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Cavalli Press Release Shows Bizarre Unrealistically Skinny Photoshopped Image of Beyoncé

Designer Roberto Cavalli recently designed a gown for Beyoncé, exclusively for the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. In an official press release that was sent out by the Italian fashion house on Tuesday, one very controversial photo of Beyoncé wearing that dress was attached. In what looks like a heavily Photoshopped image, the company behind this ad made her look very thin, unrealistically thinned and stretched her legs. As art it's interesting, but it wasn't received well by many viewers.

It is relatively well known that fashion designers start their dress designs on paper as a sketch. Sometimes they also use that sketch to promote their work. But in this case, it's very hard to know if it's some kind ultra-realistic-yet-artistic illustration, or real photos that went to the retoucher with a strange view on reality. Cavalli posted the controversial photo on their Facebook and immediately got negative comments ranging from 'bad Photoshop' to 'bad example for kids'.

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In recent years, many people have complained that media outlets and major companies over-Photoshop models and celebrities to make them look especially thin and very unrealistic, sometimes to the point of appearing unhealthy. The main complaint is that kids and teens see these kinds of people as role models and get the wrong example of what they should aspire to from these altered photos. Do you think this will happen here or is it just an artistic rendition that won't hurt anyone?

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Tobias Solem's picture

In Cavalli reality, eveyone needs to be anorexic (or be newly released from a concentration camp).

Deleted Account's picture

Pictures don't do any harm. The only problem is with parents who don't talk to their children and let the media to raise them. And then we have all the "anorectics" or "zombies" or "emos" on the streets...
BTW the picture is so cartoonish for a reason IMO just people don't get it.

Tobias Solem's picture

The sociologist has spoken. XD
Decades of social studies have been debunked here on FStoppers by Roman. "It's the parents fault". It has nothing to do with social norms, increased media consumption (information age)( and both active and passive), and media influence on all actors in self-identification. Children are completely immune to and can easily avoid messages that are bombarded on a daily basis, because their parents told them they shouldn't pay attention to those things. Because kids spend all their time with their parents all day, no modern parent goes to work, right.

Avoiding responsibility as a producer of images with "it's the parents fault" is like selling and promoting Tobacco to kids and again blame the parents for peer pressure, etc. - certainly parents carry SOME responsibility, YES. But so do the PR-bureaus, photographers, AD:s that spew out all this. It's an issue for whole generations of women trying to meet photoshopped ideals, but still there are people who simply dismiss it "lolparents". Ethics are as important if not more important to money. I'm certain paparazzis and anorexia-retouchers disagree with me though.

Deleted Account's picture

Show me the social studies that say that people shouldn't be responsible for themselves and their children. "Media consumption"- exactly.
"Because kids spend all their time with their parents all day, no modern parent goes to work, right"
That is what I am talking about.
It is so common these days to expect others to be responsible for us and our behaviors. This should be prohibited, that should be illegal... It is easier to point fingers rather than look at yourself.

Pascual Cora Jr.'s picture

As a parent I can tell you I cant always be around to protect my kids from this type of Bullshit. I try my best to make sure they are well informed.

The problem with Hollywod or the Fashion crowd is that this type of thinking /images are everywhere. On the TV on magazines. on billboards, On posters.

So please before you throw a carpet accusation about everybody being a bad parent instead look at the facts. People in Hollywood and the fashion industry need to open their eyes and stop distorting what the Human anatomy should look like.

Tobias Solem's picture

Roman wants you to spend more time with your children. In his world that will certainly cure them of outside influence.

Deleted Account's picture

Guess what. I do.

Mr Blah's picture

Exactly. this roman guy can't be serious. He IS right as in if parent COULD shield and perfectly educat their child as to why you should drink all the energy drinks and take pills to looks like that freak show up there in the post.... they would probably do it.

Thing is. Life gets in the way. Unless you live under a rock or atop a mountain, your kids are going to be exposed wheter you want to or not. School, bus stops, billboards etc... what now?

You are right Roman. Unrealisticly right that is.

Deleted Account's picture

Just want to say that you missed the point. The idea is not to "shield" the children from the outside world. The idea is to make them feel good about themselves and educate them about how media work. You can't do it over one conversation, like some people may insinuate. Parenting is not easy but many people want to push their responsibilities on others. Nunny, school, "industry", or government.

Wodan74's picture

Children need to be taught to be skeptical about the media. When we were young, we needed to be told that the actors didn't die for real too. :-)
We were warned not to belief the storie of a lost puppy told by a man you didn't know.
We were taught that commercials are always exaggerated.
We were taught that some politicians are liars.
Tobacco was in the eighties far more socially accepted and even then we learned to stay away from it.

I think in a world of fake YouTube witness video's, computer generated images and ultra-realistic video games – you can't even trust journalism anymore when they try to bring "the news people want to see" – photoshopped images are just part of a cultural expression... just like paintings and idealized sculptures of the past.

Tobias Solem's picture

Yes. Scepticism is important in a world with "overenthusiastic exaggerations" (aka lies) in the media.

Ed Lau's picture

Don't designers usually draw a very tall, skinny figure in their sketches? I'm rather sure pretty much every fashion sketch I've ever seen has featured some sort of faceless 7-foot, 105-pound mannequin.

Jens Marklund's picture

WTF, hahaha! Looks like an insect with those legs. All these news about picture of Beyonce, tells the story that she needs a lot of retouching to look good.

Ralph Hightower's picture

At her Super Bowl performance, she looked like she has thunder thighs.

Anto de Chav's picture

She does...

David Apeji's picture

An ugly caricature of an extremely beautiful woman.

Anto de Chav's picture

If you like chicks with Thunder thighs ...lol

Andrew Williams's picture

I have a problem with this and with the comments below the article. If designers draw that way and it's not suppose to be realistic then how do you expect people to be able to wear it in the first place. And for the people saying that it's a persons fault for wanting to look like that is really a stupid remark. Because if your a teen or pre teen your not fully developed yet physically and mentally. I mean you might as well tell kids to not care what their friends think. We're all in one way or an other are effected by ads, commercials,magazines, I bet there are grown men out there more than ever wishing they had a bigger penis cause of all the commercials bombarding you telling you that bigger is better. Or am I just whistling dixie.

Stefan Parol's picture

Did I shot my head because of Curt Cobain? Well, no! As a Fashion Designer myself I can tell you that this is a Fantasy, a scetch, overdone to catch the feeling. It but may, very well, enlargen your penis.

Andrew Williams's picture

WHAT??? you missed a couple points that I was addressing.

Syed Hateem's picture

what stefan is trying to say is he has an enlarged penis!

Mr Blah's picture

Penis comment aside, what fantasy are we suppose to conclude from a sKetch like this one?

In a fantasy world, girl wear more bones than muscle?
In a fantasy world human can bend in ways that is impossible?

I don't see the added value to this fantasy/sketch but I can point out soooo many flaws...

Picasso, Dali...THEY drew fantasy. Fashion designer just don't have ANY imagination if the draw all that way...

Anto de Chav's picture

A photoshopped image of Beyonce.. whoever would have thunk it..

If i Ruled the World's picture

cool effect... what's the problem.

Lauren Pasculli's picture

i think the only problem is that it is a very famous and curvy woman used for this. I got it immediately, that it was suppose to look like a sketch. But because its Beyonce-and apparently every little girl looks up to her-it's going to raise some red flags

Jim Denham's picture

It's their business to do with what they please and I'm sure they could pretty much care less what others think about it. I do find it interesting that the same woman who would not allow pro photographers to photograph her in concert because of the unflattering images goes to this. I guess it's all about what you deem flattering. I prefer the pro concert pics myself.

Stefan Parol's picture

This is obviously a cartoon- whats wrong with this? As a rolemodel, it´s risible. No Kid will buy this, unless it´s retardet. As usual childrens Intelligence is underestimated.
On the other hand, Beyonce to me is always bad news...

Timariuveo's picture

seriously if i did that even my mom would tell me i have to work on my "photoshop" skills.

Edgar David's picture

the Post in facebook clearrrrrrly says "Sketch" not photo... I am against heavy photoshoping, specially when they take such a beautiful woman and make her look like an alien. But it is clearly a sketch... an ugly one.

Tim Gallo's picture

"The main complaint is that kids and teens see these kinds of people as role models and get the wrong example of what they should aspire to from these altered photos. Do you think this will happen here or is it just an artistic rendition that won’t hurt anyone?"
ummm... you forgot to say, only in america?

since when high fashion was for common people or kids? most of the time its just show...

and sketches... look at vogue sketches of 80s or 70s. nothing changed. modern technology let him use a real photo of beyonce for a sketch... so what?

Tobias Solem's picture

Young women and girls emulate their mothers most oftenly. And social norms teach them that their (women's) most important asset is their looks. They are complimented on what they look like prior to their other skills. This goes for how both men and other women perpetuate those societal norms. A big part of it is media and media influence. I also think you underestimate the access to imagery to such as above. Social studies show that many young women develop a "princess complex" at an age as young as 3 or 4. It is a part of how they are treated, what they perceive from their surroundings and from their parents. The more significant the source of information is (such as parenting) the more influence it has.

Everyone involved in these processes need to be aware of how identity is shaped/formed (not just for the sake of young women) and how social influence through different channels (such as media) structures how we view ourselves. As a photographer it is a good idea to reflect on these things and take an active part in the values/norms or ethics if you will of your craft.

Tim Gallo's picture

I absolutely agree with you on the subject that photographer should take responsibility for his work and images he create. But at the same time we are talking about artistic expression (sorry I don`t know a proper word for it in english) in which category I believe photography and fashion gets into. So why don`t we let it be as so?

And if we complaint about photography - we should start to complaint about everything, movies, books, and other media... there is no end it. And than when I hear those complaints I always suprised by how narrow they are. If you spend some time with the creators of this images or clothes - you will know that they probably have bigger moral standards than many people who complaint. And they are more educated and there is reason for some stuff they do. The same goes for movies and e.t.c. There is a reason for showing violance in Goodfellas or Scarface.

Comercial photography does not have a purpose of showing reality. That why we create sets, use stylists and make-up artists, light it, retouch it and e.t.c. As fashion - fashion has only one goal - it is to present and sell clothes. I am pretty much sure that this image was created not to show Beyonce, but express the image or "feeling" that Cavalli wanted to portray in this clothes...

Young women always has a "princess complex" no matter what century we`re talking about. Thats why Barbie is a hit! Wait, Barbie is too thin... we should do something about it! ^____^

If there is something we can do - is work on the education programms for kids and young people. If they don`t have a "base" and "wisdom" for discrimination and believe in "happiness" and "coolness" of people whom they see in the magazines and movies - than there is problem in education, not in magazines or movies.

Tobias Solem's picture

Too often blatant sexism falls under the excuse of "freedom of expression".

Tim Gallo's picture

wow this is your last argument? what sexism has to do anything with this topic?

Tobias Solem's picture

Sexism stems from gender stereotypes but ultimately is about one sex being superior to the other. So when women are treated and narrowed down to 'beautiful physical objects' through extreme image manipulation, retouching, etc. then those ideals are created for the entertainment and/or enjoyment of the other (superior) gender.

BlairTheArtist's picture

There's nothing wrong with this artistic rendition. This one in particular is physically impossible to achieve in reality. I would think that most people would have enough sense to know that it's impossible to emulate this image. I for one would much rather exaggerated photoshop for that reason. I don't support images that trim down people to make them look super unhealthy. There is were the issue lies. If it look somewhat acheiveable then there's going to be some insecure person that will attempt it.

akynos's picture

i love how people think parenting is everything. i wonder why people don't realize that children have outside influences sometimes stronger than what their parents can instill in them. even young children have a mind of their own. as a parent you do your best. try to surround yourself and your kids with what's good and what you feel is a good influence to them. but if you think music and other mainstream forms of entertainment don't hold major power over you and your children, you need to wake up and live in the real world. if parent were everything believe me, all our children would grow to be exactly as we want them to be.