Weekly magazine Grazia has admitted to digitally manipulating a front-page image of the Duchess of Cambridge which had the effect of making her look thinner than she is.
A Mr Edward Hellewell complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the image of the Duchess of Cambridge in her wedding dress, in which he said she appeared to have been made to look thinner.
The magazine told the PCC that the image had been altered to remove the arm of Prince William so that the Duchess could be featured on the cover alone. To do this it revealed that it “mirrored” one of the Duchess’s arms and pasted it into place on the photo.
Grazia said that “an inadvertent result of the change was the slimming of her waist”.
The complaint was resolved when Grazia agreed to publish the following statement: “Following a letter received from a Mr H about our royal wedding issue, Grazia magazine would like to clarify the process that led to our final cover image of the Duchess of Cambridge.
“We wanted a great image of the Duchess on her own, but all the photographs had the Duke in too. So we asked our reproduction house to remove him from the picture (common practice among glossy magazines).
“This would have left the Duchess with only one arm, so they copied over her arm to complete the picture. We would like to reassure all our readers that we did not purposely make any alternations to the Duchess of Cambridge’s image to make her appear slimmer, and we are sorry if this process gave that impression. Grazia takes the issue of women’s body image very seriously and we would never ‘slim down’ a picture of a female role model.”
Such digital manipulation of images may be “common practice” on the glossies – but it does appear to be in breach of the Editors’ Code, clause one of which states: “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.”