Demi claims missing hipflesh is for real. But $5,000 says it's Moore photoshopping.


Demi Moore gets the Ralph Lauren treatment in December "W"

Update: story updated here on December 28, 2009, to include a response from legal representatives for Ms. Moore, and W Magazine.

Photographer Anthony Citrano recently pointed us to a possible Photoshop Disaster on the cover of W magazine's December issue, in which Demi Moore (aka @mrskutcher) appeared to be missing a chunk of flesh from her hip.

This reminded me of the Ralph Lauren debacle. Many blogs and news sites picked the item up. Over at Jezebel (they posted about it before BB), W magazine fessed to having altered the image, but "nothing out of the ordinary."

Yesterday, Mrs. Kutcher herself tweeted, "Here is the original image people my hips were not touched don't let these people bullshit you!"

Anthony Citrano replies: "I feel bad that Demi is on defense - she should not have to defend other people's mistakes; W Magazine should be addressing this rather than her." Citrano offers $5,000 to the charity of her choosing if the image she tweeted is provably the unretouched original.

Citrano's full reply and details on the thrown-down-gauntlet follow. All of this, by the way, IS VRY SRS BIZNESS.

To reiterate, Demi is a beautiful woman who needs no help from retouching. This was never about her, nor about retouching - I have no problem with either.

Further, I feel bad that Demi is on defense - she should not have to defend other people's mistakes; W Magazine should be addressing this rather than her.

Having said that, she did raise the stakes considerably yesterday by posting what she claims is the original unretouched shot, along with the accusation that "these people" (presumably Xeni and me) are "bullshitting."

Well, whether or not her hip was botched, I do not believe for a moment that the image Demi posted yesterday is the original shot.

If she's aware of that - and I expect she is - it's irresponsible (and silly) of her to make that assertion.

So, I'll see her move and raise her $5,000: if the shot she posted yesterday is really the unretouched original, I will donate $5,000 to a charity of her choosing.

Let's see who's "bullshitting", shall we?

Whaddya say, Demi? Are we on?



  1. how about showing the artist’s proof sheet? you know, seeing the uncropped images, different poses, etc.

  2. I dunno, man. Her vein-y arms, poky collarbones, and stick-like legs suggest to me that she may indeed just be skinny.

    1. It’s not a matter of being skinny, there’s a segment of her left hip missing in the shot that would indicated sheared off bone or muscle, not just lack of body fat. It doesn’t help her case that it doesn’t match her right hip, or that the scarf is clearly being supported by something that isn’t there in the retouched shot.

  3. Maybe it’s just the pose she’s using.
    Raise the hip and move the shoulders.

    I tried it and it does feel awkward, but not physically impossible and I did get the same result.

  4. Photoshopping (or not) aside for a moment, I comparing the “original” to the covershot is fascinating to me. The twitpic is a photograph of a pretty woman wearing a ridiculous outfit, a lot of makeup, and an expression I’ve never seen in daily life. The magazine cover is of a beautiful and unattainable woman, it’s glamourous and exotic.

    We are so easily fooled by how images are presented to us, photoshopped or not. I had a very brief working experience on a major Hollywood movie where my work placed me right behind the director’s review monitors. It was absolutely surreal to watch 2 big-name actors doing their lines in front of me, looking very much like high schoolers making a youtube video, and then look over and see… wow! movie stars looking famous and awesome. I couldn’t shake the effect even after hours of A/B’ing the real thing and the filmed version.

    In the end we mostly just like to fool ourselves with pretty pictures, the tools we use to do so notwithstanding.

    1. davee5 sez; “The twitpic is a photograph of a pretty woman wearing a ridiculous outfit, a lot of makeup, and an expression I’ve never seen in daily life.”

      Really? I get that expression from women all the time. Usually it’s followed by the woman saying “what the fuck are YOU staring at?”

  5. You know what I don’t get? Why’d they ugly up her face? Her face is really beautiful in the one she says is the original, while she looks like a plastic-coated zombie in the cover version.

  6. There is only one way to settle this, Demi must get nekkid and show us all her goodies. After that, we can look at her thigh and see if her story checks out.

  7. I can see that it looks a bit off, but I really don’t think it’s as “freakish” as everyone seems to be making out. Admittedly, I don’t have the best eye for anatomy (I often have to look at images on Photoshop Disaster a few times over before I can figure out what they’re mocking), but she obviously has most of her weight on one leg, causing her posture to shift. That would probably be enough to “de-curve” her left side a bit.

    Or maybe she just has scoliosis! (I am sure this is not the case, but it is the reason one of my own hips lacks curves, and would probably have a very similar effect in an outfit/pose such as that)

  8. 1. I don’t find it too hard to believe that it’s just the indentation where her leg meets her hip.

    2. We as a species are paying way too much attention to this.

    1. I agree with #2. When the story first broke it was just a little more evidence for something everyone already knew. It should have ended with that. This is absolutely meaningless and insignificant.

  9. Forget the hip. I don’t think her waist is that small. And even 30 year olds’ skin doesn’t look like that before retouching.

    1. “I don’t think her waist is that small.”

      Could be, could not be … but you should get acquainted with the miracles that corsets and supportive undergarments can wreak.

  10. i think its just a weird posture , and there’s an illusion caused by the angle / positioning. this is a 2d picture of a 3d environment, after all.


    i don’t think the twitpic is the original , it looks like it has already been photoshopped a bit. having many friends who have worked as photo editors and retouchers for major magazines, that image looks like an edit in-progress. the face looks like it was already retouched – the eyes and the skin really suggest that. and retouchers are **damn** good, so it would be nearly impossible for the general public to tell if her arms and legs were worked on yet, and if so to what extent.

      1. I’m going to feel SO BAD about that last comment if it turns out that she has a terminal illness. She looks really unhealthy in that unshopped image.

  11. I think that Demi might win if the issue is the “hip dent”. In the photo she posted it looks like it is an optical illusion brought about by an awkward pose: her right hip (on our left) is higher and closer to us than the left; her weight is on the right leg and the left leg is off the ground and extended towards us (notice the tension in the inner thigh muscle on that leg; there’s a gap on her left side between her arm and hip and the fabric is fully puffed up whereas on the other side the arm is pressed against the hip and pushing the fabric down leaving no gap.

    There might be some air-brushing, or its digital equivalent
    on the skin but what we see is within the realm of a good make-up job: we’d have to look at recent candid shots for comparison. Anyway, I believe the issue was a full-blown Photoshop rearrangement of geometry and not colour adjustments.

  12. Following a careful examination of Demi Moore photos throughout the web, I find that there are recent other photos in which she assumes the same stance with the same results.

    My conclusion: Moore remains skinny enough that when she assumes that stance, her left hip lines up pretty well with her left side and her right hip pokes out notably with a slight diagonal toward the rear. Note that she is stepping slightly forward with her left. That slightly angles her right hip back.

    A head on camera angle doesn’t reveal all of her right hip.

  13. That is a very safe gamble for Skutcher to make. Every magazine cover is photoshopped extensively. The only question is how much and how deceptive.

  14. For the record, I am not Outraged on Behalf of All Wimminry or anything ridiculous like that. This item, to me, is an interesting technical puzzle. I went to art school, both parents were artists, and the science and details of visual perception and human anatomy are interesting to me in a geeky way. There’s a tradition of pretending that various forms of alterations don’t happen in media, and that layer of the story is also interesting. Do I think this is srs bizness? No.

    1. I’d like to see what her feet are doing. When only one leg is weight-bearing, the hip on the other side sags.

  15. You can’t judge it unless you see the whole body. It could just be a hip thrust which drops the other side. The arm on the ‘missing side’ looks like it is in its original position.

  16. There’s nothing PS’d about that image regarding “hip meat”. Positioning of the legs and slanted torso stance tells you she’s relaxing ala model pose – on her right hip side. (Thereby flattening the opposite hip’s prominence.) The alleged “free floating material” on the supposed PS’d side, is simply gathered material…which bunches.

    Now was there common PS retouching? Probably so, as it’s common practice these days. Was there some ridiculous radical removal of “hip meat”? I don’t see it whatsoever, and I’ve worked in imaging, both digital and not for 25 years. The positioning of the body tells it all. Draw your simple human form lines and you’ll have your answer.

  17. I’m on the fence about the hip. She has obviously been corseted which, if it goes too low and squeezes too much causes all sorts of havoc with a beautiful wait-hip line. That would account for about 50% of the “missing hip flesh”.

    The rest of it could be accounted for if she was putting her weight on her left leg and cocking her hip out. But it looks like her left leg is forward and bent at the knee, where she’d fall over instantly. It could be that the shading on the legs was photoshoped to reverse them, or her legs were cut off and flipped to give her the awkward pose.

    OTOH of course its photoshoped. Humans have pores.

  18. There is no doubt that this is extensively photoshopped everywhere – not as poorly as the RL ad, but it’s noticeable to anyone who’ve ever taken a life drawing course.

    I mean, just apply a vertical line following her side and you’d see that it’s not even a logical or natural curve.

    really? what the hell do you think that is? it’s not any sort of natural indentation, that’s for sure.

  19. I simply haven’t the time to learn html anytime soon, so I’m just copying the link provided by Limepies in the previous thread again for all to closely examine:

    Do an honest comparison of the runway model and the W cover. Same collar bone line, same wrist/hand length, same elbow/upper arm ratio, same breast elevation, same waist/hip ratio, exactly the same outfit. Seriously, the W cover is that emaciated runway model with Demi’s head ‘shopped in and some of the model’s “heroin chic” ‘shopped out.

    Demi is in awesome shape for a woman who’s birthed, what? 4-5 kids? She’s obviously worked very hard to be in great shape. She doesn’t need this much “help” on a magazine cover. It’s a shame that she seems to be defending this disaster.

  20. I’m not criticising anyone here, and I’m just as interested in this as anyone – but has it occurred to anyone else that this might just be a more technically-savvy and inverted version of the old “look who’s butt looks fat”-type photo story from the grocery store weeklies?

  21. Ahh, IronEdith has a point – check out the overlay –

    So, that could be photoshopped, though it wouldn’t be easy – more importantly notice that in the image demi appears to be skinnier than the emaciated runway model, and yet you don’t have a single protruding hip bone.

    Also, that original image she posted? My ass. You have to consider that every cover image is photoshopped/airbrushed – if that were the original it would mean that only the contrast was edited for the cover which is complete BS, SOMETHING would be edited; something is always edited.

    1. Can you put that overlay on flickr or something? I can’t get to it where you put it. Websense non-sense.

  22. Her pelvis is angled significantly sideways (see how far her butt protrudes to her left) and slightly forward. The sash is simply misleading in how it hangs. It’s not a photochop.

  23. Could it be that we are so used to seeing overweight or out-of-shape bodies that when someone actually doesn’t have any body fat is looked upon with cynicism?

    What happened?

    1. Yes, it is met with cynicism at best. Sometime in the last 10 years, eating became a hobby in the US. At the same time, exercise became elitist. Elitist is equated with intellectual in this country. Thus, it’s a perfect storm of laziness, gorging and anti-intellectualism. The best part is that my tax dollars now pay for insulin for Medicaid Type II Diabetes patients – just as I predicted those would when PE started to get dropped from public schools.

  24. If her leg is bent at the hip, maybe her hip and thigh wouldn’t line up, and the apex of the angle formed would be concealed by her clothing. It still looks fake to me.
    In any case she’s way too skinny, and too bad about the implants.

  25. It’s sad that this is even being talked about.

    It’s really quite simple. She’s standing with her hips tilted slightly, so one side is higher than the other. Plus her shoulders are tilted the opposite direction, making one hand slightly higher than the other.

  26. I agree with jengabean. I thought this when I first saw this image. It looks completely natural to me. It’s tiring how often people cry “shopped!” Sure, when it’s ugly or degrading, it needs to be called out. But I think this is going too far to find fault. — Here’s a photoshop of my own showing what jengabean showed:

  27. Mike and I had this same discussion on Xeni’s flickr where she has this image hosted and we each created our own photoshop diagrams to show how this is a simple contrapposto pose ( being performed by a very skinny woman. This is not a photoshop job (at least not on her pose or hips) but is rather a perfect example of how easily people with untrained eyes, an irregular pose and body shape can fool you. Here is my diagram that reinforces what Mike and others are saying by not only tracing the shape of her hips under her clothing but also tracing the position of her torso and arm lengths to show that everything matches and people need to calm down:

    I propose Xeni post a follow up using our diagrams as example explanations of how her hip is not only natural but how easily our eyes can be fooled when we rely on basic lines to tell us something looks real or not.


  28. It’s the angle of her hip combined with the bulk of the wrap. It creates an odd optical configuration. You can, however, sketch the curve from her corset down to where her hip joint would naturally bend and then on down her thigh. I don’t think it was shopped (well, I won’t say that, I am sure it is shopped, just not to remove part of her hip).

  29. The comments on that picture are hilarious. So many people are saying how beautiful she is and how hard she works to be like that.

    Do they mean how skinny she is? My god, the woman in anorexic! You can see every bone in her neck and shoulders, her arms have almost no muscle, and I’m amazed she has enough meat on her thighs to stand.

    Yes, I get it, thin is beautiful, but eventually you reach a point where thin is sick and disgusting. Rolls aren’t attractive, but neither are bones. Either extreme is unattractive; the ideal is somewhere in between.

  30. Her leg is turned and pointed out from her hip, if the cloth wasn’t there it would look fine, but the cloth is there so it makes it look weird because you can’t see the transition

  31. I also teach illustration at the college level. I work digitally with Photoshop and other programs. I also draw nude figures from life, and have been doing so for 18 years.

    I see that her hip is swung to one side, and that’s about it. I’ve drawn many poses like this.

    I believe that people are confused by the pose and by the clothing Demi is wearing.

  32. Xeni, I’m sorry but Demi is right this time.
    My credentials: I’m a graphic designer, I work with photoshop on a daily basis. I also paint and have drawn nude models several times.
    There are four factors at work here:
    1. People are just not used to closely examining bodies posed this way. You need to look at real bodies to compare – not just rely on your memories of what a person looks like when posing this way. The average person does not know anatomy as well as they believe.
    2. There are people whose body is naturally very slim. I see girls as slim as supposedly shopped models (not as slim as the Ralph Loren one, of course – that was obviously ‘shopped) on the street every so often. It’s not about diet or anorexia. Some people really have slimmer builds. You can’t diet your skeleton into being smaller! I have a friend with a very slim build, and she complains all the time about being unable to find decent clothes for her size – she has to shop at stores for teens, and she’s in her late 20’s.
    3. She is wearing a corset-type item! this does strange things to a body, pushing here, pulling there.
    4. The “Photoshop Disasters” editors are not very discriminating in their choice of material. On a slow day they’ll post just about anything.

  33. I think Citrano is going to lose this bet. I do think the hip is tilted and it’s not photoshop- the evidence seems to point towards that- and yes she can be that skinny- even after birthing kids- it’s part of her natural body shape combined with exercise/diet.

    America has major acceptance image problems because it’s rapidly becoming more and more obese- but if just take a trip out to Asia, and check out whats considered norm there- I think Demi’s body curves aren’t that tough to swallow.

    1. Gotta say — after masking off the fabric, which tends to break the outline — I go with “not photoshop, just a less than flattering combination of outfit and photograph.” At least not at the hip, which is the point that folks twigged on.

      I also suspect that the outfit looks looser than it is. Costume design can easily do that.

      Not that I doubt they _would_ retouch the photo, but in this case I would not bet that they did so to alter her shape; I think the odds break the other way.

  34. While everyone has been focused on Demi’s hip, I should like to point out that her waist has definitely been altered, in particular on her right side. I had suspected as much, but comparison with the ‘original’ shot makes this a dead certainty. They attempted to thin her down and give her rather more rounding of hip-into-waist than shows in the original photo. Rather than follow the line of the hip alone, I suggest you visually compare the shape of the ‘white space’ between her arm and body. The difference is subtle, but definitely to be seen.

  35. Here is proof that ‘original’ has spent at least an hour in the photo shop. Check the thumb.
    (Roll-over Gif, I’ll never give you up.)

    The following is pure speculation: after all the attention Demi asked for the original. The magazine sent her something less edited, but not the original.

    Unedited Photo(s): Nope.
    Minor Re-shaping: Yep.
    Hip alteration: Probably not.
    Hip Altercation: For the moment.

  36. I need to recant that the .gif says anything about the ‘original’.
    I just re-read everything and realized the mistake.

  37. she’s standing at an angle, probably wearing a corset, she’s 47 and she looks great. go demi. the rest is just blogs competing for eyeball time on their ads. I don’t think psd ran this, because it isn’t.

  38. It’s been touched somewhat. Check out the fabric above her hip; I know from experience that if something were that loose, it would fall off the hip. Even criss-crossed as it is. (I was approximately that thin as a teen–eating disorder. No longer that thin, but a US size 2. It’s kind of nice to have breasts for a change.) Depending on how tall Demi Moore is (and I really couldn’t give a rat’s ass either way, she’s been in just three movies I can think of) she could either be that slender in the waist or have it pulled inward via corseting, like someone said above. On the other hand, I know a woman who is 6’1” and 135 lbs and, quite frankly, isn’t anywhere near that bony, though slender she is. (Going by the length of her arms, one would think her thighs would be longer, if she is indeed that tall.) Something’s amiss, here. It looks like the legs were shopped onto the body and the waist was elongated. It’s Hollywood, right? Wouldn’t rule it out.

  39. I just wish they’d make this shit illegal altogether the way it has become in some parts of Europe. This shit is damaging to female body image… and the model/star’s grasp of reality apparently too.

  40. The real beef is that Demi doesn’t look like that.
    She is more “normal” looking than the picture. If part of the hip isn’t removed, then its because it isn’t her.

    I think this has been mentioned in the previous boing-boing comment thread, but this comment shows where the body really came from:
    hollycaroline on November 24, 2009
    that’s anja rubik’s body.. taken from this picture of her on the catwalk: interesting.

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