We’ve all become accustomed to Photoshop as being a necessary evil: a tool that adjusts images we see everywhere to make them better or more suitable to the message they carry. Yes, it falsifies things up to a point, but it can also create breath-taking beautiful effects by manipulating reality into impossible-looking artful results. There’s no denying the advantages of photoshopping and image manipulation, but sometimes the job done is so sloppy that the results achieved are beyond hilarious. Some aren’t just hilarious, but are also upsetting to viewers, when they feature unrealistic body images that promote sexism or unhealthy expectations. Here’s a list of 30 worst Photoshop mistakes of all time.
1. Veronica Kay’s missing leg. No, Stuff magazine didn’t attempt an up-worthy photo-shoot with a one-legged model. The flaw is instead a courtesy of the magazine’s design team. We’re sorry, Stuff: as Veronica is indeed lovely, the missing leg is not.
2. Emma Watson’s turn to lose a leg. In this Burberry ad, it’s suddenly not clear if the beautiful Emma Watson is holding a hand around her brother Alex because she’s affectionate, or because she needs the extra support due to losing a leg. Yes, it’s a bad joke, but the real joke is the campaign’s overeager Photoshop team.
3. A different kind of mistake: treating beautiful people as not good enough. Case in point: Beyonce. More than one time, the singer was involved in a controversy and litigious conflict with magazines that photshopped her skin tone to make it appear lighter than it actually is. Apparently you can make it as a woman of color, but only as long as you allow the image designers to tone your racial traits down a little, eh?
4. Another big boogie man of the beauty industry: curves. Sure, curves are supposedly nice in our post-Jennifer Lopez era, but that doesn’t mean real curvy bodies shouldn’t get a good dose of Photoshop treatment, apparently. On example is Kim Kardashian: after a magazine’s team is done with processing her original photos, even the much coveted curves are airbrushed into something more palatable for the industry’s standards.
5. Men aren’t exempt from this either. A similar slap in the face was achieved when the people from Lancome apparently though that Clive Owen could use a little nip and tuck to look acceptable enough for the campaign’s poster. Nothing that a little Photoshop can’t fix, right?
6. Bigger boobs don’t hurt either. Adriana Lima is a Victoria’s secret model deemed by many people perfect, but that hasn’t stopped some Photoshop expert from adorning her with a bigger pair of breasts. Such low blows constantly outrage journalists and bloggers everywhere, but it doesn’t seem to stop the industry from doing it again all the time.
7. To move on to actual mistakes in using the program’s features and functions, one classic fail is the overlapping text. Take the example below, where the text advertising the milk bar is printed both on the T-shirt and the model’s hand. Someone got lazy, it seems.
8. Multiple hands. If one of the worst Photoshop mistakes is chopping off a leg, we shouldn’t forget the adding of hands, either. Check out the dreamy scene with the three-handed princess. A lovely job, right?
9. Beyond sloppy erasing. This is what happens when one trigger-happy Photoshop expert wants to clear as much as possible from the background before putting the person onto a new background. Heads may as well roll since they’re being carved into.
10. The case of phantom hands. Another classic fail among the worst Photoshop mistakes possible is the hand of an absent person persisting in the image after its original owner was airbrushed away. The examples of this are bountiful, but we’ve pictured this one because – oh, the irony – the image was supposed to be an advertisement for “professional quality photos”. Cheers to that.