Another impossibly skinny Ralph Lauren model


Do you think Ralph Lauren would also consider this photo to be a "very distorted image of a woman's body?" Compare the image to to this.

Another image from a window display in Sydney, that reveals toothpick legs, is at Photoshop Disasters.


  1. One thing I’ve been wondering about…do you think Ralph really cares about the bad press from this? By which I mean, are any of us who have a problem with this stuff actually representing $$$ Ralph Lauren is losing?

    I may not be understanding all the dynamics here, because, I’ll be honest, I care about fashion as an industry about as much as I care about…um, actually I’m having trouble thinking of something I care less about. So I might be projecting.

    But I wonder, are the people who see the problem with photoshopping already underweight models into the uncanny valley outside of Ralph Lauren’s market anyway? And what do the people who habitually buy his clothes think? Do they prefer this sort of approach? Do they care at all?

    1. I wonder how much the average person who browses fashion blogs and looks at clothes advertisements really notices something like this. I’m guessing that a good percentage of them are not tuned in to recognizing or being concerned about such things.

      The thing is, natural blemishes and wrinkles are already routinely photoshopped out, so the general public is already conditioned to accept unreality as fact to a given extent. What RL is doing is really just the next step after that.

      As for what RL itself thinks about all this, my guess is that they probably feel they’re being unfairly singled out in an industry where this kind of thing is nearly standard practice (doesn’t make what they’re doing right though).

  2. They changed the lighting/skin pigmentation as well… not sure what that means in the long run but I’m surprised that the same image wasn’t used.

  3. That’s a really good question, Maggie. I’m guessing most people who buy Ralph Lauren clothes don’t care.

  4. One (long) word; Supermarionation. They look like they escaped from the the world of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.

  5. My stylish grandma once told me that the fashion industry is run by men who hate women so they try to make them ugly and broke at them same time.

    1. Actually, then you look at the linked photo on PSD, we’ve got another head bigger than pelvis (though not as distorted as Filippa.) Yes, the model is thin to begin with, but that’s not enough for RL.

      I can’t wait for the inevitable backlash to come into vogue, depicting the natural beauty of real women.

    2. No-bo-dy is built that way. You might think you ‘look’ weird but I’m certain that if you calculate your own proportions properly, you’re in the human range. This image simply is not.

      Marja said it right. There is such a thing as universal proportions. They are reliable and a beautiful thing.

  6. Any press is good press! My guess is that someone invested in this new “style” of ‘shopping models, and they’ve got quite an arsenal/”photo” campaign they want to cycle through before moving on to their next one. You watch “Mad Men”, right? Some ad executive said “hey, we’ll make this fashion company (and their ads!) stand out by photoshoping all our models to have impossibly skinny hips!”. You can probably pick out what’s likely an Abercrombie and Fitch ad based upon the contrast, cropping and who they pick as their models. Expect to see more “RL style” ads in the future as part of their brand.

  7. I’m all about fashion so I went out and had myself photo shopped. On the plus side, I fit into my six-year-old son’s jeans,and I was able to sneak through the mail slot when I locked myself out of our house. The negative would be getting lost in our sofa cushions, I’m stuck there now and could use some assistance getting out.

  8. If they are going to continue the extreme photoshopping, they could add least pay attention to body proportions. For example, keeping the hips in proportion to the shoulders. If they aren’t going to have the artists study the human figure, they could use poseable mannequins for their standard proportions.

    Or they could quit with the photoshopping.

    However, the grotesque distortions show just how divorced fashion photography has been from the shape and the variations of the female form. The stranger these get, the less impact they can have on womyn’s body images.

  9. If that’s the result of photoshopping, it’s outrageous. If it’s the way she really looks–and they hold her on high as the symbol of their brand–then it’s far more sick and disgusting. She looks like a holocaust victim.

    /no offense to holocaust victims

  10. The whole RL brouhaha never really was about the photoshopping anyway. If they hadn’t been so stupid as to send BBs ISP the legal nastygram this would have been long forgotten about and moved on with about the same amount of commentary as other stupidity gets here.

    If they are comfortable with a few of us out here in the geek fringe giggling about what they do, they are free to photoshop as much as they think the credulity of their customers can stand.

    As long as they remember they can’t tell anyone to shut up for laughing at them if they do so.

  11. Why is the image linked to Imageshack called “hoax2og0.jpg”? Does this suggest that one of these images are fake?

  12. I noticed as well that the image is called “hoax2og0.jpg”, and actually went to the Ralph Lauren Australia site, where the image is not to be found.

    Photoshoped? Yes. By Ralph Lauren? I doubt it.

  13. Naganalf-

    I looked at the site too, and it really does look as though the image was there at some point.

    i say this because on the screen shot, there is a progress bar indicating that their are more than 6 images in that set.

    the scroll bar is gone now, so there must have been images there that have been removed.

    this begs the question, who make the hoax? somebody with access to the site?

  14. I suspect that all this photoshopping is one of the reasons (thanks to the economy) that my brother’s business is now kaput. He and his business partner had a rather successful biz building sets for ad photos, and store interiors for various designers, Lauren/Polo was one of their biggest clients.

    Unfortunately his site is all flash and I don’t know how to link to individual pics, but click on ‘sets’, and the middle bottom pics, there are some, presumably, non-photoshopped ads with Hamilton and shots taken during the photo shoot.

  15. It doesn’t look out of place to me. though i admit i can’t find a scroll bar on any other sections of that site.

    still, It looks to me like there was something there, and it has been removed.

  16. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

    This is all a joke. Of course Ralph Lauren is aware those models can’t exist in real life. I see this as a satire to attract more publicity. And it works, because every one’s talking about it!!!

  17. Wanna know why models and actors in general look like that? What else has big heads on small bodies with oversized facial features? Cartoon characters. Models and movie stars are basically living caricatures of human beings — and it’s for the same reason an artist exaggerates features and minimizes the body when doing caricature. Because it emphasizes the face and helps draw attention. Also, because it looks more “normal” through a camera lens, which everyone knows adds 20 lbs. The fact that some young women overanalyze these images and try to imitate them is a different issue that shouldn’t be blamed on the fashion industry.

    1. I take a fair few photos. I’m yet to have taken one that has made anyone look any larger. That crap about the camera adds 20 lbs is simply bullshit fashion designers say to make models more conscious about their weight and to excuse their behaviour of using stick insects as models.

      Most models look unhealthily skinny in most photos.

  18. Also, the model is wearing the same clothes (against the same background) as the rest of the photos in that set.

  19. Who the hell thinks that photoshopped picture is attractive? The un-skinnied picture is of a beautiful woman. The doctored photo is a hideous gollum-like beast.

    I think maybe it’s just a retoucher who is really horrible at his job and needs to be fired.

  20. @ anon

    “Also, because it looks more “normal” through a camera lens, which everyone knows adds 20 lbs. ”

    um. “everyone” “knows” this? how do you know this? do you have firsthand experience with studio level photography? no? well, i do. and that is complete bullshit. model photography is difficult to the eye, since you’re seeing a single view, whereas in real time, you see a constantly changing image. but none of this crap about *adding weight*, thanks. photoshopping models is a ridiculous and inherently unnecessary practice.

  21. All press is good press? Anyone who would be a part of their big-headed photoshopping / skinny model firing / DMCA threatening discussion and still buys their products is an idiot. Ok, so no news flash that they are marketing to idiots, but I’d wager that more people who might have occasionally bought one or two of their products has been turned off by this debacle than new customers gained from it. RL has shown through their shortsighted obstinance that they are obsolete and on their way out, and that is something the moguls of the fashion industry cannot afford. Look five years into the future and I see their sales waning rather than increasing overall, unless they adopt a new model (no pun intended.) Even if they do eventually about-face, at this point, they will already be too late and they will be the follower; not the leader, and continue to fade away as new ideas that are more responsive to the changing market will replace them. Good riddance!

  22. I own a few Ralph Lauren shirts, and I’m not an idiot. That said, I never pay attention to advertising, unlike Phikus. Talk about a complete waste of time!

    This whole “if you do (x) you must be an idiot” offers no real illumination to the debate. Yes, I find it offensive that RL would cater to the lowest common denominator when marketing to women. No one should ATTEMPT to become as skinny as some of their models, much less one of their Photoshop disasters.

    But what is the point, really? If I were to determine my purchases based on advertising, I would go naked 99% of the time. They’re not going to lose enough sales from this to bankrupt them. Seems pretty idiotic to think that they would, or to huffily declare “good riddance!” to a company who is showing no immediate signs of departure.

    1. Thanks. You obviously didn’t read the comment you decided to flame. I don’t care what’s in your closet. I was addressing those who believe that RL will profit from the attention they have been getting from all this, which should have been clear to had bothered to read instead of simply reacting. If you are prompted to go out and buy more of their stuff based on this extra attention they have been getting for their douchebaggery, then you like identifying with douchebags. I don’t have a problem with that. Do what you like. You have a right to express yourself as you please, just as I have the right to express my opinion by stating “Good riddance” in my prediction that in the long run they will not be better off for such shenanigans. I usually see much more intelligent comments from you. Did I hit on a nerve?

  23. It’s not the retouchers fault, they’re just worker bees. it’s their bosses boss that gets the word for higher up that sez these models have to look like this. Usually retouching removes blemishes, smooths wrinkles in clothing, fix a weird angle and the like. To wholesale turn a 20 year old woman’s body into a 10 year old body is messed up and a clear mandate from a creative director at RL.

  24. Guys… it’s actually quite simple. Compare the two photos linked – the one that looks hyper-skinny is being shown at the incorrect aspect ratio. Note that the height/width dimensions are the same, but the hyper-skinny pic shows more objects in the room to either side. It’s just being horizontally compressed.

  25. While it’s not a perfect resizing, I made animated gif of the two pictures. Even part of the plants move. Either Liquify or distort filter, and way too much ‘let’s fix all the shadows’.

    Maybe it’s a new magic mirror approach. They change the model’s weight to match the particular demographic of the website viewer.

  26. Wow – honestly I thought she looked sort of okay in the thumbnail (the smaller the better), but when you blow up the image it’s clear that she’s been Shop’d to a misshapen freak. Sad. The thinness/attractiveness ratio is a bell curve, not a linear relationship, and it’s further to the healthy weight side than these dorks would care to admit.

  27. As mentioned above by a couple other posters, the link takes us to imageshack photos titled hoax2og0.jpg.

    It seems like that could definitely signify that one, or possibly both of these RL ads could be fake. Is there any way to look into this?

    1. ..or possibly both of these RL ads could be fake. Is there any way to look into this?

      Re: the first ad posted to BB

      On Thursday, Polo Ralph Lauren released the following statement about the retouched ad: “For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.”

  28. I see girls that skinny on a daily basis, in normal life, in the streets. They’re my colleagues, my neighbors, normal people living a normal life… And that’s just the way they are, many of them don’t even try hard to be like that. In fact the “fattening diet” market is quite big around here :P
    The things is, I don’t live in the US (or in the western world), I live in Vietnam, and every western woman I see (tourists mostly) invariably looks massively distorted to me.

    There’s a world outside of London, Los Angeles and San Francisco; you should take a look at it sometimes ;)

  29. ok, granted i don’t know much about the fashion world. i know what i like and what i don’t. i just checked out lauren’s website. i picked three things at random
    the hudson suded patch jodhpur sizes 4 through 12
    the slim knit turtleneck sizes x-small through x-large
    the vallari houndstooth dress sizes 6 through 16

    sounds like some of those sizes are meant for women who weigh MORE than 87 pounds, no?

    then, as i was getting ready to leave the sight, what did my eyes behold???????? well a link to RALPH LAUREN WOMAN. i guess these clothes are for the tubby bio-tches. they are in sizes 14 to 22 (before you start on me, that’s HUMOR peeps, humor. i am NOT a small woman).

    not to worry ralph, i will continue to buy most of my clothes at a small designer in hartford, (well the OUTLET portion actually).

  30. To answer the original comment made by Maggie: I buy RL clothes. I love them. And I absolutely despise this type of PhotoShock advertisement that they’re doing lately. If they’re trying to tell us loyal shoppers that in order to buy their clothes, our heads need to be bigger than our pelvis, then a lot of us are in for a RL-breakup.

    It’s insulting, it’s unrealistic, and it’s wholly unnecessary. And frankly, it makes the clothes look like hell.

  31. Those GIFs = awesome. I love how ribcage and up stays pretty much normal.

    I think they hire art students who failed at… well everything to to this work.

  32. model in the ad is valentina zelyaeva she is 27 years old and has a 7 year deal with rl and that not her body her waist is lot wider in real life and she is shorter too and heavyer too if you compire her to filippa she make filippa look like twiggy valentina had baby in february and she is a big supporter of under weight model that is ralf kind of girl that my wikipedia surfing for today

  33. There are a lot of minutiae to discuss around this photo, photoshopping, the fashion industry and everything around it.
    What it boils down to is until we are willing to stand up and say I am as I am, I am beautiful as I am, I am lovable as I am, I am skinny, medium or large and it’s all good! As long we continue hurting or degradin ourselves to create some imposed standard of beauty, this will continue. When we all stand up and say – LOOK AT ME, I ROCK IN THE BODY I HAVE AND REFUSE TO GIVE INTO YOUR STANDARDS – things will change.

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