Today the style-savvy section of the internet is in uproar over claims that Old Navy have been Photoshopping thigh gaps onto images of their plus-sized Rockstar jeans: the rotters!
The image above image comes from the Old Navy website, and there’s no denying the presence of the dreaded thigh-gap. Is it Photoshop, though? Old Navy say nope, just manual pinning of the clothes, to make them fit the mannequin:
“At Old Navy we strive to show our customers the most accurate representation of how product fits the body. This includes pinning garments on body forms to show how they will actually appear. While we do remove these pins in post-production, we do not use any photo-altering techniques to deliberately distort the actual look or fit of our product.
– Old Navy”
Honestly, though, whether they’re using Photoshop to change the appearance of the clothes, or doing it by pinning them to the mannequins, it still has the same effect, and that effect is the opposite of the one intended: it really DOES “distort the actual look or fit of [the] product”. In real life, people don’t go around with their clothes pinned to their bodies after all, so any method that creates an unrealistic image of the clothing could be criticised.
Should it be, though? Does it really matter whether a mannequin has a thigh gap or not? Comments on our recent post on the subject of plus-sized mannequins suggest that most shoppers are smart enough not to expect clothes to look the same on them as they do on mannequins, and we reckon they’re ALSO smart enough to realise that if they don’t have a thigh-gap to start with, a pair of Old Navy jeans isn’t going to make one magically appear. Furthermore, ALL online retailers manipulate clothing images in some way to make them appear more attractive on our computer screens: that can include pinning clothes to make them fit, Photospping out creases, or otherwise altering the image (or the item itself). Is it fair to single out Old Navy for this practice, when they’re far from the only culprits?
We’re interested to know how you feel about this, but before we get to that, can we at least all agree that the whole “thigh gap” thing is ridiculous? Some people have thigh-gaps, some people don’t: it really doesn’t matter either way, and it’s a real shame that something so silly is being seen as so covetable that retailers even want their mannequins to have one – if, indeed, that’s what’s happening here.