Unretouched on the left, the final version on the right. Photo: @khloekardashian/Instagram
Khloe Kardashian covers the August/September 2015 issue of Complex magazine in an exercise-themed photoshoot. The youngest Kardashian sister lifts weights, boxes, uses resistance bands, benches, and throws around a medicine ball, all while wearing leotards and onesies. With wet blonde hair, the reality star shows off the body she’s obviously spent hours shaping. But, as with many (every?) photo shoots these days, there’s immediate skepticism over just how much of the image is actually Khloe and how much is thanks to digital manipulation. So to help dispel this perception, the 31-year-old posted before-and-after shots to Instagram.
“This one is for all the troll haters out there that cannot seem to give me an ounce of credit for my daily workouts! The image on the left is an unretouched photo from the actual camera on the day of the shoot. The image on the right is the retouched photo,” she wrote alongside the composited image. “Yes skin is smooth and shadows are removed but I still think I look good on the left image. Flaws and all ❤️ hi hater!!! Click on it… I know you want to ” The shoot’s photographer Steven Gomillion confirmed to Yahoo Style that the image on the left is, in fact, unretouched.
In the feature story, Kardashian also shared her thoughts on body confidence: "I don’t know if I’m ever gonna feel like ‘Daaamn, you look good,’“ the recently divorced entrepreneur said of her figure. "But I’ve never felt as comfortable in my own skin as I do now."
Khloe Kardashian on the cover of Complex. Photo: Courtesy
Over the years, Kardashian has openly shared her weight ups and downs; she lost 30 pounds last year thanks to hitting the gym multiple times a week and training with with Gunnar Peterson. "I want to say I don’t care, but of course [comments about my body] are going to sting,” she told Cosmo U.K. last year. “I have to do whatever is good for me… I feel that I’m healthier [now], but I don’t think I’m prettier thinner.” And despite the fact that she shares these workouts on her Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Keeping Up With the Kardashians, it seems she was still pressured to prove something. Some commenters called the cover image “fake,” and others strictly gave credit to retouching for the outcome of the images.
Kardashian joins others who have shared behind-the-scenes photos in order to quell speculation about the amount of retouching used. Recently, Gigi Hadid also posted to Instagram a photo straight from the camera from her bathing suit campaign for Seafolly. It’s possible these are preemptive moves before a bounty’s placed for the unretouched images, like Lena Dunham was subjected to when she appeared on the cover of Vogue.
Some people are even reacting to the current environment of anti-retouching and creating ad campaigns without the help of the tools. Emma Roberts fronts Aerie Real in the brand’s second round of natural advertising. Plus size model Denise Bidot appeared in a swimsuit campaign proudly showing off her cellulite and stretchmarks. And of course, it always comes back to Kim Kardashian, the latest celeb to go bare-faced on a magazine cover, for Vogue España’s August issue.