Lady Gaga is the victim of the latest Photoshop scandal, if we can even call it that. Untouched photos from the singer’s Versace photo shoot leaked online earlier this week, revealing a different, more raw side of the pop star that is not reflected in the magazine’s official photos. Though the incident presents a perfect opportunity to make a lyrical joke (“I wasn’t born this way, Versace!” or “Do what you want with my body, as long as you don’t Photoshop it” both come), Gaga has yet to reach out for comment.
The photographs, which portray a brooding Gaga modeling against a purple couch and designer bags, show clear alterations to the singer’s jawline and complexion, giving her more of a toned, bluish glow and a paler, less saturated hair color. While Gaga’s stance on Photoshop has become increasingly questionable over the years, I can’t imagine the “Just Dance” singer would approve of the changes.
Then again, there aren’t many changes to disapprove of in the first place. Compared to other Photoshop disasters, the Versace shoot is relatively mild. How easily people forget that, just a few weeks ago, a young Target model lost a whole chunk of her thigh and arm to an editing disaster. In a 2013 Vogue photo series, Claire Dane lost an entire leg. I mean, if Photoshopped pictures were anything like A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), where events in the “dream world” affect events in reality, Claire Danes would be hobbling across Washington D.C. in Homeland and children would be wandering around J.Crew with no arms and extra shiny hair. It would be pure madness.
What I’m trying to say, really, is that Lady Gaga’s photo shoot can hardly be called a scandal compared to some of the other editing fails we’ve seen over the past few years. That’s not to say that what these magazines are doing is not important. In a world where the media is constantly trying to mold our perceived image of beauty, Photoshop can be a very dangerous tool. However, Versace’s untouched photos don’t reflect that sort of agenda, at least not to the extent that some news sites are claiming. A few saturation adjustments and a thinning of the jawline are nothing compared to some of the more drastic measures tabloids have taken in the past.
Perhaps Gaga’s untouched pictures are really the beginning of the end for the construction of body image in the media and I’m under-reacting, but it’s also possible that an opportunistic journalist noticed a slight contrast in the “before and after photos” and saw the potential for a “scandalous” report. What do you think? Should we be taking Gaga’s untouched photos more seriously? Or are the pictures not as “shocking” as everyone is making them out to be?
Featured image via Billboard.com.