How could Target fail so badly at Photoshop?

It’s that end-of-year, time-for-reflection time and so we’re thinking back to all the HelloGiggles stories that we (and you!) truly loved in 2014. Here’s just one of our faves, which was originally published on March 12, 2014.

Only recently did I learn of the horrors that surrounded the “thigh gap.” A thigh gap is pretty much exactly what it sounds like—having thighs thin enough so they don’t touch while standing. Sadly, there are websites dedicated to achieving and maintaining your thigh gap when in reality, the look could be pretty haunting when it’s not your natural body shape.

However, Target accidentally made the gap even more horrific while advertising their Xhilaration swimsuit line on their website. Besides the fact that the model has had her arms thinned out and lengthened to an almost non-human degree, the artist who touched up the photo tried creating a thigh gap so extreme, that it removed a chunk of her ladybits.

It’s shopped so badly that I feel like I could have accidentally done the same with the square “eraser” icon in MSPaint. The image was made popular over at Jezebel, and soon after, Target’s digital mutilation of these young women was fully examined. Butt gaps were created. Ribcages were hastily thinned. Oh—did I mention that the bikini in question is marketed towards juniors?


“This is what is being marketed and pushed on young girls,” Jezebel writer Rebecca Rose stated. “This absurd image of a crotch that absolutely does not and cannot happen naturally.”

In a recent survey created by Today and AOL, 80 percent of the teenage girls surveyed said they compare themselves to the images they see of celebrities, and many of those girls said those images made them feel worse about their own appearances. Even more interesting, a majority of those polled wished that Photoshopping would stop entirely. While recent campaigns have tried to show us that women can be beautiful at any size, with or without makeup, we still have a long way to go. Target definitely isn’t sending the message across that women don’t need to have an orb of air running between their thighs in order to look and feel beautiful in a two-piece bathing suit.

If you could find an upside regarding this mistake, it’s that Target’s Photoshopping skills were so terrible that any man or woman could easily witness how butchered these images truly are. A beautiful face with a half-missing vagina isn’t what sells these days, Target. Real beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, but it’s definitely never cut and pasted together with a computer program. I can bet there’s not a woman among us who wants a butt with a gigantic chunk taken out of it.

While Photoshopping in general is a cruel practice, I’d at least think that a company like Target would realize that their core demographic won’t be drawn to the suit based on false images—they’d be drawn based on price and whether or not it’s cute and will last through the season. The only time I’ve bought a suit at Target was when I was at a hotel with a swimming pool, left mine at home, and figured that a cheap suit for $25 was worth 30 minutes of quality swim time. But then again, this is the same company that thought “manatee grey” would be a good color for a plus-sized dress.

Looks like someone needs to be reprimanded in Target’s digital department. Besides these incidents and that whole credit card theft thing, I’m still willing to believe you’ll change, Target. You’re just going through a rough and confusing year.

Image Credits: Featured, Full Length

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