Magazines have always been in the business of crafting celebrity appearances. Even before Photoshop existed in 1988, the magazine industry has collaborated with celebrities to carefully present images that shape our consciousness.
Digital editing takes that to another degree. Now, any celebrity can change their appearance in a photo with the swipe of a finger.
For many people, it’s a serious problem. One major criticism lobbed at celebrities and magazines is that they promote unrealistic body standards— especially for women.
Celebrities often post Photoshopped selfies. And, of course, altered images are common in advertising as well. Sometimes, though, the manipulation is obvious. And that leads fans, critics, and even celebrities themselves to sometimes react harshly.
Here are 43 celebrity Photoshops that turned into disasters.
Aly Weisman contributed to a previous version of this article.
Lena Dunham was clearly missing something in this 2014 Vogue cover shoot.
Like many things Lena Dunham does, it was controversial.
Her arm mysteriously disappeared.
Other photos from the shoot were also heavily Photoshopped, but Dunham was OK with it. She told Slate that she saw the Photo shoot as a fantasy, not something that was supposed to emulate real life.
“Vogue isn’t the place that we go to look at realistic women,” she said. “Vogue is the place that we go to look at beautiful clothes and fancy places and escapism and so I feel like if the story reflects me and I happen to be wearing a beautiful Prada dress and surrounded by beautiful men and dogs, what’s the problem?”
Zendaya was surprised to see her body look different in a 2015 shoot for Modeliste magazine.
“Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19-year-old hips and torso quite manipulated,” she wrote on Instagram. “These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it.”
The magazine blamed a third party editor and posted the original photo.
The magazine’s editor blamed “an independent editing company,” pulled the issue, and restored the original photo for publication.
“Modeliste advocates positive body image, self love and the empowerment of women,” Amy McCabe, the Editor in Chief, wrote in an open letter. “We are all beautiful and unique in our own way, and it is through these differences that make us who we are as individuals.”
Fans called out this Kylie Jenner selfie for Photoshop.
The image seems to have a glaring issue.
The wall in the background appears to curve right around where her stomach bends in.
For what it’s worth, Jenner took to Snapchat not long after to explain that it wasn’t Photoshop, it’s simply the way her curtain looks.
In 2016, Meghan Trainor posted a side-by-side image of what she looks like in real life and how she was made to appear in her “Me Too” music video.
“They Photoshopped the crap out of me and I’m so sick of it, so I took it down until they fix it,” she explained on Snapchat.
It was fixed within a day.
After Trainor took the video down, she got the studio to release a version of the video without body manipulation.
Katy Perry appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in August 2010.
She was interviewed at length about how she went from a singer in a church to a sex icon.
Pre-Photoshop photos appeared on Tumblr.
Rolling Stone drew criticism for making changes to her body. Perry’s skin had been smoothed over, her thighs thinned, hand modified, and had several moles removed.
Kerr’s waistline in her Instagram post is noticeably smaller than it is in the original photo.
She claimed she pulled it off the internet and didn’t know it was Photoshopped, but it’s not the only photo she’s posted with those issues.
Adam Levine appeared in the November 2011 issue of Vogue Russia with his then-girlfriend, model Anne Vyalitsyna.
Something’s not right.
He lost half his torso.
Something went seriously wrong when the image was edited.
Jennifer Lawrence appeared on the June 2011 cover of Flare magazine.
The original photos show that Lawrence’s cover image was modified heavily.
Kerry Washington’s 2016 Adweek cover didn’t thrill the actress.
She said it looks very different from what she sees when she looks in the mirror.
“I just felt weary,” Washington wrote on Instagram. “It felt strange to look at a picture of myself that is so different from what I look like when I look in the mirror. It’s an unfortunate feeling.”
Adweek’s editorial director at the time said the magazine made “minimal adjustments.”
“Kerry Washington is a class act. We are honored to have her grace our pages,” James Cooper said in a statement. “To clarify, we made minimal adjustments, solely for the cover’s design needs. We meant no disrespect, quite the opposite. We are glad she is enthusiastic about the piece and appreciate her honest comments.”
Kim Kardashian West wore a tight black getup in the April/May 2009 issue of Complex Magazine.
But Compex made a huge mistake.
The original photo was accidentally uploaded on the Complex website.
Priyanka Chopra’s armpit was Photoshopped out of existence in her 2016 Maxim cover.
Her arm seems to just stick out of her torso.
Britney Spears looks fitter than ever in her “Work B**ch” music video from October 2013.
And her dancing in the music video remained as energetic as ever.
But it looks like her body was edited.
The Daily Mail obtained pre-edited photos from editing service HOAX Films, where Spears’ already-thin waist and thighs were further slimmed digitally.
Look at this photo of Selena Gomez that was posted by her makeup artist.
Hung Vanngo does makeup for a lot of different celebrities.
The door appears warped — it may have been manipulated to make her hair look more volumized.
The doorway is warped right above her shoulder, indicating that’s where it was Photoshopped. The effect may have been to make Gomez’s hair look more full than it actually is.
Gwyneth Paltrow graces the March 2012 cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
Paltrow wore a dress designed by Anthony Vaccarello.
Inside the magazine, something seemed wrong.
Paltrow seems to be pulling the hem of her dress around one of her legs, but the placement of that leg seems totally wrong.
Does this 2009 W magazine cover with Demi Moore look off to you?
Some people thought it was Photoshopped.
Tennis player Andy Roddick appeared on the June/July 2007 cover of Men’s Fitness.
He looked really buff, but he noticed something wrong.
Even Roddick didn’t recognize his huge arms in the retouched photo.
Magazine Photoshops disproportionately modify the appearance of women, but men aren’t exempt.
“Little did I know I have 22-inch guns and a disappearing birthmark on my right arm,” Roddick wrote on his blog post.
This 2013 ad for “Pretty Little Liars” wasn’t popular with stars of the show.
Two of them criticized it for changing how they look.
Ashley Benson and Troian Bellisario both called it out.
“We all look ridiculous. Way too much photoshop.” Benson wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post. “We all have flaws. No one looks like this. It’s not attractive.”
Bellisario agreed with Benson’s criticism.
“I couldn’t agree more,” she wrote on Instagram. “Very cool concept as always. But aren’t we attractive enough women as we are? Why can’t we just look like us?”
In another “Pretty Little Liars” ad, one actress seemed to be missing a leg.
Who is it?
It’s another case of a mangled leg.
Actress Sasha Pieterse lost her left leg somewhere.
Hello! magazine nabbed Prince William for the cover of its February 22, 2010 issue.
Do you see what’s been modified?
It looks like the magazine filled out his hairline.
A receding hairline is always hard to deal with, and William’s pose only emphasized it, so the magazine may have filled it in for that reason. He also usually has blonde-ish hair, but it was turned brown for the cover.
Kristen Stewart appeared on the cover of Glamour’s November 2011 issue.
Do you see what looks Photoshopped?
Upon closer inspection, Stewart seems to be missing her left forearm.
It could be carefully placed behind her leg, but it seems to have disappeared altogether while Stewart contorted herself into that pose.
Country music singer Faith Hill appeared on the July 2007 cover of Redbook.
But her proportions don’t seem right.
Her arms are totally wrong.
Some retouch work left Hill with a nonexistent right arm, a left arm that’s too big yet too thin in strange places, and a back that seems to collapse into an isosceles triangle.
Drew Barrymore looked great in her white dress on InStyle’s February 2012 cover.
But something’s missing.
Where’s her left hip?
Her mouth also looks like it may have been Photoshopped to look more like a smirk than a smile.
Sarah Jessica Parker landed the March 2013 cover of Harper’s Bazaar China.
She doesn’t look like herself, though.
Her skin seems totally different in the magazine.
The magazine gave her piercing, otherworldly eyes and perfect, glowing skin. High contrasting also makes her cheekbones really sharp.
Fans took issue with Kelly Clarkson’s figure on Self’s September 2009 cover.
The magazine distorted her figure.
“Do we retouch? Yes!”
The magazine digitally shed pounds off of Clarkson to make her look “her personal best,” according to then-editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger.
“Do we retouch? Yes! Did we alter her appearance? Only to make her look her personal best,” Danziger said. “Did we publish an act of fiction? No. Not unless you think all photos are that.”
In the interview the magazine published, Clarkson said she was happy with her weight.
“My happy weight changes … Sometimes I eat more; sometimes I play more. I’ll be different sizes all the time,” Clarkson said. “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.”
Oprah Winfrey’s August 1989 TV Guide cover wasn’t really Oprah.
That’s Oprah’s face, but everything else looks wrong.
Time’s June 27, 1994 cover featured O.J. Simpson’s mugshot.
It was shortly after he was arrested for the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and Ron Goldman.
The cover made his skin look much darker.
Critics attacked the magazine, saying that it made him look darker to emphasize his skin color and make it more “menacing.”
Compare it, for example, to a Newsweek cover from the same time with the same photo. Newsweek didn’t retouch the photo, making Time’s cover look much worse by contrast.
Lindsay Lohan forgot to take care of one crucial feature in this shot.
“My feet look red lol-had to take that out. Only real red is my hair,” she wrote in her now-deleted Instagram post.
The door behind her is warped, indicating that some parts were curved.
Doors shouldn’t look like that.
Beyoncé definitely doesn’t need any Photoshop.
But in this 2014 photo posted to her website, fans noticed something was amiss.
Ariana Grande counted down the days until the release of her single “Focus.”
Look carefully at her right hand.
Her right hand looks bizarrely long.
It could be because of the camera lens. Or maybe someone decided to make Grande’s hand twice its usual size in Photoshop.
Model Martha Hunt is selling a swimsuit with another model in this Victoria’s Secret Instagram post.
But something isn’t right.
Did something happen to her arm?
In this image, it looks like her left arm disappeared somehow, with an elbow impossibly far away from her body.
This Instagram photo from Taylor Swift got a lot of attention.
It was one of the few times Taylor Swift showed off her belly button on Instagram.
But the metal guardrail behind her and the band Haim shouldn’t look like that.
As with doorways and walls, there’s a curved background feature that should appear straight. It’s a dead giveaway for photoshopping.
Jordyn Woods posted a photo with her BFF Kylie Jenner in May 2017.
Both of them have huge followings on social media.
Look closer at the carpet.
The lines should be straight, but they’ve been distorted, indicating some digital work has been done.
Kris Jenner has also been called out for Photoshop. Here’s a selfie Gordon Ramsay posted.
They met in 2014.
And here’s the version Jenner posted to her own Instagram page.
As you can see, both of their faces look heavily airbrushed.
This John Mayer selfie was supposed to be a joke, right?
In 2014, the singer posted a photo of himself with his friend Ricky Van Veen, who co-founded College Humor.
Needless to say, their skin is usually not that smooth.
Mayer has a reputation as a prankster, and that Photoshop wasn’t convincing.
Lupita Nyong’o graced the November 2017 issue of Grazia UK, but she looked a little different than expected.
Nyong’o wasn’t happy with the result.
The magazine photoshopped off a lob of her natural hair.
Nyong’o posted unedited images on Instagram that revealed the magazine took off a chunk of her hair and smoothed out the rest.
The actress wasn’t happy.
“I am disappointed that @graziauk invited me to be on their cover and then edited out and smoothed my hair to fit their notion of what beautiful hair looks like,” Nyong’o wrote on Instagram. “Had I been consulted, I would have explained that I cannot support or condone the omission of what is my native heritage with the intention that they appreciate that there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture.”
The magazine later apologized for publishing a modified image.
Solange Knowles had a similar situation with London’s Evening Standard magazine. Notice anything weird about this image?
The issue was published in October of 2017.
They also chopped off a bunch of her hair.
Solange wasn’t happy about it, referencing her song “Don’t Touch my Hair” in an Instagram post. It’s also a bizarre twist from the story, where she talks about the importance of being proud of natural hair. The article’s writer also disowned the piece, unhappy with the edits made.
Representatives for the Evening Standard later said they edited out her hair “for layout purposes” but apologized for the whole thing.
“Plainly we made the wrong call and we have offered our unreserved apologies to Solange,” the magazine said in a statement.
There’s a problem with Oprah in this Vanity Fair photo.
She’s featured in Vanity Fair’s 2018 Hollywood issue, alongside other celebrities. Here’s an “outtake” where Winfrey is hanging out with Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hanks.
She has an extra hand.
So that’s how Oprah is so productive. Vanity Fair acknowledged the error and fixed the photo online.
In another photo published in the issue, it looks like Reese Witherspoon has three legs, but the magazine says it just appears that way because of a shadow from the draping of her dress. Decide for yourself.
There’s something weird going on here with Emma Watson in a 2010 Burberry ad.
Something’s off here.
She’s missing her right leg.
Watson’s leg magically disappeared into thin air.
This 2009 ad with the model Filipa Hamilton has a serious problem.
It’s pretty obvious.
The proportions are completely wrong.
The advertisement’s editors drastically distorted her proportions. After it was released, Hamilton stopped working with the brand.
“They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn’t fit in their clothes anymore,” Hamilton told the New York Daily News.
A representative for Ralph Lauren said the image was published by mistake.
“The image in question was mistakenly released and used in a department store in Japan and was not the approved image which ran in the US,” the company said. “We take full responsibility.”
Olsen didn’t approve.
Elizabeth Olsen didn’t recognize herself in the photo.
“Does this look like me?” she asked in a now-deleted Instagram post.
Allure pointed out that Olsen’s cheekbones were sharpened and her skin darkened. Her hair, too, went from a blonde to something more brassy.
A lot seems wrong with this Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram post from March.
The image was supposed to promote the March For Our Lives rallies against gun violence.
The entire world is wobbly.
As many people noticed, a parked car behind her looks like it’s been squished into a thin triangular shape and the ground seems to bend behind her, as if there’s a seam in the concrete running across the parking lot. The shadows behind her legs also look artificial.
Though the photo has more than 1.6 million likes, it has no comments. The Daily Mail reported that Kardashian West disabled comments after she was called out for Photoshopping.
In a post on her website, Kardashian West said the photo was cropped from an image a fan made with a mirror effect, which is why there seems to be a seam on the image’s right side.
Lady Gaga didn’t like her 2013 Glamour cover.
She had an issue with a common Photoshop technique.
At Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” awards, she told her fans to “fight back against the forces that make them feel like they’re not beautiful.”
On the magazine cover, her face looked airbrushed.
When the magazine honored her at their “Woman of the Year” event, she used her platform at the event to criticize the modification of women’s bodies in media.
“It is fair to write about the change in your magazines. But what I want to see is the change on your covers,” Gaga said. “When the covers change, that’s when culture changes.”
Kate Winslet, too, was displeased with her February 2003 GQ UK cover.
Parts of it had been retouched.
Winslet disparaged it in another magazine interview.
“The retouching is excessive. I do not look like that and more importantly, I don’t desire to look like that,” Winslet said. “I actually have a Polaroid that the photographer gave me on the day of the shoot … I can tell you they’ve reduced the size of my legs by about a third. For my money, it looks pretty good the way it was taken.”
GQ UK’s editor at the time, Dylan Jones, said the Photoshop was fine.
“We do that for everyone, whether they are a size six or a size 12,” he told the BBC. “It hasn’t a lot to do with body size. Practically every photo you see in a magazine will have been digitally altered in this way.”