Photoshop Used to Make People Skinnier

This should be required watching for all size activists. This is what we’re up against — it’s so, so easy to do this, it’s considered as standard in photo editing as removing blemishes or an unwanted seagull from the picture. Blargh.

TRIGGER WARNING: It’s not as extremely fat-hating as I’ve heard, but it’s not fat-friendly. A lot of ‘hurr-hurr-ing’ about making her butt look smaller and so on. I suggest those who are sensitive to that kind of thing mute the volume. It’s visually self-explanatory, anyway.

12 comments on “Photoshop Used to Make People Skinnier

  1. Ruth says:

    “Heck take some pictures of your parents and make them thinner… I’m sure they’d appreciate that.” I just…

  2. Ms. Moran says:

    Photoshop can be wonderful. My sister is an artist and a photographer. She has used these features to put a person into a group shot when he/she missed out, change a background so a person’s face stands out, remove a zit that just appeared that morning and doesn’t need to be remembered for all time. But what is seen here (and I admit I watched with the sound off) is basically removing the person from the picture. I thought she looked lovely before. She seemed comfortable in her bikini and it looked like a great day at the beach. The after shot left me feeling uncomfortable, and there is no reason for that.

    • bigliberty says:

      Oh yes, don’t get me wrong, I own Photoshop and use it for many purposes. I even went as far as ‘fix’ a photo for a colleague, which included deleting an entire person from a picture (he’d walked into the shot, they didn’t know him, it was a family shot that was very good otherwise). But this kind of ‘fixing’ isn’t fixing at all, it’s altering the nature of reality. The woman they created doesn’t exist as such. I mean, it’s a breath away from removing her existence entirely. And isn’t that what a lot of fatphobics *really* want to do with fat people? Rub us out of existence, replace us with someone more attractive or, just as good, no one at all? For — what? So they can ogle a fictional woman who more cleanly aligns with their particular aesthetic preferences? Sad.

  3. Ms. Moran says:

    Sorry. One more comment. I have a large port-wine birthmark on my face. Over the years I have had times where I’ve used photoshop to remove it and other times where I left it as is. I don’t know if either answer is “right” but I always feel better about myself when I leave it in.

    • bigliberty says:

      I think that kind of thing is up to you. I’ve got a slightly lazy eye and a visible vein on my nose…in pictures it can show. I just let it be. I mean, it’s me. But when I was younger I used to only let the other side of my face get photographed, or covered up the vein with blobs of makeup.

  4. Whoa, the “after” shot looks all weird and out of proportion. It doesn’t look natural or realistic at all.

    Glad I didn’t listen to the sound.

  5. Can you imagine being the woman pictured? While I’ve got no problem with people fixing ‘blemishes’, recreating people’s bodies is just wrong.

    • bigliberty says:

      That’s what I was thinking. I mean, she’s gorgeous, but even if she wasn’t, what right does anyone have of dressing her up like some kind of warped paper doll? It’s obvious the photo (taken from behind) was snapped without her permission, and the ‘male gaze’ the ‘fixed’ her with its liquify tool.


  6. April D says:

    Even with the sound off I found myself just gaping at how calculating the whole process was. Just a matter of squish this in here, tuck this in here and *poof* nothing like the original! WHY?!?! *sigh* I think the worse part in the “To photoshop or not” quandry is that the subject in question (of being shopped) is not the one asked for an opinion. It is always others, outsiders, looking in and judging and deciding what counts as a “Blemish” or “problem area” in need of adjusting with the magic of PS. That is what makes me frustrated.

    Now I need to go watch some clips of Ponyo with the sound ON to get my awesome happy Anime theme-song music-esque happy feeling back!!

  7. chuttipen says:


    Thanks for sharing this extreme skeeviness.
    Just wanted to echo that the powers of Photoshop can be used for good.

    Hubby is a graphic designer and fine arts painter who specializes in fat nudes. He does a lot of his sketching in Photoshop. So often I find him sitting at his desk actively enhancing curves and maybe even making women FATTER with Photoshop.

    That was just….blech. Especially the way he danced around saying “her…ass”. Just wanted y’all to know it does happen right sometimes!

  8. well…so far everyone missed the main point, to me, of this degrading procedure.

    he left her boobs the same size!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    so its okay to have big boobs but nothing else can be big to this type of person?

    that pisses me off more than the blatant fat hate shown and also why is it a woman that is shown? he said give someone a diet and of course its a woman who is used because of course we must all hate our fat bodies cause men would not find us hot!!! pisses me off no end!

  9. daturagreenleaf says:

    If that woman was a brunette, that could be a picture of me! I think she looks great the way she is.

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