Somehow Jezebel got their hands on these photos of Mariah Carey before they were Photoshopped and the Internet can’t stop staring at them.
Terry Richardson was the photographer hired for the Wonderland spread, which appears on magazine racks looking like this…
And like this.
But if you lift the wool from Terry’s lens, it quickly becomes clear where retouching has taken place.
It proves once again that the media we consume isn’t exactly true to life.
But in this case, it feels more like an indictment of Terry Richardson rather than the subject (Mariah).
Photoshop is a tool that comes with a territory (in print media, especially); it’s something so expected in every magazine we flip through, we don’t even blink an eye. Whether that’s because your eye has become subconsciously trained to consider every flawless being in them as real, or you’re just completely jaded with your insider knowledge of the prevalence of Photoshop, that territory can be crossed for both parties and this before-and-after with Mariah Carey exhibits that.
Unlike most cases of exposing Photoshop use in entertainment and advertising, this one has an added layer that questions Terry Richardson’s talent as a hot, in-demand photographer. In this case, Terry, whose signature style involves intense flash photography—in other words, lighting, y’know, just the spine of any photographer’s toolbox—clearly has a codependency on Photoshop to achieve a look that you’d think could be created in-studio.