Is Britney Spears' New Cover A Total Photoshop Fail?

Photo: Courtesy of Women's Health.
Britney Spears is on the cover of Women's Health's January/February 2015 issue. Smiling in an orange bikini top and blazer, Spears looks fresh-faced and better than ever. The Internet, however, has wasted no time in labeling the cover a Photoshop fail.
It should go without saying that Spears' appearance has been digitally manipulated. After all, this is a magazine cover and Photoshop is widely used in publishing. But, has Spears' image really been altered beyond recognition?
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When the photos surfaced earlier this week, I was hesitant to declare that the Britney on Women's Health looks nothing like Britney Spears. (Who am I/are we to say that isn't her body?) Yes, it appears her beauty team went hard on the contouring and her skin has been digitally smoothed, but she hasn't been photoshopped into an entirely different-looking woman, like Kerry Washington was on the cover of Lucky.
You could make an argument that a publication aiming to promote a healthy body image in women should try harder not to overly retouch its cover stars, but Spears doesn't appear to have gone too far under the digital knife. A scroll through her Instagram feed shows the same smiling Spears as the one on the cover (and in this behind-the-scenes video). Of course she doesn't look the same way she did five years ago — she grew up, had kids, her body changed — and here she is proudly flaunting it.
Perhaps, it's our culture's refusal to let women age, but calling this cover a Photoshop fail feels drastic — especially when Spears herself is proud of it. (Women's Health)
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