Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Elle Magazine in 'Whitewashing' Controversy

Images: NY Mag

You've heard me on my soapbox about over zealous photo retouching before - but surely this one takes the cake.

For their October 25th Anniversary edition, the bright sparks at US Elle have celebrated by apparently lightening actress, Gabourey Sidibe's, skin tone.

Elle of course, are claiming nothing of the sort:

In a statement the magazine said that 'nothing out of the ordinary' had been done to the photograph.

"We have four separate covers this month and Gabby's cover was not retouched any more or less than the others."

And if that wasn't enough, check out how Sidibe's image has been cropped (up close so you can't see her beautiful curves) compared with the other four covers (full body shots):

The three other covers. Image: NY Mag.

They say a picture tells a thousand words, but in this case it speaks volumes...and none of it is positive when it comes to concepts of race, weight and beauty ideals.

What do you think?


  1. That is really something...They did something for sure! Didnt they?

  2. I've been following this and it's obvious they were overly zealous in their "retouching."

  3. i agree it's ridic. on one hand, i want to commend them for picking a cover girl different from the norm. on the other hand, i understand they are a fashion mag and want to sell an image, so i get why they didn't show her whole body. but what i don't get is the obviously whitening!

  4. Gah! Makes me cross. Makes me cross that undoubtably Gabourey Sidibe was somehow convinced that this was the best photo - that somehow with lighter skin she was a more "appealing". That somehow she should be happy to be on the cover and accept all the alterations which actually say - you're too dark and too fat to appeal to our audience. Bad, Bad, Bad.

  5. What a joke. And just admit it!! That's such a shame as why would you change her? Poor girl now looks green. They should be ashamed of themselves. Pruxxx

  6. Oh noe. (Shakes head in despair.)

    But in other slightly off the topic commentary - how cute are Lauren Conrad's shorts/bottom-half-of-jumpsuit in that bottom pic?!

  7. Haha Bron - hadn't noticed LC's shorts because I was in such a huff about Gabby's cover...but you're right! Love them!

  8. "up close so you can't see her beautiful curves"

    Not everyone is the same shape and women should love their bodies and be comfortable and accepting of themselves, but obesity is the biggest problem facing america and glorifying it in the name of body acceptance is very reckless. Just because a large population is obese does not make it "normal". Premature death and health complications are not beautiful, for the extremely thin or the extremely overweight.


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