When Lady Gaga's Versace ad campaign came out in November last year the world was straight-up impressed with how glam she looked, and by how much she managed to channel Donatella Versace's signature look (and yet manage to look less like Janice the Muppet).
Well, now alleged original untouched images from the Mert & Marcus fashion shoot have been released on Gaga Fresh News, and they remind us how artificial the sexy, glossy images we see in magazines are.
In the supposed originals Lady Gaga looks fabulous, yes, but she has bruises on her knees (as is likely to happen when you have a penchant for extremely high heels and do often dance on stage); an overall more sallow and, well, human complexion and slightly less 'sharp' features.
A bit of Photoshop magic later and her arms and legs are flooded in slimming shadows, her face is given a whole lot of digital makeup and, well, even the lilac leather bag she's holding looks more glam.
The whole before and after effect reminds us of the HDR function we all love to use on landscape shots before we use them as bragging tools on Facebook (yes, that sunset was pretty, but not that pretty).
But, perhaps most alarming is how desensitised we are to the fashion world's love of making things so glossy they look unreal. We're so used to this 'look' that when the images first came out in November we didn't even question them. Only when we see reality side-by-side with the commercial ideal do we think, 'oh, hang on, yeah, real people don't emanate slimming shadow from between their thighs.'
PS: Can the person who re-touched these please go through our Facebook news feed and do a wee once-over some of the less flattering double-chin-etc snaps of us? Please and thank you.