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Extreme makeovers

Demi Moore’s debated picture on the cover of amagazine has sparked an online furore about airbrushing or using body-doubles. Fashion editors say every gorgeous beauty on magazine covers is 'touched up'.

fashion and trends Updated: Nov 24, 2009 20:05 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

Kareena KapoorDemi Moore’s much debated picture on the cover of W magazine’s December issue has sparked an online furore about airbrushing or using body-doubles, but fashion magazine editors in India say using software to hide the flaws of cover girls is ‘nothing unusual’. Denying airbrushing allegations on her super-skinny cover pic, Moore had tweeted, "I have no hips." Laughing it off, a US photographer has offered US$ 5,000 to anyone who can prove the photo is not tampered with.

“For fashion magazine covers, we have to fit celebrities into garments which are designed for the painfully fit. Most stars themselves ask us to make sure that flaws like an unsightly mole or a bulge are taken care of ,” says Shefalee Vasudev, Editor, Marie Claire India, adding, “‘Hope this will be taken care of’ is their pet line.” “The covers are definitely photoshopped, more so in fashion magazines. The cover girls are meant to be perfect, so we make them perfect. But we don’t totally change the look,” concurs Ruchika Mehta, Editor, Hello! India.

The lensmen also contribute to the trend. “As a photographer, I will use whatever tool is required to make the image look best, ” says celebrity photographer Atul Kasbekar, adding, “Whether it is lighting, make-up, styling, hair or photoshop.”

The editors reveal that the most common flaws corrected by using airbrush technique include facial hair, chipped nail polish, freckles. “At times we also have to wax armpits, lighten blemishes, do aesthetic surgery ,” laughs Vasudev and quips, “We have to deal with the ‘joys’ of booblessness and make them shapely.” Justifications are interesting. “Don’t you add a cherry at the top of a chocolate cake to make it attractive?” asks fashion stylist Rishi Raj. “To make clothes hang good on the body, you have to resort to airbrushing.”

A hip-removal is deemed extreme, at least in Indian fashion world. “We do touch up the photographs for aesthetic purposes,” says Vasudev, “but we don’t change the body to unrecognisable levels.” Meanwhile Moore continues tweeting on her missing hip: “You know what is obscene...(sic) you judging what is my actual shape.”

Bebo goes goth

Actress Kareena Kapoor pouts into the camera in the December issue of Vogue India, bringing edginess to her sexy couture gown by Dior with gothic make-up. Smouldering eyes with heavy kohl, black nail-polish with a dramatic silver cuff and hair that is quite unusually tousled and crazy...the Bollywood star carries off this winter’s dark and sultry make-up look, albeit a version that some stylists would call “goth light”.