Karlie Kloss finds herself in the center of another controversy, as photographer Greg Kandel released a questionably raw version of a photo included in the model’s recent editorial for Numéro. The unedited image, which looks poles apart from the newsstand-ready version, revealed a whole lot more ribs than what was run in the magazine’s October 2012 issue. While Kloss’ protruding bones is an easy element to call out, there’s another side to this issue that puts the long-argued topic that is digital enhancement back into the spotlight—an ambiguous one, that is.
It’s usually to see brand something as a Photoshop fail, but this particular image sits at a particularly precarious position because it’s quite understandable why Numéro decided against the rib-revealing original. For one, they could have done this to promote a healthier body image. It can be remembered that Kloss was the topic of heated Anorexia discussions last year because of a naked editorial she did for Vogue Italia. With that, the folks at Numéro may have allowed sensibility to rule, playing it safe visually to steer the image away from landing in any pro-Anorexia site.
Then again, all sense of realism has also been chucked out of the window when they edited out Kloss’ ribs. There’s almost no hiding the fact that the leggy supermodel comes with a ballet dancing background, something Kloss has always credited for her lean frame. Some have also criticized the magazine’s over-eagerness, arguing that ribs do tend to protrude when you suck in your stomach and stretch back to achieve that pose. Representatives of Kandel spoke up about the issue, releasing a statement through The Cut that essentially admonished the magazine’s decision to doctor the image:
It was Greg’s desire to represent Karlie as she naturally is … slender, athletic and beautiful. That is why he released the images as he intended them to be seen by the public. He is shocked and dismayed that unbeknownst to him, Numéro took it upon themselves to airbrush over his original images. Greg stands by his original artwork and cannot stress enough that he not only was unaware of the magazine’s retouching but also finds the airbrushing of Karlie unacceptable and unnecessary.
Do you think Numéro was reasonable in its decision or would you rather see Kloss and her natural physique in the magazine?
Photos from Greg Kadel and Numéro