A public relations look behind the glitz and the glam

Rihanna vs. Kim Kardashian

"Are distorted images ethical?"

Actual photos vs. Distorted photos

Image distortion is an ongoing topic throughout the entertainment world. Changing women’s waistlines or using photo shop to change flaws is now widely accepted. The question is whether or not it is okay for any major magazine to alter the look of any celebrity. Rihanna was just featured on the July cover of Elle Magazine and she looks sufficiently slimmer compared to photos from her current tour “Last Girl on Earth.” A few months ago, there was a big dilemma with Kim Kardashian and the released photos of her cellulite. Kardashian felt the need to defend herself by saying “I have cellulite, so what” but is now a big promoter for Quick Trim.

As public relations professionals, we have to ask ourselves, “Is distorting images ethical?” There is merely no difference in Elle Magazine sizing down Rihanna than Kim Kardashian having her cellulite photo shopped, but should high-fashion magazine refrain  from distorting images?

As a society, we place great emphasize on the need to be beautiful. In America, beauty is not skin deep, it is what is on the outside and some ‘brainiac’ said beauty is skinny or not having any cellulite. Ironically, what celebrities don’t realize is although many Americans look at what they wear and try to mimic their outer appearance, Americans are also the ones who scrutinize their every move.

In recent years, there have been several issues regarding distorted images so it is important for entertainment PR professionals to address these dilemmas by:

  • Consulting their client to decide whether or not they are affected by the situation
  • Address the publication about the photographs to understand their stance behind the situation
  • Try to resolve the issue if it becomes more than your client can handle

My perception is simple; make changes when necessary. Distorted images are like false advertising, show me what is real, not what you believe I want to see.

Let me know what you all think… Please comment!



2 responses

  1. I completely agree. It is false advertising. Then we wonder why a majority of girls/women have eating disorders! I read two magazines this past week and felt the constant pressure to lose weight because of the stories about celebrities who got fat. These celebrities are “fat” at 130lbs. That’s ridiculous! But then let’s not forget the flip side. They are showing celebrities when they’re stick thin and you can see their bones. Well hello!!! If our magazines are going to rag on celebrities who gain a few lbs or change the photos so celebs aren’t themselves then they are going to go to the extremes from the pressure. I say we try to focus more on celeb careers rather than weight and I agree- show what is REAL.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:28 am

  2. That is a very good point. Now adays, how you got famous means nothing snf credibility is not in the dictionary. All that is important is what you look like. This leads to unethical businesses as well. Everyone is worried about all the wrong things. If I were to begin a business, I will ensure that my business is built from of what the potential employer can offer. It is wonderful to have both, the looks and the mindset but natural beauty is so much more delightful than fake beauty.

    July 8, 2010 at 4:20 am

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