differences.
Buzzfeed was among the first to raise questions about the Vogue cover's extreme Photoshopping.
"The 'before' picture is from a behind-the-scenes montage of the shoot released by Vogue and this cover's photographers, Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott," BuzzFeed's Amy Odell wrote. "Sometimes I wonder why people bother with the original photography anymore when the end result is basically just a photo illustration."
On the cover, Gaga looks like a perfect statuette, clothed in a dazzling purple Marc Jacobs gown with her hair a wild mane of platinum. But in the behind-the-scenes shoot, something seemed off.
"The dress is bulky and unflattering, like she's been draped in granny's cranberry satin curtains from the 1982 parlor renovation," Yahoo! Shine's Sarah B. Weir wrote. "Her hair (a wig, in fact) is not so much a halo, but instead what would happen if an angel stuck her finger in a light socket. And her strong-featured face is not slim and placid but full and expressive."
E! News' Leslie Gornstein said she didn't know what Vogue was thinking.
"That is some serious, serious retouching," she writes. "From our vantage point, it looks like nearly every aspect of the shoot was heavily altered, from the Lady's hair to the shade of her dress to her very shape." Adding, "As any monster will tell you, Gaga is already pure pop perfection, so we're not sure what Vogue was thinking."
Gaga, for one, was thrilled with the results.
AHHH! The Vogue Express dropped off the SEPTEMBER ISSUE yesterday morning. IM A COVER GIRL, and ITS FAB! Can't wait to show u tonight!— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 8, 2012
In the accompanying interview, Gaga describes to Vogue how, even though she is on the cover of the most famous fashion magazine in the world, she is still just a regular 26-year-old.
“I’m just having a really good time performing, making music, flying around the world to see so-and-so. . . .," she said, hinting at Taylor Kinney. “Look, I’m 26, and I want to make records and party and screw around and wear fake Chanel and do what every other 26-year-old girl wants to do. I don’t want to settle down and live in a house yet or anything. I just want to keep riding this rainbow.”
LOOK: Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue and behind-the-scenes at the photo shoot.