Elizabeth Olsen Calls Out Empire Magazine for Photoshopping Her Beyond Recognition
"Does this look like me?"
Elizabeth Olsen, who plays Wanda/Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, posted a rather pointed Instagram post yesterday. Sharing one of the Empire magazine covers dedicated to Avengers: Infinity War, she asked simply: “Does this look like me?”
The edits do look, to my eyes, like they totally reshaped Olsen’s chin in order to make her face narrower, her cheeks more hollowed, and her mouth poutier. These choices seem pretty bizarre if you’re looking to promote a recognizable star of a superhero franchise—unless, of course, your priority isn’t accurately capturing Olsen at all, but instead making her look more sexually appealing.
This is hardly the first photoshopping controversy to hit the magazine industry. Grazia photoshopped Lupita Nyongo’s hair out of her cover shoot, and she similarly took to social media to express her disappointment that they “edited out & smoothed my hair to fit a more Eurocentric notion of what beautiful hair looks like.” Spider-Man Homecoming star Zendaya previously called out Modeliste magazine, also on Instagram, after she saw “my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated” in the final photo. Keira Knightley has complained that she’s “had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons,” and only agreed to do a topless shoot for Interview magazine “so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch.” Hell, Suicide Squad even digitally slimmed down actual-supermodel Cara DeLevigne in the movie itself.
Luckily, Nyong’o, Zendaya, Knightley, and Olsen are part of a continuing trend in which women shame the magazines who’ve altered their bodies beyond reality and beyond recognition. No one’s body or face is perfect, and magazines and movies which perpetuate that idea that one can do a lot of harm to people’s self-image. (One can only hope that men’s fitness and sports magazines are next on the list to get called out, because they, too, present a photoshopped absurdity as physically achievable.) Slowly but surely, we can pressure our media landscape to be less toxic—but it will take the sort of pressure that Olsen is exerting here.
(via CBR; image: Zade Rosenthal and Marvel)
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