Suede-soft skin that always glows, a body that lacks a single wrinkle or errant curve even though it's twisted in a Cirque du Soleil contortion, legs that seem to defy physics…a Vogue photo shoot creates a beautiful image that bores into our consciousness — but realistic, it is not. In an upcoming documentary, Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman exposes just how manufactured the process is, from hiring models that are able to fit into the minuscule sample sizes to the editing of the images afterward. In fact, the digital retouching process is actually just a small part of what goes on: "It's basically a huge team of people that go in to create the image, of which retouching is the icing on the cake. You can do far more with lighting and makeup."
The film is purposefully targeted toward adolescents and teenagers and will be screened across England this fall. Says Shulman, "I'm hoping that it will be fun for the pupils but, actually, it will make some serious points." Reports The Independent, Schulman hopes that the documentary will prevent a 12-year-old girl looking at a manufactured image of a Vogue model from thinking, "Why don't I look like that?" Schulman's recent projects also include Miss Vogue, a teen-centric Brit version of the magazine that'll hopefully promote messages of positive body image.
Photo: Courtesy of Miss Vogue