Let's talk about the Meghan Trainor Photoshopping accusations
Last weekend, “All About That Bass” singer Meghan Trainor attended Wango Tango, a yearly concert hosted by the popular Los Angeles-based radio station 102.7 KIIS FM. The event attracts some of the biggest names in music (Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West were all in attendance, just to name a few), and the 21-year-old looked absolutely lovely on the pink carpet in a black blazer and colorful Ted Baker pencil skirt. The British brand’s press team was quick to take notice, and soon distributed images of Trainor donning the outfit to various news outlets via email. But there was one very obvious (and disappointing) difference: in the press release, Trainor appeared Photoshopped to look skinnier.
As Yahoo! Beauty first reported, the photographs were definitely altered from the originals, and Trainor appears slimmer and stretched out overall (particularly around the waist, hips, and face). Let’s be clear: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being skinny. However, Trainor has, on multiple occasions, addressed that she’s naturally a little curvier — and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, either. She’s also expressed concerns over being Photoshopped, and recently asked magazines to quit retouching her. Regardless of your opinions on Trainor and her music, she represents a minority in the industry and she is extremely vocal about body-love — which is a wonderful message for women of all body types.
Image altering is extremely pervasive in our culture, and creates unrealistic standards of beauty for the masses (aka all of us). Embracing body diversity and diverse representation has never been more essential. Given that Trainor’s such a huge proponent for body acceptance and is all about embracing her curves (as well as, obviously, that bass), the distorted images Ted Baker released to press feel out of step with her message.
So was this image alteration intentional? When reached for comment, a representative at Ted Baker told Yahoo, “It was a simple pitch. I tried to put the images together and make them fit them into the email. I’m so mortified that that was how it was received. I apologize and I take responsibility for that. I am a huge advocate for women and that was not my intent.”
Today, Ted Baker released the following statement to Yahoo.
Here’s hoping the brand (and other brands) learned something from the experience, and that it helps foster a discussion about how we alter images in the future.