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One of the topics I address during Operation Beautiful presentations is the Photoshopping of models and celebrities and how it can create pressure for the average girl/woman/man to constantly strive for this unattainable level of perfection (and thus spend money on products).  Sometimes, these changes are subtle – no wrinkles, no cellulite, no freakin’ PORES.  But sometimes, the results of our overactive computer tweakin’ is much, much weirder


I was walking through an airport a few weeks ago and saw this magazine cover.  Notice anything weird about it?


Where the HECK is Kristen Stewart’s arm?  Uh huh.  A total Photoshop hack job, right on the cover of Glamour.  Crazy, right?  Just thought I’d share that little gem in case anyone in cyberspace needed it. 


So – I took a 15-minute savasana behind the clinic desk today. On the floor.  In between patients, of course.


It was pretty awesome.


Scrumptious dinner:


In the mix:



Roasted Brussel sprouts (just sliced, covered in olive oil and agave nectar, and roasted at 400 degrees for 25 minutes)

Cherry tomatoes

Pumpkin seeds

White kidney beans


And, at some point, I found myself at Menchie’s for frozen yogurt.  Oh yeah. 


Goodnight, friends!



  • Army Amy* November 1, 2011, 9:09 pm

    I saw the no arm picture but chalked it up to a bad pose. On America’s Next Top Model, they call it amputee.*

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 1, 2011, 9:11 pm

    Yes the photoshopping these days is pretty much par for the course. Touching up a zit or two is one thing; chopping off arms and taking off 20 pounds from the hips is totally different. Grown women know it’s done, it happens, it exists; little girls don’t.

    Lots to think about…

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 1, 2011, 10:10 pm

      Even grown women can forget after it because “normal” on the magazines. It’s definitely ridiculous.

  • katie @ KatieDid November 1, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Wow that’s amazing to see. Very disturbing to be honest!

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 1, 2011, 9:18 pm

    My husband is a digital artist and photoshop is his life line. Bad or over photoshopped work is a huge pet peeve around here. Your eats look delicious! I had Brussels sprouts for lunch! Perfect gall eats!

  • Amanda November 1, 2011, 9:21 pm

    That image is so bizarre. Even if her arm wasn’t totally missing, it’s just a weird pose. Her (lack of) hips look distorted or something.

    • Rebecca November 1, 2011, 9:55 pm

      I agree!

  • Jenna White November 1, 2011, 9:22 pm

    Speaking of Photoshop, why are both your legs on one side of the bike on your picture up there? Looks a little off….

    • CaitlinHTP November 1, 2011, 9:24 pm

      That’s not Photoshop – that’s a pose.

      • Amy November 1, 2011, 10:31 pm

        I have been a long-time reader of HTP, but I do have to agree that the picture of you on a bicycle does look…awkward. Both of your legs are on one side of the bike, which is not a normal riding stance (unless you are mounting or disembarking, which would be a weird picture pose, anyway).

        We could just as easily argue that Kristin Stewart’s arm is not missing, it is just posed in such a way that it is behind her folded left leg.

        • Laura Ann November 1, 2011, 10:53 pm

          My guess is that she is sitting on the bike to pose. Either way, that has nothing to do with photoshop.

      • Jen November 2, 2011, 12:50 am

        Seriously? I don’t think Caitlin’s pose looks unnatural at all…it would be pretty difficult to take a decent picture in normal riding stance! 🙂

        Caitlin – I LOVE the work that you are doing to improve girls’ (and womens’) self-esteem!

        • Amy November 2, 2011, 12:54 am

          Just to clarify, when I say “normal riding stance,” I don’t mean both feet on the pedals. I mean one leg on each side of the bike.

          And as for what it has to do with photoshopping – photoshopping is, in effect, a misrepresentation of a picture, the topic of this post. We all make our own calls as to whether or not a photo has been photoshopped – I just find some things off in the bike picture, is all.

          • Krystina (Organically Me) November 2, 2011, 1:09 am

            I always thought the bike picture looked awkward, but I don’t think this is really similar to someone hacking off half an arm while photoshopping a celebrity.

        • Sammy November 2, 2011, 1:20 am

          I’ve always thought the bike picture looked a little funky, too. It looks to me like they trimmed down Caitlin’s legs some, which is actually really sad since she has awesome, athletic legs.

          I’m not saying it was her fault if they did it, just that it’s odd looking – her thighs seem to have been shopped down to be about the same width as her calves, which is not how ladies are built!

          • crystal November 2, 2011, 1:23 am

            I agree that it Caitlin’s photo looks very odd. I wasn’t able to figure it out until someone else pointed out the weird leg placement and legs that didn’t look they do in her normal pictures.

            I have to say though I don’t have photoshop hate. I don’t care if magazine covers are photoshopped if they’re done well. If it look like a 15 year old did it in his basement I will snark.

          • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:25 am

            Sammy – Thanks for saying my legs are athletic and awesome. 🙂

            I just wanted to clarify that the Endurance mag cover was 100% NOT photoshopped to make me thinner. Not only did I specifically request that, but they also told me they would never do that in light of the fact that the article was on Operation Beautiful.

      • Jen November 2, 2011, 1:35 am

        I’m sorry – I totally respect everyone’s opinions, but I still don’t think that the bike photo looks weird…no matter how many times I look at it!

        • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:32 am

          That’s because there’s nothing weird about it except the awkward post 🙂 No one sits like that on a bike unless its for a pic!

      • Mia November 2, 2011, 7:26 am

        the bike photo is clearly photoshopped, or at least airbrushed to give everything a smoother appearance. I don’t know if they trimmed your legs, or if you are that skinny, but I hope it’s the former because you look like you weigh about 100 pounds on the cover (not something for the majority of women to aspire to).

        • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:28 am

          Mia – Just so you know, I find this comment to be a bit insulting because that is actually what I look like. I am 5 ft 4, small boned, and 120 pounds. I am well within a normal size for my body type and fitness level and have about 19% body fat. They did not Photoshop me to be thinner in any way. I find your comment offensive because what if you were saying it in reverse (“you look like a fat cow, your legs are so thick”)? Negatively commenting on someone’s appearance is negative, all around.

          • lorraine November 2, 2011, 6:31 pm

            Caitlin, you post photographs of yourself every day on your blog. You are beautiful. But the photograph that appeared on Endurance magazine is clearly photoshopped to trim down your hips, whether they told you about it or not. Quite honestly, as a reader, and as someone who has helped spread the word about Operation Beautiful after reading about it on your blog, it was disappointing to see that photo.

          • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 9:18 pm

            Lorraine – Thanks for the sweet comments and for reading my blog! I wanted to clarify something: The photo on the right of my blog is cropped on the left and right to make it 150 pixels so it fits in the space. So a portion of my hip is cut off in that crop. HOWEVER, in the magazine cover, no part of my body was photoshopped to appear thinner. In light of this whole discussion, I emailed Endurance and the photographer herself to clarify, and the photographer confirmed she did not photoshop me to be thinner. Trust me, if she said she had, I would’ve done an awesome and explosive blog about it! LOL I know what I look like (granted, compression bike shorts, a good summer tan, and a pointed leg stretching out to the ground certainly help your legs to appear more toned!) and that is really and truly my body.

        • Ashley November 4, 2011, 1:02 pm

          Why couldn’t Caitlin weigh 100 lbs, if that was her healthy, comfortable, athletic weight (which she confirmed it is not)? Thin is a real, acceptable body type, as long as it is due to genetics and a healthy lifestyle, not disordered eating or other destructive habits. People need to aspire to be real, which Cait is, no matter what “real” ends up looking like for any of us.

          • CaitlinHTP November 4, 2011, 1:33 pm

            I 100% agree with you.

      • HTPDad November 3, 2011, 1:16 pm

        that I complained about bitterly…

        • Camels & Chocolate November 3, 2011, 1:35 pm

          I’m blown away by all these accusations of Photoshopping your Endurance mag cover image. I think you look exactly the same as the picture–both on the magazine and in your sidebar–in every photo you post of yourself. Why are people throwing such hissyfits?

          • Taylor November 3, 2011, 5:11 pm

            I agree! Caitlin’s blog is my favorite to read because she is so real. This just sounds like jealous people who can’t seem to say positive things. It’s such a real photo, minus doing lighting editing, etc., which is completely normal. These people who are accusing her of photoshopping need a hug….

    • MIRANDA November 3, 2011, 8:38 pm

      I ask this with no disrespect, but can someone please explain to me why if someone says something in disagreement or something that may be going “against the popular opinion” that it must mean the person is “obviously jealous”?

  • Emily November 1, 2011, 9:30 pm

    Wow, somebody is going to be paying big time for that photoshop error! Why in the world would one need to edit Kristin anyway? She’s beautiful how she is!

  • Sana November 1, 2011, 9:43 pm

    You need a sleeping bag at the office to nap in!

  • Rebecca November 1, 2011, 9:54 pm

    The thing that bothers me about the topics on the front of these magazines are that they are all about changing yourself, as if to say that no one is good enough. Not cool!

    • Kerry November 1, 2011, 10:01 pm

      I noticed that, too! It’s all very discouraging.

    • Krystina (Organically Me) November 2, 2011, 1:10 am

      And that is part of the reason why some people never accept themselves as they are; they’re constantly being bombarded with ways to change themselves.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 1, 2011, 10:09 pm

    I need to find a menchie’s everyone keeps talking about it! And I always have to remind myself when I look at women in magazines is that it took both a huge team of people, tons of money, and computer software to make her look like that!

  • Meg November 1, 2011, 10:21 pm

    Definitely just took a double take at that magazine on my shelf. Wow, so sad.

  • Jenny November 1, 2011, 10:24 pm

    That. is. absurd. I also thought that the photo of Jillian Michaels on this SELF magazine cover looked odd too. http://justjared.buzznet.com/2011/04/15/jillian-michaels-covers-shape-may-2011/
    Seriously what kind of body are people trying to get here!

    • Shelley@MileHighHealthy November 3, 2011, 1:08 pm

      Jenny, I really thought that the Jillian Michaels cover was weird as well! Her body just didn’t look quite right to me, which is sad because it’s Jillian Michaels and there is no way she needs to be photoshopped!

  • Meaghan (My Spoonful Of Inspiration) November 1, 2011, 10:34 pm

    Magazines make me so frustrated sometimes! I hate thinking that young girls idolize these fake bodies and unrealistic expectations!

    I love yogurt for dessert 🙂

  • kristen @ livinlifeinlouie November 1, 2011, 10:37 pm

    hahah how crazy!!! her whole body is freaky looking!

  • Lisa November 1, 2011, 10:42 pm

    Are you familiar with the photoshop disaster site:

    It is both hilarious and a great reminder to view magazine images with a heavy dose of skepticism.

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:30 am

      I love that site – thanks for passing it along!

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy November 1, 2011, 10:46 pm

    Those photoshopped magazine covers are crazy…I just figured her arm was hidden somewhere behind her leg!

  • Terri November 1, 2011, 10:55 pm

    OMG, I literally have that magazine sitting next to me. So weird. I kinda think I am too old for that mag now anyway….I am 32…but after your post…I think I am done for good…for other reasons 😉

  • Fit Chick Britt November 1, 2011, 10:59 pm

    Oh my goodness! I didn’t notice at first! You have a good eye. Love that you took a savasana mid day. I need to do that!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 1, 2011, 10:59 pm

    I love when I ‘find’ myself at a frozen yogurt place too. Yumm 😉

    Totally agree-magazine covers and photos are totally bogus. People work full-time jobs just playing with pictures….not sure if they know the horrible impact they have??

  • Jen November 1, 2011, 11:05 pm

    This website is really good for a laugh at Photoshop ridiculousness: http://www.psdisasters.com/

  • Nicole Mullins November 1, 2011, 11:09 pm

    Do you ever flip through any Victoria’s Secret catalogs? Sometimes the girls are so ‘shopped away it’s almost painful to look at! It’s sad because all these actresses and models really are beautiful without any of that and it just screws up society’s mentality about what women should look like.

  • Khushboo November 2, 2011, 1:04 am

    Hahah good eye, Caitlin- I hope this was brought to Glamour’s attention!

  • Natalcho @ Tomatoes Rock November 2, 2011, 5:38 am

    We really all need to be aware that photoshop can and does make miracles. I am very new to it but I was thrilled when I discovered the pimple brush or whatever it is called. Flawless skin in seconds:)

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) November 2, 2011, 6:37 am

    That arm is definitely freaking me out…

  • Hillary November 2, 2011, 7:18 am

    I’ve been looking at the cover of this magazine for the last two weeks and never noticed this. Now I can’t look away. Weird.

  • Jessica @ Jess Go Bananas November 2, 2011, 7:34 am

    I didn’t even notice that and I get the mag in the mail!! I hate photoshop!!!

  • Julie November 2, 2011, 7:53 am

    I HATE when they Photoshop celebs to the extreme. When you see before’s and after’s it’s a real wakeup call. I did a blog post on this on my blog…scroll down for some before/after Photoshopped images: http://weighward.blogspot.com/2011/09/healthy-body-image-bigger-than-model.html

    It’s crazy!

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:31 am

      Great post, julie!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 2, 2011, 8:17 am

    Haha I love just taking breaks to lie on the floor. It’s so relaxing!

    I have that magazine sitting on my bedside table and I never even noticed the arm thing. Weird!

  • Emily November 2, 2011, 8:21 am

    Mmm… frozen yogurt, looks delicious! (so does your dinner, but I have been eating very clean for the last few weeks, so the yogurt looks much more delicious.
    I think its great that operation beautiful addresses this topic/
    Also, have you ever looked into the Day Zero Project? “Leave an Operation Beautiful” note was one of the top 100 tasks people are selectng yesterday when I was browsing the site!

  • Lisa D November 2, 2011, 8:26 am

    I think you look beautiful in your photo on the bike, and in your photo on the floor 🙂 To be honest, doing yoga in all it’s hot, sweaty glory always makes me feel beautiful. Another thing I have been thinking about besides photoshopping is the fact that these ladies have professional make-up artists, lighting experts and amazing photographers taking their pictures. Which also makes for a really great looking, yet not “true-to-life” shot. Have a wonderful day!

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 8:31 am

      Amen to that, Lisa.

  • Lauren November 2, 2011, 9:46 am

    Genuine question – why does Operation Beautiful focus on appearance and not other valuations, such as intelligence, independence, integrity, etc? Wouldn’t it be more empowering for women/girls to hear “You are intelligent” and “You can achieve anything” rather than “You are beautiful”? I don’t feel particularly empowered by knowing that someone thinks I am beautiful “the way I am,” but I do feel empowered by taking pride in my professional achievements.

    Rather than telling young girls that they are beautiful “just as they are” perhaps we should be telling them that they are smart and awesome and can go out and change the culture so that women aren’t valued for looks.

    Just my $0.02.

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 9:52 am

      Oh yup, definitely! 100%. I tend to focus on those notes in the presentation and we talk a lot about turning negative self-talk into positive self-talk so you can achieve career, relationship, and school goals. I like the way you think 🙂

      • lauren November 2, 2011, 11:08 am

        Personally, I take the “beautiful as you are” notes as meaning complete beauty, both inside and out. Inner beauty is all about what makes us shine – personality, intelligence, grace, charisma, integrity, politeness.

  • lauren November 2, 2011, 11:14 am

    I stared at the magazine cover for a few minutes trying to figure out what was wrong…the hand on the foot pose is kind of awkward. If I were “famous” I think I’d want to approve all my shots before they were published 😉
    As a kid, even teenager, I had NO idea Photoshop was used for stuff like this, I thought they just picked starving models. LOL, so naive – but I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. In college I took a class on Disney and we got into a lot of the depiction of girls and women in Disney as well as in other media. I would love to learn more and figure out how to make kids more aware of what goes on. Have you ready anything on this topic? I’d love some suggestions.

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 11:18 am

      Have you read Cinderella Ate My Daughter? I LOVED that book!

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good November 2, 2011, 11:20 am

    Ha! Thanks for the laugh (the missing arm). It is good to realize that some of the images we see aren’t real. I also think that spending too much thought/effort on physical beauty is sad (even if that level of physical perfection were attainable). There are so many more things to think about and spend time on that are way more fulfilling!

  • Jamie November 2, 2011, 11:27 am

    I am a editor for a regional women’s magazine. When we do a photo shoot, I am amazed how women always want to make sure they we use photoshop! They want us to take out everything. But we don’t. We want people to seem real. Funny, huh?

  • Anna November 2, 2011, 12:47 pm

    “Let’s talk about America’s most pressing issue: Photoshop.” ~Tina Fey, Bossypants. Totally awesome part of the book, my favorite bit, actually.
    Also, when I was working at a camp over the summer, I showed all my girls this site: http://demo.fb.se/e/girlpower/retouch/
    It’s about the power of retouching photographs, just to make the young ladies of the future aware of what they are doing!

    • Anna November 2, 2011, 12:48 pm

      And by “they” I mean…the media. Pronouns are tough…

  • Amber K November 2, 2011, 1:00 pm

    I keep staring at the photo hoping her arm will somehow appear. What’s more strange is that I got this issue in the mail and barely glanced at it (I don’t usually look at the cover for longer than to see who happens to be on it) so I never even noticed how weird it is!

  • Angela November 2, 2011, 4:07 pm

    The face is obviously photoshopped as well as it appears that she is smiling. That can’t be real!

    • Caitlin November 2, 2011, 5:03 pm

      bawhahaha love.

  • Julia H. @ The Petite Spiel November 2, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Whoah, I didn’t even notice her missing arm at first. Seriously, photo-shoppers? Do they not CHECK these things first??

  • Noelle November 2, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I retouch celeb photo’s at my job and I must say the before and afters are PRETTY DRASTIC. You might not even recognize some celebs in their ‘before’ then when you’re done with the ‘after’ its kind of like ohhhh yeaaaa, thats who that is…It’s kind of ridiculous.

  • Aja November 2, 2011, 6:53 pm

    Being a previous commercial photography student we had to learn about what went into all the photoshoping and it’s insane. I did a few posts about it on my blog back in like May I think. I did something sort of like it to my face and if I look at the before I think I look like an old lady compared to the fake face photoshop gives me.

  • Sophie @ threetimesf November 3, 2011, 9:27 am

    Haha, it took me ages to work out what was wrong with that pic!

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