Katy Perry Rolling Stone Photoshop: when Beauty isn’t Perfect enough.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 5, 2011
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Rolling Stone was grassroots before MTV existed, man, and it sold out before MTV existed, too.

Via The Whoa:

“…look ^ at her right hand! Fake fingers ewwww!”

Lots more comments here.

Photoshop she didn’t ask for, exposed:



There is a tonic, or antidote, to wanting to be other than we are. It’s called maitri (click here for more). It’s called unconditional friendliness toward ourselves. It’s simple. It’s hard.

Mindfulness isn’t about gurus on mountaintops. It is about everyday life. It is about learning to make friends with oneself, as we are. Buying into perfection is aggression: aggression toward ourselves.

“A little perspective goes a long way…”

Relephant bonus:
The One way to get closer to genuine joy in this Life:

A simple Buddhist trick: how to be fully Happy:


For more amazeballs: “A 20-year-old model photographed as if she were 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 & 60 years old.”

And: How much do you look like your family? Photoshopped photos of relatives.


Detox Bath Salts on elephant’s Market

For more:

Photos: Before & After Photoshop.

photoshop media maitri

Photos: Before & After Photoshop.

Heartwarming Tearjerker: Autistic Girl duets with Katy Perry. {Video}

Math is Fun. {Katy Perry + Sesame Street = College Humor}

Videos of Perry: Puritanical Parents convince Sesame Street to cut Katy Perry appearance.

An antidote to all of the above:

Bonus: how to deal with Negativity:

Buddhist wisdom: How to make relationships last:


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


52 Responses to “Katy Perry Rolling Stone Photoshop: when Beauty isn’t Perfect enough.”

  1. Joyous Living says:

    I think what is most disturbing is how perfect she is anyway…why do we have to make it fake? I like people that don't look like they were made in a sweatshop in taiwan…

  2. She actually looks better in the un-retouched version–like a real beautiful woman instead of some fake magazine ideal.

  3. HeatherE says:

    Really not a whole lot changed (she's pretty purty)…the creepy, fake right hand is, well, creepy.

  4. René Cousineau says:

    …it's funny that they found it necessary to remove her sock…

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Mr. Ed, Ferry Astora, Dzaki Adhihutama, Dean Fuhrman and others. Dean Fuhrman said: RT @elephantjournal: Katy Perry Rolling Stone Photoshop before + after. http://bit.ly/hQrGUb […]

  6. everybodyyoga says:

    the left thigh is narrowed, the right upper arm is narrowed, the stomach is smoothed to remove any wrinkling…just somethings I noticed. it's a big deal because young girls want to look like Katy Perry or whoever is the latest star is and when not even the star can look like themselve we have a problem. It sets up unrealistic expectations of what women look like – we have wrinkles on our belly when we are bent even if there is no fat. The same can be said when men are photoshopped,

  7. jdk says:

    Prior to studying photography in college I modeled beginning in my teens through college. When I discovered some years later the drastic photoshop changes to editorial images I was shocked and disappointed. Expectations of girls, and young men I'm sure, are totally unreasonable. They fix everything from teeth to bad skin to, yes, socks, as well as adding or erasing 20+- pounds depending who the celebrity is. In my case, being young and a sensitive type, my self image was demolished for years believing I needed to be something other than, fill in the blank ____________. Not only was I competing with incredibly self confident and gorgeous beauties, I was competing with myself and I could never measure up.

  8. Beth says:

    I like her better untouched yea you would think people aka men would like the sock aka stalking…interesting…

  9. elephantjournal says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal
    Jonelle: WOW!
    Joey: why isnt it perfect? or…maybe i am misunderstanding?

    Heidi: Uncool

    Jessica: People need to stop expecting REAL women to look like that, because it is FAKE! Even models and actresses and singers need to have editing done to become what we know from magazines and photos. It's ridiculous. Let women be natural and be who they are; that's the TRUE beauty! Thank you for sharing this article; it is a good eye-opener for some.

    Katherine: Hysterical that they removed the fabric wrinkles as well. Those unsightly shadows make everything look sooooo 3D. Can't have that! LOL!

    Karen: If women stopped reading 'womens' magazines they would begin to feel much better about their bodies because they would stop comparing themselves to computer enhanced images.

  10. Wang Ming says:

    Sweatshop in Taiwan? Have you even been to Taiwan? I get your point, but your statement is a bit offensive and not typical of what exists in today's Taiwan.

  11. candicegarrett says:

    don't forget they removed the lines from her face

  12. 13thfloorelevators says:

    They didn't lighten her skin. They altered the tone in he entire photograph.

  13. Jason says:

    As a photographer, I see this not only in my profession but in LIFE.

    SURE, was work done? YES. But was it to the extent as sensationalized? Not really.

    I agree that women should NEVER have to feel or face pressure to be perfect, nor should any girl, boy, or man for that matter. I think cosmetic surgery for vanity’s sake is the most demented thing to have evolved on this planet outside of reconstructive surgery due to disfigurement.

    But until we fully move away from “aesthetic” values, and back into spiritual and emotional appreciation – this will continue as long as we worship beauty in advertising and the dollar.

    Not to justify what was done to the photo when I say this, but just about EVERYTHING in life these days is altered in this way: food is colorized, preserved in wax, and unnecessarily packaged for marketing; women get their hair dyed, eyebrows waxed and faces heavily made-up daily; business websites and personal facebook profiles are manipulated and overly grandiose, our life stories are told with more embellishment to the point of almost lying simply to be perceived as more entertaining; we drive shinier cars than we can afford to be envied or accepted… heck, we even waste SO much water and use toxic chemicals just keeping them free of dirt and to further project how “clean” and fancy WE are…

    What EVERYONE needs to understand is MOST professionals try their hardest to keep the integrity of the image to it’s purest form, as possible. The fingers that were added to the image are NOT “fake,” at all – but more than likely borrowed from another frame from the same session. Prior to digital imaging and retouching, more care was taken by a stylist to place the models hands better, tuck in clothing, iron the sheets, etc. Due to time and technology – what happens now is multiple images are “collaged” together to make a final image b/c her face may be properly captured in one frame but her hand looks like a claw in the other. Her arms may have been slightly rotated in a different position giving the illusion of a more shapely figure; her bra may have been adjusted slightly, etc. Last, her skin was not necessarily “lightened,” rather the “RAW” image seen in the “before” photo had not yet been properly color corrected to match her truer skin tone or balanced to the primary lighting source.

    If anything I think you could use the argument HERE to actually show and prove to the world that we NEED to find acceptance AND that NOTHING IS perfect…not EVEN Katie Perry.

  14. Joe Mohr says:

    Hand creeped me out!…

  15. ash says:

    crazy, her boobs look great before.

  16. AlpineLily says:

    If anyone here thinks that Yoga Journal doesn't use retouched photos they are kidding themselves.

  17. Valorie says:

    Thank you!

  18. […] just to listen to the last words of a song–even if it’s a song with the lyric “so hot we’ll melt your Popsicle” instead of something more highbrow. I find myself repeatedly drawn to non-practicing […]

  19. […] at Adam Levine’s tiny, short man? These types of images, fantasy-driven and exquisitely photoshopped, are a dime a […]

  20. stealthylemon says:

    It's funny that she was wearing one knee-high sock.

  21. Jessie Paul says:

    What would you expect when the word "Sex" is large and central………….

  22. Sara says:

    Bottom line: if we’re not supposed to be pining after some manufactured ideal of beauty, why should we care if someone is promoting that unreality?
    Does it matter?
    If one is truly at peace with who/where one is, this doesn’t matter.
    Bad example for our children? Of course! But we can be the better example: share your own peace & your children will learn. Stop buying into this crap & it will cease to exist. Pay attention to what matters, act on it instead of over analyzing an ephemeral photograph of an ephemeral pop personality.

  23. Emma forni says:

    My daughters disabled. She is visually impaired and has learning difficulties. However, mila is very talented musically and music is a huge part of her life. She happens to like Katy Perry as the music is upbeat and makes her feel nice and makes her smile. She couldn’t really care less what she looks like, she thinks everyone is cool… If only real life could be this simple for all of us?! 🙂

  24. integralhack says:

    I had a seizure watching Katy Perry doing pranayama (slow down the transitions!) and I liked it.

  25. Renata says:

    Why do celebrities feel the need to pose in their underwear? We know they're beautiful, no need to take your clothes off…If I was a celebrity I would keep some class and mystery…much sexier.

  26. catnipkiss says:

    I'm sorry, but the original hand DID look weird, and grey…… But the boob lift was unnecessary!

  27. you idiots says:

    this is NOT PHOTOSHOPPED. Just look at her Left Hand! (our left)
    it's in a completely different position!

    these are TWO different pictures., obviously. duh.

  28. nikki says:

    I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but everything in magazines is ALWAYS photoshopped. I'm sure Elephant has a ton of photographers, etc in their readership. I worked in advertising for many years…from cars to people, it's all made to look perfect for you. I even worked on Calvin Klein and Wonderbra for a period. we'd layout all the outtakes and the photographer would say "okay, take this bust, the neck from this shot, the shoulder from here, and can we use the head angle from this shot, or will that look fake?" even things that already look perfect are made to look just that much more "perfect."

  29. Doug says:

    stocking…stalking is something else entirely.

  30. guest says:

    This is nothing compared to the touchup they did on Chairman Zero.

  31. Aged and Deformed says:

    This is magazine cover art, not photorealism or serious journalism. Grow up.

  32. asdf says:

    Not a fake hand… just not HER hand. 😉

    And yeah she's hot enough already.

  33. @Dandapani says:

    And they smoothed out the wrinkles in the corner of her panties. Sheesh.

  34. egoist says:

    Hasn't this been going on…forever? If those boobs are fake, we have fake^2 (or is it 2x fake^2 ?).

  35. David D says:

    then shoot on film
    this the reason i sold my set design business in hollyweird in the late nineties
    going digital removed 'art' from photography, and any pretense of skill involved in studio photography
    shoot now, fix it later, now any pimple face 12 year old can now be a 'pro' photographer

  36. el_polacko says:

    oh big deal…so a few lines were smoothed out…it's a cover shot for heaven's sake. if ya wanna see the human body in all it's gruesome reality, you can look in a mirror…but ya ain't gonna be selling too many magazines.

  37. melow says:

    That GIF sucks. The biggest change is lighting and faking a better push up bra. whoopdie doo.

  38. guest speaker says:

    if someone would create a magazine that only published UNretouched images of people, that would surely cause a sensation – maybe even a revolution in terms of society's expectations.

  39. nunh says:

    I don't think this is a big deal whatsoever. She is a pretty lady regardless. Looks like two different photos to me.

  40. Ben_Ralston says:

    Right, and between the two her breast grew a couple of sizes…

  41. Annie says:

    It's probably her hand, cut from another shot (I used to airbrush for lingerie catalogues).

  42. @CoremarC says:

    Not fair to flash between these two photos. It's probably a composite from the whole the whole shoot. Or

  43. kimberlylowriter says:

    Like others said, this woman is beautiful to begin with. It's sad. . .

  44. alice says:

    she is actually thinner in the original! her waist/tummy area was actually smaller – they actually made her midsection/hips bigger with photoshop….not sure if this was intended? perhaps to make her seem curvier?

  45. Boob-guy says:

    The boob raise was good, and the skin color change was good, but everything else was bad. Her legs looked much better before, the muscles are supposed to be there! And as for the skin color, if the photographer had tried harder, her/she could have gotten her skin color to be more accurate, the stock picture is a bit flat.

  46. shareen says:

    EXACTLY you too! Her hand and her breasts were photoshopped. That is sort of the whole point of the article!!!

  47. click here says:

    Selena Gomez may have Katy Perry to say thanks to for what seems to be an on-again relationship with Justin Bieber.

    The 21-year-old Come & Get It star explained the elderly artist as the person she turns to for loving relationship suggestions in the March issue of Seventeen magazine.

    Selena might be on top of the world with a smash album and also big fanbase, but once she really needs help with the love department Katy is her go-to gal.

  48. dasmadchen says:

    Yeah that's the problem, she is pretty already and yet they still made her thighs smaller and lifted her breasts more, flattened her abs more, etc…. she is already so lovely and but the issue with photoshopping like this is that it really IS impossible to look like that. Even the beautiful Katy Perry herself can't live up to the fake standards and computer images that we compare ourselves to all day