Cancer bride criticises Love It! for airbrushing out her tattoos

A cancer sufferer who allowed her wedding photos to be used in Love It! has said she was outraged after discovering they were airbrushed without her consent.

Wedding picture

Swift on her wedding day with visible tattoos, which were removed in the Love It! real-life spread.

The weekly real-life magazine, published by News Magazines, used the pictures in two features on Joan Swift’s battle with the illness.

But when the magazine hit the shelves earlier this month she discovered that four tattoos, which had been visible on her arms and chest in her wedding pictures, were gone.

Editor Karen Pasquali-Jones has previously told the website freelancewritingtips.com: ‘Our case studies don’t necessarily have to be camera-friendly.

‘We’ll use a great photographer and make up artist to make them look as good as possible, but we don’t believe in airbrushing. We want to show people as they really are.”

The stories told how Swift, 29, underwent a double mastectomy the week after her wedding and how the ordeal made the day all the more poignant.

She told Press Gazette how her wedding dress was chosen to show off the figure she was about to lose, and she wanted her tatoos to be on display.

Swift explained: ‘I’ve had my tattoos for years. Some represent a particular time in my life. Another is linked with one of my husband’s. None of my tattoos were done on a whim, they were all well-thought-out and planned.”

When she saw the articles she said the altered pictures were the first thing she noticed.

She said: ‘I was devastated. I have very low self-confidence after my surgery and when I saw that they had removed my tattoos it only made my insecurities worse.

‘This magazine saw fit to remove one of the remaining parts of my identity that I was happy with.”

She feels that the magazine should have consulted her about the airbrushing and that it is in breach of the Press Complaints Commission‘s code of practice. Swift said she was considering lodging a formal complaint to the PCC.

Clause 1 of the PCC code states that newspapers and magazines must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted material, including pictures.

Swift said she received an email apology from Love It! in which a staffer explained that it was a ‘senior management decision”, adding that the editor wanted people to ‘read the story and focus on the issues in it”.

Swift has received an official letter of apology and an undertaking that the magazine will not republish the story or any of the photographs.

However, she said she has still not received a full explanation from the magazine and said that she would like to see a full printed apology in a future issue.

Love It! declined to comment to Press Gazette.

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