Official Photos of Kazakhstan President Accused of Beauty Retouch, Altered Skin and Chin

Official Photos of Kazakhstan President Accused of Beauty Retouch, Altered Skin and Chin

Official photos of the new leader of Kazakhstan have been met with criticism online, with accusations his appearance has been altered. Comparison photos appear to show him with significantly smoother skin, and less wrinkles.

RFE/RL were the first to point out the obvious differences, claiming the government-released photos showed a significant difference in interim president Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev’s face, when compared with images courtesy of photojournalists at the event.

Amos Chapple, writer at RFE/RL, said:

The aim, it appears, is to digitally nip, tuck, and smooth the 65-year-old ex-diplomat and former prime minister’s appearance — and possibly ease his path to a five-year term as the Central Asian powerhouse prepares for its snap presidential election in June.

According to RFE/RL, a Photoshop expert they spoke with said that he was “almost 100 percent” certain the official photos of Toqaev were retouched to change his appearance. He drew particular attention to skin smoothing, and what looks like a reduction in the size of the chin. It was also pointed out that other people in the frames remain untouched.

Many of the official photos released by the Kazakhstani government have since been spread by international media outlets, many of whom are likely oblivious to the photos being doctored.

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Vladimir Vcelar's picture

You should see what they do with celebrities...... oh well......

Rob Mitchell's picture

Sitting here with half open eyes, reading whilst eating my breakfast.
I thought for a moment I was reading the Daily Mail. Not Fstoppers News.

Can this sort of post remain on Petapoxel or dippyreview please? Please..

Vladimir Vcelar's picture

I think they're just poking some fun at human vanity; some of my clients ask some really weird requests.
In today's digital age, fake images do play a powerful political and social ideology; just look at some of the British tabloid trash. I also think it's important to distinguish between art and propaganda. Just so that you know how bad it has become, look at this clip for example...


Dana King's picture

I agree with you. The OP missed the fact that if you are taking photos that have a historical value you shouldn't be changing anything more than color correction/contrast/brightness. Changing someone's face now will eventually lead to a more destructive type of editing later. Photography in sports have the same requirements: You aren't allowed to change/edit more than fixing lighting or color issues. You are a representative of that moment in time for history's sake. Apparently, due diligence of upholding those standards is severely lacking in the upcoming photog generation.

At some point it's not even the same guy... It bring an interesting question regarding overall likeness on political ads VS the real person and if it could be considered fraudulent...

Chad D's picture


Vladimir Vcelar's picture

Damn! You just busted us!

user-206807's picture

Well, the photoshoped is the one on the left, right?

Simon Patterson's picture

Isn't that called "retouching"?

Stas Aleksandersson's picture

The politicians lie so I don’t see what the problem is. It fits.

David Pavlich's picture

Off with his head....only partially.

Jacques Cornell's picture

Wow, that is not subtle. Meanwhile, Rump gets bigger hands...

Paulo Macedo's picture

Rump xD i'd rather say Tronald Dump

stir photos's picture

"very nice, very nice, how much?" haha

Paulo Macedo's picture

If influencers can have it, why not the President?