Lena Dunham, Vogue, and the end of Photoshop?

Careful with the modifications of Lena Dunham's face, Internet.

It’s no secret that fashion magazines use Photoshop on most of their spreads. 

“They have definite conversations about it, and they definitely have a preconceived idea of how they want the picture to look,” says Kate Betts, author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Styleand a former fashion editor herself.

So perhaps the editors of Vogue were surprised when the retouched images of Lena Dunham in their latest issue sparked a social media firestorm, led by the blog Jezebel

And Betts says that’s exactly the reason Millennials may have disliked Vogue’s spread of Dunham: “Millennials really want the real image and that’s what the conversation about the Lena Dunham cover was really about. She’s part of that generation and she’s baring it all on her TV so, so maybe people were confused that she was suddenly going Vogue on us and they wanted her to be herself.”

When it’s easier to find retouched images, the real ones stand out. 

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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