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Photoshop Horrors, Body Shaming, or Lazy Work?

Yesterday Mark Shrayber posted an article on an errant elbow photoshop job on The Limited's website.

Someone posted a response pointing out that sometimes elbows just don't look quite like what you might expect and posted a photo of their own elbows to prove their point. And this was his response:

Thank you for replying and pointing this out (as well as being so kind about it). I recognize that the photo has been altered fairly heavily, but I also recognize that by making comments about the elbow, I may have been inadvertently being inconsiderate to people with different types of arms and joints. I will definitely keep this in mind for the future,


My reaction is two fold.

First, good on Mark for recognizing he was coming close to body shaming. Yeah, he was calling out some weird photoshopping appropriately, but not everyone's bodies fit our culturally set expectations and that may have just been the case with this model.

Two, I could have totally imagined this as a satirical exchange (lulz elbow shaming wut?), but I think that says more about my ability to understand how far body shaming, as a cultural and social practice, is accepted in society and how I participate in it.

Also, I think this commenter's responses in the same thread about the flip side of these "photoshop of horrors" stories and what else might be going on there are worth some more attention.


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