Cavalli Press Release Shows Bizarre Unrealistically Skinny Photoshopped Image of Beyoncé

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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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.

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?

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.

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.

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.