It’s no secret that most models undergo a lot of retouching in their professional photos.
Clearer skin, thinner bodies, and a whole lot of Photoshop are just part of the norm for women featured in online or print ads. But just how much are their bodies digitally altered, and are we really aware of all of the modifications involved in producing the “perfect” modeling photos? One retoucher who’s worked years for Victoria’s Secret recently talked to Refinery29, spilling the beans about a few of the various (and surprising) changes made to their models before and during the editing process.
1. According to the unnamed woman, most Victoria’s Secret models have to wear hair extensions on set. “I don’t think I ever was on a shoot with a model that had real hair,” she said.
2. Unsurprisingly, their breasts are Photoshopped to look rounder, perkier, more symmetrical, and bigger. In real life, “they all have [size] A’s,” she said.
3. They also place silicone enhancers, known in the business as “chicken cutlets,” in their bras and swimsuits to enhance the bustline.
4. Next up is the fact that they wear push up bras under their swimsuit tops. “When you’re wearing a strapless bikini, in no way, shape, or form [can] you have cleavage. It’s physically impossible with the way gravity works.”
5. Last but certainly not least, despite only hiring the thinnest of women, Victoria’s Secret alters their models to look curvier. But why not just bring on bigger women? “One time, during a swim season, they had these two girls come in that had abs and thick thighs and busts. They were really toned and their skin was amazing,” the retoucher explained. “But, they didn’t sell anything and so they stopped using those girls.” Nice job, consumers.