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Baby Chub Airbrushed Away in Some Mags

By Madeline Holler |

parenting-magazine-airbrush-out-baby-fatIs there anything cuter, more delicious, more appealing than a big fat juicy baby? Apparently so!

The editor of a British parenting magazine has admitted that baby images that appear in glossy mags are as doctored as those of already undernourished females who appear in fashion magazines. Everything from blemishes to red eyes to that universal sign of personal and moral decay: fat rolls.

Daniella Delaney, editor of the British monthly, Practical Parenting and Pregnancy, told the Telegraph that airbrushing baby photos is standard. She said while there isn’t a “hit-list” of flaws — we’ll get to her defense of the disappearing chub in a second — babies do frequently drool and cry. Sometimes it’s easiest to knock out an eye crusty in edit rather than risk ticking off a recently awakened baby.

But thigh rolls. Who would dare mess with a pre-pubescent thigh roll?

Delaney said in one instance, the crease of some arm pudge created a dark area on the magazine cover, which made the text on the front of the magazines hard to read.

Let’s say we grant Delaney that the only electronic lipo-suctioning she’s doing is for readability reasons. Well, then, why are photo editors lightening eyes? And skin? Am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious that they’re making changes to give a more “natural” (Delaney’s words) appearance?

What’s more natural than a kid with a scar?

Of course, that babies are Photoshopped isn’t really much of a surprise. And I really doubt — really doubt — parents are looking at magazine babies and thinking about putting Anna-Sophia on a diet or bleaching skin or getting a 9-month-old fitted for colored contacts. But, you know, there is something sad about editors presuming readers can’t stand to look at babies in their natural state.

Or kids with scars.

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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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  1. [...] Baby Fat Airbrushed Out of Parenting Mags [...]

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