Celebrities unapproved Photoshop scandals

Keira Knightly, arguably one of the most beautiful women of our time, is an outspoken opponent of Photoshop, as well as one of its best-known victims. In 2004, a movie poster for the film King Arthur was manipulated by designers to give the actress, among other attributes, significantly larger breasts.


Infuriated by the changes that were made without her approval, Knightley came out with arrows flying against retouching. It started a backlash against unrealistic depictions of women.

More recently, she put her money makers where their mouth is with a love-me-as-I-am photo shoot. In 2014, the 29-year old actress agreed to pose topless for Interview magazine. Her only demand for baring it all:

“...don’t make them any bigger or retouch. Because it does feel important to say that it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.” – Kiera Knightley

Does the trend towards no retouching herald the end of cosmetic surgery in Hollywood? Louisa McKay, Managing Director at Costhetics, Australia’s leading source of news and information concerning cosmetic surgery, says no. Photo-shopping may be out in Hollywood, but aesthetic enhancement is still very much in.

“For an increasing number of stars, cosmetic surgery remains a necessary tool of their trade and an acceptable antidote to the inequity of nature.” Louisa McKay, Costhetics

Jamie Lee Curtis & 4 “Flawless” Celebrities Who Embrace Their Imperfections

Knightley isn’t the first woman to argue against the use of Photoshop to depict women’s bodies in ways that Nature never could. Many consider Jamie Lee Curtis the brave pioneer in letting it all hang out. In 2002 at the age of 50, she posed in a sports bra and underwear for More magazine. She wore no make-up and the photo was not re-touched.

“There’s a reality to the way I look without my clothes on. I don’t have great thighs. I have very big breasts and a soft, fatty little tummy. And I’ve got back fat. People assume that I’m walking around in little spaghetti-strap dresses. I don’t want the unsuspecting forty-year-old women of the world to think that I’ve got it going on. It’s such a fraud. And I’m the one perpetuating it.” – Jamie Lee Curtis

Other beauties willing to reveal their imperfections in the hope of changing the world’s unrealistic expectations about women’s faces and bodies include:

  • Ashley Benson – “Please don’t ever try and look like the people you see in magazines or posters because it’s fake,” wrote the star of Pretty Little Liars on Instagram. In solidarity, her co-star Troian Bellisario tweeted, “Why can’t we just look like us? Once.”
  • Lady Gaga – Glam gal Gaga blasted Glamour magazine for its overuse of Photoshop after her image appeared on the cover. At an industry awards event, she said that Photoshop was damaging to readers’ self-esteem and called on her fans to “fight back against the forces that make them feel like they’re not beautiful.”
  • Lorde – The singer tweeted “Remember flaws are okay” after two photos surfaced that showed her before and after being Photoshoped.
  • Kate Winslet – Expressed a wonderful level of self-acceptance and love when she told the BBC, “For my money it looks pretty good the way it was taken” after she was Photoshoped for the cover of GQ magazine.

Photoshop Erases While Cosmetic Surgery Enhances

Photoshop fails are infamous, making stars understandably reluctant to put their images in the hands of retouchers. The beautiful figures and faces they work so hard to maintain can go from fabulous to frightening with just one click of the mouse.

Take the case of a super-slim Victoria’s Secret model. Posing as part of a campaign that features the slogan “Truly. Madly. Cheeky,” she found herself missing a butt cheek when the photo was published.


Detractors say that Photoshop homogenises the physical characteristics of models to make their images conform to a single, albeit often unrealistic, beauty ideal. “Cosmetic enhancement was never intended to make us all look the same,” says McKay, noting that Costhetics actively promotes the idea of achieving a personal best when it comes to beauty. “The things that make us different—that some people call imperfection—are what make us individuals” says McKay. “And individuality is the most beautiful thing of all.”

Costhetics is Australia's leading independent information source for cosmetic surgery, non-surgical cosmetic treatments and the latest in industry advancements. The online portal aims to inform and educate Australians on all aspects of cosmetic enhancement, by providing detailed and unbiased information.
For information on procedures, pre and post op care, surgeon profiles, and articles visit