About-Face BlogBody ImageOn The PulseSexualization

Victoria’s Secret airbrushes away Candice Swanepoel’s torso

By April 1, 2011 12 Comments
Candice Swanepoel is missing something very important in this Victoria

Candice Swanepoel is missing something very important in this Victoria's Secret photo (hint: it looks like it may be her ribs).

Just in case you needed more proof that models are airbrushed within an inch of their lives (and without a few inches of their torsos).

A big thank you to About-Face reader Christiana who brought our attention to the latest Victoria’s Secret offense.

It’s easy to overlook the Photoshop fiasco at first glance, but take a closer look at where Candice Swanepoel‘s arm meets her hip. Now look at the vacant space directly above it, where her ribs should be.

So yes, we are indeed living in a world where even the genetically “perfect” Victoria’s Secret models are victims of airbrushing gone awry.

And apparently, airbrushing is no longer utilized to blur away a zit or stretch mark, but to digitally eliminate the unsightly bulk of vital bones and organs.

On a related note, About-Face’s Jennifer gleefully discovered a major grammatical oversight in V.S.’s “Incredible” TV spot: “Now there’s five ways to be incredible.” This could be an opportunity to go into a whole “is” versus “are”/singular versus plural rant, but it’s just easier to laugh about it (interestingly enough, the wording on the YouTube page is correct…).

–Michelle Konstantinovsky is a student at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and an avid admirer of shiny objects and preteen entertainment. It would be nice if you visited her website: www.michellekmedia.com. Also, she may learn to use Twitter more effectively if you follow her @michelley415.


  • Ashley says:

    You guys love to pick on VS, don’t you?

  • They make it so easy. 🙂

  • […] The discussion is here Huffpost Style and at About-Face. […]

  • Hannah says:

    Yes, Ashley, they do. And, interestingly, the last time they posted about VS the person who wrote the blog stated that she was a VS cardholder. A bit hypocritcal to both support VS by buying their products and bash them on here.

  • michellek says:

    Thanks for the feedback – the Photoshopped image was sent in by an A-F reader, so the post wasn’t a calculated attack timed perfectly to follow the previous VS rant. And I do indeed posess an Angels card, as I’m sure lots of other women who have ever set foot in their store do. I think it’s okay to be critical of their advertising campaigns without shamefully denying the company card I signed up for in high school. But thanks again for your opinions, keem them coming.

  • Hannah says:

    Point taken, Michelle. Thanks for your response, and for continuing to bring awareness to these issues.

  • michellek says:

    Thank YOU for reading, Hannah, and for being so kind in your response (it’s quite refreshing)! 🙂

  • Jessica says:

    Wow that is seriously ridiculous! I get soooo frustrated that I see my friends comparing themselves to pictures like these in magazines.

  • Richard says:

    Okay. I understand the and agree with the “selling products by selling sex” and “objectifying women is bad” arguments (I have a young daughter – it matters to me that she is strong, smart, brave and her self-confidence is not dependent on how her body looks to boys, etc.) but, as a heterosexual male, I still enjoy the images and sensually nuanced ads. There is something about men and women being biologically programmed to focus on sexuality (and looks), yes?

  • michellek says:

    I don’t think anyone is debating the biological drive to focus on sexuality, Richard. The problem here (a similar problem to the one discussed in the previous Victoria’s Secret post) regards airbrushing an already-thin model’s torso into oblivion, encouraging women to strive for a literally non-existent standard of “beauty.”

  • Richard says:

    and i am not really debating anything… just pondering… in any case, my questions/quandaries were/are about bigger picture issues… with regard to tweaking images to perfection, take a look at “the photoshop effect” on youtube… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YP31r70_QNM

    strange days, indeed…

  • Richard says:

    one last thing….