Elle: Ivory & Ivory

Uh, is there such a thing as anti-retro-tokenism?

Thanks Jason for the submission. You can see the original article here that outlines what they did to this Aishwarya. 

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  • Tilman

    The neck is quite long, too.

    • http://vercingetorix.myopenid.com/ Tor

      Long, whitened necks are quite popular among Burmese Indians. This was obviously a very culturally-sensitive cover.

    • Waldobaby

      In the lower picture, how does she pull her neck in like that and still look so relaxed?

  • Stephen

    When I lived in India (which was, I must admit, 25 years ago) people used to go to great lengths to get whiter skin on portraits. Photo studios and automatic photo booths used super strong flashes, that would blind you, to whiten your skin tone. Europeans would come out with their photos looking like ghosts. Marriage and dating advertisements would tout a “wheaten complexion”. I’m not at all surprised that a photo aimed at an Indian audience looks bleached.

  • http://darwinsurvivor.myopenid.com/ DarwinSurvivor

    I’m going to leave the neck thing out of this.
    As far as the whitening goes, I’d consider that a decision fail, the execution itself seems to have been done quite well. Not that modifying color tones is really all that hard anyways.

    • armadillo_in_furs

      It looks like they know their market well as skin whitening is popular in India.

      But, DailyMail as a credible source is epic win. Every “article” available references DailyMail as the original source of this “scandal” — their own credible sources are “friends of the actress”. Fancy that.

  • adrianoconnor

    I don’t believe you’ve linked the Daily Mail as a credible source! You fools!

  • http://twitter.com/gruenima martin gruening

    Telescope necks and rubber boat lips are extraterrestrial. This is for SETI – not for us. No PsD – unsubscribing.

  • Hmmbb16

    This could be the lighting..her skin isn’t that dark to begin with…but he neck is pretty long, and it looks like they slimmed her down a littler

  • mt

    Definately dropped some weight from her also. She is very pretty in the “real” picture. Then again we can’t have normal looking people on a fashion magazine.

  • Andrew A. Gill

    Not sure if the skin is a PsD. As others have mentioned, it could be the lighting. The only other picture we have appears to be taken by a daylight-balanced camera in tungsten lighting (or possibly with lossy subsampling), which makes her appear unnaturally red.

    The giraffic neck, though…

  • armadillo_in_furs


    “The new product is called Fair and Handsome, and it’s among the male skin-lightening creams that are exploding in popularity in small towns and cities across India. While such products are nothing new among Indian women, for whom fair skin has long been a symbol of affluence and status, sales of the product for men are growing at nearly 150 percent annually in emerging markets, according to a recent study by Ernst & Young. ”

    “Some companies have started to produce tiny packages of the cream so that poorer Indians who can’t afford an entire tube can still strive toward lighter skin.”

    The concern for the poor is especially touching.

  • armadillo_in_furs

    This is a great and thought-provoking article not just on this cover non-“controversy” but on retouching for covers/magazines in general:


    “But there is no ’natural photograph’ in the glamour business.”

    “Why the big fuss about Photoshop, when we all – cover girls, editors and readers – have agreed to create and accept a commercial idea of beauty?”

    Compare to this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=580960201 Leenie Smith

    They should have shopped that beehive off of her head.

  • http://twitter.com/arnoen Arno Enzo

    Heh… Warm light, cold light, long neck, short neck, liquified, not liquified, arms, no arms, who gives a shyte?

    • Armonica

      Nose has been doctored, too.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_L5DQFVHHBFI4PF2NWAP3RBJAHA kleenex

    My guess this is not a lighting disaster. That skin color is toooooooooo light for a lighting disaster.

    • http://snowrollersden.blogspot.com Nicewriter

      Perhaps a LIGHTNING disaster?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NZKYFAOY5Y4NJ3MNDC73RR3Q6M mb..

    They must have really s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d her in the first photo. She’s at least 25 pounds heavier in the second. (no matter what color she is…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/gabi.garcez Gabriela Garcez

    This is fucked up and a bit racist, her natural skin colour is just so beautiful and perfect. I don’t understand, if they wanted a caucasian model, why didnt they just hire one?

    Eh, I guess those are more expensive.

    • Waldobaby

      This must be a perversion of Stockholm Syndrome left over from the days of the British Raj. Goes along with obsessive Cricket. Imagine wanting to emulate the Brits!

      Or, in this case, as my daddy used to say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. She ain’t broke.

  • Mishap

    Michael Jackson?!

    • Your local neighborhood grocer

      No. She doesn’t fit the other requisite warning signs, those being white, plastic, and dangerous to children. Or is that a shopping bag?

  • 7etoatreides

    What an hypocrite. Indian beauty standards favor pale skin. Aren’t all Bollywood actresses nearly white?

    Google “bollywood actresses” and good luck finding someone with brown skin.

    • Shai

      Priyanka Chopra has brown skin, she is also the most popular Bollywood actress right now, also: Bipasha Basu, Rani Mukherjee, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta, Amrita Rao, Konkona Sen Sharma Chirangada Singh, etc. India’s top models: Sheetal Mallar, Nina Manuel, Carol Gracias, Diana Soares, Ujjwala Raut, Madhu Sapre, Lakshmi Menon, Monikangana Dutta.
      They also have ethnick Indian features (Aishwarya Rai has them too), unlike Hollywood actresses who have little in common with ethnic features of American-white women other than their colouration.

      In fact the only popular pale-skinned actress I can think of is Katrina Kaif who is actually half-English. You are so full of shit.

    • http://twitter.com/modestgrrl JoRo

      Aishwarya Rai has refused lucrative ad contracts promoting a fairness cream, so of course she’s going to be upset when someone lightens her picture.

  • Mymailaddressisbetterthanyours

    Skin color apart, is this really the same person? Giraffe neck, nose slimmed, figure stretched, lips “fixed”…

    (Yes, I KNOW it is. That was a rhetorical question.)

  • Donna

    Don’t remember quite which comedian it was, but I do remember a black US guy who suggested marketing a skin-bleach called “Yellow Fellow”. He said he figured that if whites were tanning, the least he could do was meet ’em half-way.

  • http://www.clippingpathindia.com Clipping Path

    I just love Aish…!!

  • Christopher Rose

    Come on guys, really… this is not a Photoshop disaster. The retoucher was just working to a brief, and he’s done a good job.
    Lets see some REAL disasters, please!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=98301573 Krissi Carson

      The photoshop disaster in this picture is how much they’ve lightened her skin color, not what they’ve done to any particular part of her body. The issue of skin color is clearly still a problem in the states, but more so, it’s a huge issue in India and the cause for much racism and prejudice. For the biggest star in India to be in a picture that gives her whiter skin than she actually has sets a very ugly precedent. These are the kinds of photoshop disasters that give people major body image problems. That’s why it’s a disaster (and a possible legal problem for Elle).

  • adrianoconnor

    I just noticed that Buzz Lightyear is sitting behind her! Look at that jaw! Or maybe it’s David Coutlhard.

  • Montoya

    Can’t believe the magazine & PR people are trying to convince us this is not a PSD when it’s clear they doubled the length of her neck for that cover.

  • Gaussian Blerr

    What’s happened to her hand? Hoping to pose for Nora Robert’s next book…

    • Siomigadjura

      big deal. what`s new? skin whitening? oh well… what about beyonce etc.?

  • Reality Check!

    What did they do to her NECK in the bottom photo? Create her a necklace made from a band of her own skin?

  • charring

    skin lightening shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.. and depending on the camera settings it may be partially real.. i know ive taken pics and depending on how my camera is set, i’ll get completely different colors when using the same models in the same lighting.. no effects added.