6 of Victoria's Secrets: Former Photo Editor Reveals Secret to Retouching

We all know how much editing models go through to achieve that perfect look but we never knew *exactly* how much. A former Victorias Secret photo editor anonymously puts our doubts to rest.

“I know what I'm doing is wrong and that’s a huge part of why I'm not doing it full-time anymore.”

Here are the things she confessed to, both on-set alterations and editing:

6 of Victoria's Secrets: Former Photo Editor Reveals Secret to Retouching

1. Alteration on bikinis

“They put a push-up bra under the bathing suit. And we retouch out the bra...a lot of [staffers] would complain because they even did it with strapless stuff. When you're wearing a strapless bikini, in no way, shape, or form [can] you have cleavage. It’s physically impossible with the way gravity works.”

2. Editing body hair

“They come to these photo shoots and, like, they have their arms up in the classic beach pose, and they have, like, hairy armpits. They all have stubbly pubes — all the normal stuff”

3. Softening out bones

“Models are thinner than you actually think they are, and we retouch them to look rounder... We have to curve them out ”

6 of Victoria's Secrets: Former Photo Editor Reveals Secret to Retouching

4. It's not only Victoria's Secret

The source also says Instagram celebrities use the same tricks. "When you're manipulating the light and the camera angle like that, that’s technically retouching, because you're manipulating something to look as if it's something it's really, truly not in real life.”

5. Editing out skin flaws

She mentions that nearly every model has acne, cellulite and stretchmarks.“You don’t get 6 feet tall during puberty without having stretch marks".

6. Everyone falls for it

“I ordered a Victoria's Secret swimsuit this summer. And then I got it and, of course, it wasn’t as cute as in the photo. I'm the one retouching this stuff and I'm still not immune to marketing. It's incredible.”

Here's the original article from Refinery29.

We should all remember exactly how fake these images really are so no one strives for that. It really is impossible.

What do you think?

6 of Victoria's Secrets: Former Photo Editor Reveals Secret to Retouching
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Most Helpful Guy

  • Waffles731

    I already knew about the bones. Most of these women are actually dangerously underweight and using amphetamines to keep it that way.
    I actually had to take those when I was younger for my ADHD and I got so bad that I was nearly hospitalized to force feed me

Most Helpful Girl

  • helloitsmethere

    The stretch marks one doesn't surprise me. Like which girl goes through puberty without stretch marks? Almost every woman/girl I know has some form of stretch marks no matter how slim or thick they are.

    • chintita

      true, we all have 'em. even guys do.

    • oh yeah, I also forgot to mention them too. Especially when they are bodybuilding.

    • SinisterS

      Lol guys actually have less we can have injuries and scars but stretch marks usually not. Yes bodybuilders can have them guys that change weight fast fat to slim or build muscles to fast. In natural way its hard to build muscles that fast to actually get thous stretchs. When i say natural way i mean both no supplements just food and with supplements like creatine and similar, steroids are different story.

What Girls & Guys Said

  • Fathoms77

    I'm sorry, but does this come as a huge shock to anyone? Didn't we all KNOW these pics were at least partially manufactured?

    Real women, no matter how healthy and great they look, never look like that. Clue #1. :P

    • SinisterS

      This is usually not shock for guys most of us know it well some of us even use photoshop for lots of things. Guess its shock for girls...
      "Real women, no matter how healthy and great they look, never look like that. Clue #1" Yeah real women dont look like that in fact normal imperfections tend to add some charm to person (normal not something nasty).

    • Gommers

      I've actually dated a girl that did look like number 1 for a while and worked with two others.

      Women that look like this are extremely rare but they do exist.

      But the real moral of the story is if you see a professional with a camera, he's also going to be using photoshop to make the best possible image, photo manipulation has been going on since before adobe and will exist long after.

  • ThisDudeHere

    One of the many reasons I simply do not follow the modeling world. I don't look at any magazines because all of it's fake.

    • chintita

      it does look pretty tho XD

    • To me it doesn't. Anything that is fake is automatically not pretty anymore.

  • Oram52

    Honestly we guys don't find it odd we always knew they are photoshoped :) we can compare real girls with fantasy, but its exactly that a fantasy. Women buy this fantasy in droves... they are selling perfection that does not exist and never will.

    But we guys are not idiots Lol
    However I'd like to add despite the photoshopping models generally do tend to be more attractive and they do put in a lot of effort, strict diets and exercise included. Also modeling world is brutal.

    I geneuinly could not have guessed #1 Alteration on bikinis. I always wondered how do they get perkier busts Lol.. thought they probably just fiddle with them somewhow to make them look perky, models usually have B cups.

    #2 Editing body hair that's just laziness xD they could force them to get hair removed but with photoshop not a big deal suppose.

    but but #3 Softening out bones haha they're even thinner than actual photoshopped pictures have to add hips to them. Honestly even photoshopped some models still look thin they should aim to become slim but extreme thinness is needed for fashion industry, its not easy for models to keep shifting their weight so probably just easier to add some hips.

    It is "fake perfection" as you highlighted but despite that it does not mean we should not strive for improving ourselves if not perfection. Those models are retouched, photoshopped but it is something they still have that is improved on even if end result is still fake. Even if it is fake it doesn't mean we use it as an excuse and do nothing. It is fantasy it is fake but we don't have to aim for fakeness we just have to aim for our betterselves, that is perfect enough.

  • Spiorad_Aisce

    It has been going on in the year dot just become more technical and professional - When I was growing up it was soft focus and theb air brushing now all these edits - It is marketing 101, how come that beer or apple pie from the supermarket never looks as good as it did on the TV ad.

  • CHARismatic110

    As sad as it is, I'm not surprised. I used to take my sister's magazines and fantasize about looking like them.

    • chintita

      she also said that we all choose it, it's what sells.

    • It is. Which is why when Ashley Graham was on S. I. people lost their mind.

    • I remember one of my teenage a-ha moments, when I discovered that making these kinds of comparisons between myself and "cover girls" could work to build me up just as well as it could work to tear me down.
      I wrote about that in my opinion here:

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  • lumos

    Really interesting, but at the same time, not surprising at all. What I didn't know was that they actually go and wear push up bras under the bikinis. I just thought they photoshopped the cleavage directly onto the body, since I feel like (as someone who has used photoshop since the age of 11) drawing on a cleavage in photoshop would take less time than putting the bra on and photoshopping the bra straps and padding off.

    • SinisterS

      Thing is that often when you retouch to much things can be spotted easy (i said often but ofc not always). Smaller modifications to photo in right way look as if nothing is done.

    • lumos

      @SinisterS adding a cleavage would be a smaller modification than removing an entire bra. That's what I'm saying.

    • SinisterS

      Adding cleavage is usually modifiying pixels in way that is easy to see. Removing few extra details is usually harder to spot. For adding cleavage people use things like liquify or smudge and it and pixels around spot where you used this get strange blured changed and are often easy to see. But when you remove something even if your not that good it is harder to spot. Just look at colne tool or healing brush give it to someone 100% to photoshop and he will most likely make it so that you won't see modifications.

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  • Cosytoasty

    Hmm there's always been obvious lighting and angles for a pro photo. I didn't know they actually fattened them out (shouldn't it be the opposite) lol, or took out body hair.

    However... Hnnnnnnnnngggggggg too much sex in one picture

  • somebodysaycheese

    I was just reading on that lol.
    thats why i say they dont represent curvy girls and when people argue they are curvy it irks me a little. When you see them on the run way they are just super thin and tall. They are still beautiful but we as a society put celebs on too high of a platform.

  • redeyemindtricks

    See, everyone loves to hate on selfie-culture, but this is why I think selfie-culture is actually a GOOD thing.

    I mean, sure, celebs are putting their selfies through a bunch of Insta filters, and slicing and dicing them in whatever other ways -- but, the whole point of selfie-culture is that the celebs aren't using any tools that "normal" people don't ALSO have.
    In other words, selfies are a "level playing field", so to speak.

    If some celeb had a selfie *professionally* retouched -- as opposed to just using the same apps and filters that Jane Q. Public can download from Google Play or the App Store rn -- that would be REALLY bad press. It wouldn't quite rise to the level of a "scandal", but, it would definitely have an adverse effect on that celeb's reputation, esp with the social-media set.

    So, yep. Long live the selfie. (:

  • amarahorrorstory

    Never completely understood why it matters, I think it's more important to focus on our own appearances. Besides, most girls compare themselves to girls they see on the street, in the mall, at school, rather than the ones in commercials and posters. Because the girls we see everyday are certainly real.

  • Tarvold

    You can't photoshop the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

    • chintita

      all the on set effects help as well as airbrushing. adriana lima said she doesn't eat solid food for 9 days before the show lmao

    • Tarvold

      That's fine.

      Show me a girl who has never tried taking a selfie with any combination of duck lips, holding the camera way above her head for extra height, squeezing the elbows together for extra cleavage, adjusting flash settings, taking pics before breakfast when the body is at it's slimmest, wear pushup bras, chicken fillets, fake tan, etc, etc, etc... and I'll take this seriously. Otherwise, it's all the same shit.

    • chintita

      #4 alrdy covered that :P

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  • AleDeEurope

    Nothing new, we all know it's all Photoshopped. It's interesting to hear exactly what they do, though, but it's no secret that they do it.
    It's the media, almost everything is a lie and/or retouched.

    • SinisterS

      I actually expected more details on how :P

  • vishna

    Knowing that Victoria Secret models have stretch marks probably makes me happier than it should. BUT it's nice to know they're human too.


    let me get this straight, they put a push-up bra with straps under the strapless bikinis? and then they edit out the straps? or is it a strapless push-up bra under the strapless bikinis?

    • SinisterS

      Who cares just clone some skin over that area and and fine tune it so it dont look like edited :P

  • mutedaisy

    I'm still giggling about the push up bra one. I can imagine the staff throwing a fit over the ridiculous request. 😂

  • Kotton

    Retouching is really a hard thing to master. You need and huge experience and if you don't, it's a much better option to just work with
    . They'll make retouching and everything will be done as good as possible.

  • Zorax

    Well, Candice Swanepoel and Miranda Kerr always look great :D

  • DeadBattery

    Slavic, Icelandic and Scandinavian women usually look more beautiful than these women naturally in real life.

  • Pilulu

    Ws, they actually had body hair? And they made them rounder? I thought that they were slim, hairless women! :O

  • anonman32

    i knew this already. thats why i stay away from models.

  • Bandit74

    While I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to hookup with a model I kinda feel like it would be disapointing to be with one long term.

    It would suck to see how sexy they look on set for their photoshoots and then realize she will never look that sexy when posing for me. The reality wouldn't live up to the expectations and it wouldn't compare to the fantasy version of her that the photographers get to see of her on set.

    Plus I wouldn't be too thrilled knowing hundredds of men just paid money to take countless HD pictures of her in various states of undress while she makes sexually suggestive poses.

  • kittykatbrat

    I model part time, know the value of photo shop and always appreciate it :)

  • GogetaThaGod

    Damn so none of the models look like that I knew it after the whole photoshop thing

  • The secret is to workout and eat healthy. Maybe use some beauty products everyday.

  • Nik1hil

    God bless PHOTOSHOP

  • BigBallerSodaPop

    Who gives a fuck? No one!

  • clampfan101

    Victoria's not very secretive. lol

  • Anonymous

    I always thought it was weird their boobs were so perky. The wearing a push-up bra and editing it out makes total sense.

  • Anonymous

    This is one example where Beauty does not mean Physical Fitness. Physical Fitness and Personal Hygiene can certainly contribute to Beauty, but in order to be beautiful, you have to wear make-up, form-fitting clothes, jewelry, and perfume.

    • SinisterS

      Lol actually some of guys like it simpler little to no makeup, some good taste in clothes (what ever classy or sporty), some dont even care about jewelry (yeah probably could go with some classy dress but what ever), well nice smell is nice smell... Some girls actually look worse with makeup even when used "right". So its like physical fitness and hygiene that is good enough for most guys.

    • Anonymous

      @SinisterS What about a physically fit woman who wears no makeup, no jewelry, no perfume, maintains personal hygiene BUT has a really bad sense of fashion?

    • SinisterS

      If i like her character hell yes. Its true that guys are visual types but we are not retarded if someone is hard to tolerate and annoying person no looks in this galaxy can help her. Girl that got my attention at moment (shhhhsh i am still liying to my self that she didnt) is kind of with some weird sense of dressing, colors and style but with her personality its actually charming. Guys often expect less than girls think we do. Funny thing is sometimes when girls think they look horrible like when they wake up they actually end up being breath taking. But ofc there are probably guys that like fake things, I just think they are in the minority.

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