Thursday, August 13, 2009

Self Magazine and the Kelly Clarkson Cover - Why it is ok to lie.

Self magazine retouched the photo of Kelly Clarkson that they used on their cover; that's old news and in fact I ignored it when it first happened for two reasons one of which is that I don't care .... the other is ... well ok there was just one reason after all. The picture above is the magazine cover and a picture of Kelly from a performance that apparently took place on July 31st 2009 - so I am not going out of my way to be unfair.

Following the initial Internet furor (or whatever) an editor came out and said that the cover used an altered photo and that should have been the end of it;
Last Friday, the Internet was abuzz with the fact that I answered the question, did you Photoshop the September issue cover photo of Kelly Clarkson? with the answer: Yes. Of course we do retouching
Now however the editor is back to explain that by retouched she meant magically altered to show the real person that is hidden from us all;
She is, like her music, giving and strong and confident and full of gusto. Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best. Did we publish an act of fiction? No. Not unless you think all photos are that. But in the sense that Kelly is the picture of confidence, and she truly is, then I think this photo is the truest we have ever put out there on the newsstand.
Wait - so how the hell are all pictures an act of fiction? I've taken alot of pictures of people (sometimes with them knowing) and the un-retouched photo looks just like the person I pointed the camera at. The person may not like the picture but that's what they look like. How exactly is that a lie? For that matter if I then take a picture and retouch it to make them look like Wonder Woman instead of like Khloe Kardashian is that the truth because it shows her freaking inner spirit?

Does this also extend beyond pictures by the way? Because if it does than the next time I send out a resume I am going say that I went to Harvard and got my Doctorate in awesome, then paste a picture of me retouched to look like Optimus Prime - because that all shows my inner spirit of confidence and gusto.

If you really want to read more bullshit about why it is ok to lie you can see the article here.