Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 10/16/2009

Ralph Lauren…WTF?

Ralph Lauren has created some seriously disturbingly photoshopped ads lately:

as many have already noted - her head is definitely bigger than her pelvis

Ralph Lauren’s defense? They released this statement:

For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.

Oh, hey, maybe an apology for basically promoting an anatomically impossible aesthetic would be nice? Anybody else feel like essentially they’re saying “Sorry you have a problem with it” …?

And then there are the reports that the first photoshopped model above, who is a size 4, was fired for being “too fat.”

As one body image expert stated, “I think we need to get a grip and designers need to get a clue. If a stunning size 4 model is too overweight to look good in their clothes, then they need to change their clothes, not the model.”

Better…and yet. I’d make the argument that if any range of normal sizes beyond a 4 are too overweight to look good in their clothes, they should change their product. Designers should be designing clothes that look good on, well, the MAJORITY of people out there. But that’s just me leaving in my little ideal world.

The good thing about this otherwise disturbing screw up is that it IS spreading awareness about how prevalent photoshopping really is and how insane it’s getting. At least it seems to be sparking a discussion…?


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  • Kiri @ at 12:31 pm, October 16th, 2009

    This is quickly falling into the uncanny valley. These women just don’t look human, its just kinda scary.

  • Helen H. @ at 5:27 pm, October 16th, 2009

    Oh dear.

    I’ll try to refrain from swearing. But what happens to the people who just look at the magazine? What happens if they keep doing this, and more magazines join in, and it becomes normal to expect an unnatural, or at least unhealthy looking woman on the cover of a magazine.

    What’s that telling girls about themselves?

  • Genie @ at 8:23 pm, October 16th, 2009

    The whole affair with Ralph Lauren has made me so, so sad. What the hell is going on in someone’s mind that makes such extreme photoshopping a desirable outcome? The second imagine looks like a how-to on NOT to photoshop. Totally agree on the uncanny valley comment. Treating women’s bodies this way is disgusting.

  • Chelsea! @ at 3:11 pm, October 17th, 2009


  • Lolli @ at 5:18 pm, October 17th, 2009

    I think the model’s body shape looks uncannily masculine. This is very sad. Real women don’t look like that. Skinny models? Okay. Anorexic models who ON TOP look like dudes? No thanks. It just looks like the designer hates women and markets their clothes for the cash.

  • toongrrl @ at 8:49 pm, October 18th, 2009

    I saw a story on that in the “Rachel Maddow Show”, Rachel’s spin was so funny. She was fired for what??? WTF??

  • Maria D @ at 9:41 pm, October 18th, 2009

    These photos remind me of those bottle cap cats and dogs that they have on birthday cards. You know the type, the ones where the head and eyes are HUGE and then the necks and below just get smaller and smaller. But I never thought of those as attractive….

    It’s THESE assholes I need to hit with a brick for convincing my already neurotic friend that she’s getting “fat” when she pops up to a size six during her period (though SHE really should know better, but that’s another story)

    Ya know, instead of a brick, I just need to go SIT on Ralph Lauren with my fat, size 12, Latina ass.

  • KS @ at 10:09 pm, October 19th, 2009

    I read an article relating to this in Jezebel a few days ago… the model who was fired for fat was on the cover of major fashion magazines and she commented on her frustration with Ralph Lauren as well. Not to mention how pathetic RL’s apology is…

  • Anna @ at 7:06 am, October 22nd, 2009

    I keep hoping this whole thing is just some awful awful attempt at a publicity stunt. My brain just can’t handle it. I look at them and just kinda go “wha?, surely no-one could’ve thought… huh?” I just don’t understand HOW these got okayed.

  • Laura H @ at 5:30 am, April 7th, 2010

    That’s…really scary.

  • Pixie @ at 1:29 am, April 19th, 2010

    Just to look at this from another angle….Does anyone else think that the legs/pelvic areas in these pics look like those of children?. It’s REALLY creepy, once again I am convinced that most (it wouldn’t be fair to say all) designers are seceretly paedophiles O___o

  • Barrett Tataris @ at 12:20 am, May 17th, 2010

    I have come to your site before. Great fitness photos. Wanted to tell you, you have a nice web site

  • Spotlight on The FBomb @ at 4:05 pm, January 31st, 2011

    […] eating disorders. However, on the FBomb, we also love discussing pop-culture. From photo-shopping disasters to Jessica Simpson’s show on VH1, we’ve got it […]

  • Down With Photoshopping | fbomb @ at 11:03 am, December 28th, 2011

    […] result, when models are depicted as super-skinny with heads wider than their hips (as was done in a Ralph Lauren ad), that sends girls a message that they need to be as thin as possible in order to be accepted, to […]

  • Dan @ at 8:05 am, August 16th, 2012

    Well quit buying these designers that do this…..Take your money elsewhere. Dont let some idiots with a warped sense of what is beautiful tell you what you should wear. QUIT BUYING AND THEY WILL CHANGE WHAT THEY PRODUCE. Email them and let them know.
    Also quit buying magazines that photoshop their adds. It is really quite simple. Dont buy it. Money talks when it walks.

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