JoCo Gets Real About Photoshopping

by The Daily Front Row

This week’s issue of Adweek is all about women, and the cover story features Cosmopolitan EIC Joanna Coles in convo with Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of digital marketing agency 360i, Nancy Reyes, the managing director of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and Nadja Bellan-White, senior partner and managing director of Ogilvy & Mather. The fascinating chat touched upon oodles of topics, and Coles weighed in on Photoshopping in the pages of glossies. First lesson: if you skip the retouching, expect a whole lot of incredulity:  “…the funny thing is, when I was at Marie Claire, we did a cover and whole shoot with Jessica Simpson with no makeup. We didn’t retouch it. Nobody believed us. You cannot win at this game,” Coles said. But the editrix is perfectly OK getting in on some Photoshop action herself: “And I’ve never said we don’t retouch magazines, retouch images in the magazine—and I want my Editor’s Note to be the first to be retouched, I am telling you right now.” Coles had even more to say about all things Photoshop: “But we do very light retouches, so you know, if someone comes in with a zit or a cold sore or they’ve got a piece of hair sticking up here which nobody noticed at the shoot, we will take it out because otherwise it’s distracting. And what often people don’t realize when they haven’t been to a photo shoot is the disproportionate impact that very strong lighting can have. So you know, one limb could look enormous or your shoulders are suddenly up here. So we might address those things because photographs do weird things to people. So, we don’t do drastic retouching—I never take 30 pounds off someone.” Intriguing, non?


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