Editor of Self Gets Her Photoshopping Ass Handed to Her

You gotta go to the blog of Lucy Danziger, the editor-in-chief of Self magazine and read all the comments from readers who aren’t buying the lame excuse for photoshopping the hell out of Kelly Clarkson for the cover of this month’s Total Body Confidence issue. Most of Self’s blog readers say that as a result of the blog entry and their disgust with the editor’s statements, they are dropping their subscriptions and/or calling for the editor to resign.

Just like many of Self’s readers, I decided to give Lucy, the editor, a piece of my mind. Who knows if all of our protests will lead to any real change at the magazine. Regardless, read the piece and the comments. It’s quite amazing to see how fed up women are with being bombarded with manipulated images of perfection 24/7.

In regards to her recent weight gain, this is what Kelly had to say:

“When people talk about my weight, I’m like, ‘You seem to have a problem with it; I don’t. I’m fine!’ I’ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.”

Check out my comment that I posted on the blog. I’ve included it below.


I am appalled by your justification for digitally manipulating your cover of Kelly Clarkson. You digitally enhancing your personal photos so that you can feel better about the way you look is your choice. To draw a parallel between your personal choice and your job as a magazine editor makes no sense. Your personal choices only impact you. By “correcting” Kelly, *you* are choosing how you (as an editor with commercial interests) want Clarkson to appear in the public arena.

Clarkson is a role model because she is confident with her body, works out and has an amazing career. Millions of women and girls see her as someone they can relate to and the way you portray her has an impact.

One study done of 550 teens found that almost 70% stated that pictures in magazines (like yours) influence their conception of the “perfect” body shape.

To manipulate the cover of your Total Body Confidence issue is deceptive and irresponsible. You hold the key to your reader’s body confidence. Please take your job more seriously.

You say in your blog,

“Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best.”

The assumption you make is that her “personal best” means whatever falls along your narrowly defined beauty standards. Following your logic, an artist of Clarkson’s stature isn’t her “personal best” until your team narrows her hips and thighs and make a picture that pleases YOU. Wow, I thought this was the 21st century, where women are accomplished for what they do–not how they look.

You also can’t back pedal on this issue by asking us to think about our photographs and what we want them to convey. We are not celebrities, public figures, or roles models that grace the covers of magazines for millions of people to see. And please don?t tell us to

“go ahead and be confident in every shot, in every moment. Because the truest beauty is the kind that comes from within.”

Until you authentically promote body confidence and show Kelly Clarkson on your cover as she really looks, your words are meaningless. It’s called editorial integrity-look it up.

Related content:

Kardashian’s Cellulite: A Complex Controversy

Is Airbrushing On Its Way Out?

Putting “Proper” Clothes on Mariah Carey.

In the Name of Girls: The AMA Calls for Magazine Ads to End Photoshopping Bodies

Debenhams Breaks Fashion Protocol Again

Warning Labels on Photoshopped Models? “Oui” Say the French

7 thoughts on “Editor of Self Gets Her Photoshopping Ass Handed to Her

  1. Here’s what Kelly Clarkson had to say about her recent weight gain:

    ?When people talk about my weight, I?m like, ?You seem to have a problem with it; I don?t. I?m fine!? I?ve never felt uncomfortable on the red carpet or anything.?

    ‘Nuff said.

  2. Yes, it was strangely empowering to read all those replies. We’ve come a long way. Ten years ago when I was teaching about the effects of media on our choices to adults most would say they didn’t think they were affected and didn’t care about the manipulation of images one way or another. Let’s hope we hear about this episode in the news and more people call for change with the magazine.

  3. I came to AB via your post on Lucy’s awful blog, great to have found you – will be checking this place out regularly.

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