Lady Gaga’s Extreme Photo Retouch Makeover for Vogue

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September Vogue
September Vogue

Shine's fashion and beauty department has seen a lot of retouched photos over the years, and we've come to assume that unless an image of a model or celeb is specifically called out as being 100% organic it is actually chock full of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Victoria's Secret models 15 pounds lighter/heavier? Yawn. Kim Kardashian with a 22-inch waist and no cellulite? Snore. Still, this behind-the-scenes snap of Lady Gaga being shot for the cover of September's Vogue shook us out of our jaded slumber.

OMG asks: Is the 'Vogue Vow' More Hype Than Health?

The cover shows Gaga wearing an electric purple Marc Jacobs mermaid gown with her hair in a flaxen halo. Her face is lean and composed like an alabaster statue of an ancient Egyptian cat goddess, her bust perky, and her waist impossibly tiny-impossibly being the key word. "I'm a COVER GIRL, and its FAB" she tweeted when she leaked the image on August 8 in advance of its newstand release.

Check out: Lady Gaga Channels RuPaul for Vogue Cover

A behind-the-scenes montage of the photo shoot released by the Vogue and the photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott paints a different picture. The dress is bulky and unflattering, like she's been draped in granny's cranberry satin curtains from the 1982 parlor renovation. Her hair (a wig, in fact) is not so much a halo but instead what would happen if an angel stuck her finger in a light socket. And her strong-featured face is not slim and placid but full and expressive. An article at buzzfeed asks, when airbrushing is this extreme, why of hiring photographers at all? They point out that Vogue might as well have used a fashion illustration.

More: Kristin Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence Headline Vogue's Anniversary Issue

There has been a lot of news lately about young women demanding that magazines back off on photo retouching, but it appears that publications such as Vogue and some fashion-related companies are going in the other direction. The upscale retailer Barney's even super-slimmed Minnie Mouse in a recent campaign. Its so refreshing when models and celebrities refuse to "go under the brush" and show their real faces and bodies. In fact, we think one of Gaga's most beautiful pictures is a selfie tweeted back in march when she let the world see her makeup and filter-free.

Is Vogue's cover fair game in the name of high fashion or ridiculously retouched? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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