Well, you guessed it: Magazines are still photoshopping the living hell out of models. Yes, models. Over the years, we've watched women's bodies fall prey to the nipping and tucking of photo-editing software, fueling the unrealistic expectations society pits against them. But today's gaffe is especially strange. Ladies and gentlemen, we've gathered here today to mourn the loss of supermodels Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid's knees. What happened to their knees, you ask? Well, in W magazine's 10 year anniversary celebration, artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin created "Placebo Pets," an editorial that uses Jenner and Hadid's infectious friendship to embody the relationship we have with social media. The shoot also features pop singer Lauren Devine. According to the shoot's press release, the models play the roles of "super friendly, domesticated humanoid pets," as apparently, only "the friendliest" would survive a "superior alien humanoid species" invasion. The artists explain that they find humans' relationship to pets similar to the relationship to technology "in the way that we’ve been trained to adapt our behavior, our language, and the images we choose to present our changing selves."
"There’s a certain power that animals have over us when they respond to us in unexpected, friendly ways," says Trecartin. "And it’s really them domesticating us almost more than us domesticating them, because they’re training us to want them. We created social media, but then it changed us because we interacted with it. It transforms us and transforms the next thing that happens just by existing. You can’t really avoid being trained." Trecartin also notes that the models' friendship is a "public commodity to be consumed." So yeah — that's all pretty cool, outside-of-the-box, and whatnot, but can we talk about why it's so heavily photoshopped? When the images were released, Twitter users immediately noticed something a bit off about the pair. "Where are their knees?" most users wrote, while others pointed out the absence of space between Jenner's teeth. But why? we ask. These women are paid for their beauty‚ why edit with such a heavy hand? Would W think we wouldn't notice?
Whether this was intentional or not is up for debate. But seeing as several other images highlight very obviously distorted facial features (like their noses), we're really hoping this is for the sake of art.