Airbrushing Gets Axed In April Issue Of French Marie Claire

If there’s one issue getting more airtime than fashion’s Great Weight Debate, it’s photoshopping. From Ralph Lauren to Redbook, the incriminating evidence of a heavy-handed airbrush has resulted in some seriously bad press. And now France’s Marie Claire magazine is throwing their voice into the mix by publishing their April issue with — according to them — nary an airbrush in sight.

Their cover features French actress Louise Bourgoin looking, if not airbrushed, then like a very shiny, happy, person.

Inside, she looks equally shiny and happy.

If airbrushing is supposed to blur out any blemishes and/or imperfections — then Bourgoin is perfect. We’re not going to try and point out what flaws she might or might not have. The only obvious point we’d like to make is that if Marie Claire had a choice, we suspect that fixing the bust of her dress would have been the least of their corrections. And to what end? She looks gorgeous.

But photographer and blogger Benjamin Kanare offers some interesting insight in his write-up of the issue:

Turning the pages of the April issue of French Marie Claire I see that the photographers had to use the old technique’s [sic] before Photoshop existed…

Burning out the skin using overexposure, soft light, adding a half blue filter to whiten the skin, pulled back images, large smile’s for celebrities so their nasal labial folds are hidden, pulled back hair with hands stretching the skin and smoothing the wrinkles. Using grainy film and converting the images to black and white to neutralize the skin tones.

But where he argues that photoshopping is necessary to make “banal images more interesting and a little more dreamy,” I’d say that I’m happy to have photographers and editors use whatever overexposures and soft lighting they need to to get the desired dreamlike quality — as long as they leave the limbs, waists, body fat, and imperfections (both miniscule and major) in place.


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