Target’s Photoshop Oopsie

So I’m sure most of you heard the big news….Target sucks at Photoshop. This past week, it seems like I haven’t gone a day without hearing about Targets big “oopsie.” For those of your who haven’t heard the latest news, Target uploaded an image to their online store of a teen wearing a swim suite with a very obvious thigh gap. But there’s more to it; the photoshopped image is so extreme that it actually cuts off her pelvis to the point that the there is a huge piece of bathing suite missing, but yet pieces of the swim suite still exist on the models thighs. According to WPGC (2014) “…mega-store Target took it to an entirely different level when it began selling its swimwear collection for 2014.  In a obviously photoshopped photo, the young model is seen wearing a white leopard print bikini with an obvious error.  Editors for the image removed inches from her inner thighs yet leave evidence of where her legs are supposed to be.  But that’s not where it ends.” Target went even further to trim off some inches of the girls arms, which also showed traces of where her actual arm is suppose to be. Jenna Mullins from eonline (2014) says, “The last question you should be asking yourself when you’re cruising Target’s website and looking at pictures of the models showcasing the clothes is: “Where is her vagina?” The image wasn’t taken down until a women’s blog, Jezbel, made it aware and published the image.

I am sure it is clear to most everyone that majority of companies have their product go through some type of Photoshop or image alerting when they advertise their product in digital or print; even more so when their advertisement contains a model. In my opinion when you’re trying to market your product you want it to look at visually appealing as possible to attract consumers; and more often than not, Photoshop or some type of digital manipulation is involved in making that product look appealing.

The real issue is that most of the people who see these ads of ultra thin women in magazines and online are young girls with impressionable minds; and apparently a “thigh gap” is a big worry for a lot of these young girls. And yet from this debacle arises the ever-preset issue of ‘what is real beauty’? Is real beauty a stick thin, blonde haired, blue-eyed woman who resembles Barbie? Or is it a curvaceous woman with realistic curves and features like Kim Kardashian? The fact of the matter is that when it comes to marketing, the thinner the better, and it’s been this way for a long time; but when does thin become too thin?  WPGC (2014) said that, “Viewers can easily envision what the young girl would look like sans-photoshop and it’s by no means “fat” or “unhealthy.” If that’s the case, then why photoshop her till she’s ultra thin?

Target has remove the image from their site and issued a statement apologizing by saying, “In response to your query about the swimsuit image on, this was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize. We have removed the image from our Web site” (Feldman, 2014). Straightforward, and simple, but comes off as a little insincere in my opinion; however, in the same sense, how sincere can you be when nearly every company and brand Photoshops or alters their advertisements.

Is photoshop an unapologetic epidemic?




Feldman, J. (2014, March 11). Target’s latest photoshop fail looks pretty painful. Retrieved from

Mullins, J. (2014, March 11). Target is now in the lead for worst photoshop job ever with this horrifying thigh gap. Retrieved from

Staff. (2014, March 12). Target apologizes for ‘thigh gap’ photoshop fail. Retrieved from

Staff. (2014, March 12). target’s photoshop fail: Excessive airbrushing for teens. Retrieved from

3 thoughts on “Target’s Photoshop Oopsie

  1. I thought this was hilarious and incredible that it happened to Target. I was kinda glad it happened because it showed how unrealistic those pictures are. A lot of girls compare themselves to this type of girls in the picture and this shows how much more realistic it is.


  2. I feel like these days people find the weirdest things to obsess over when it comes to our bodies. Terms like “thing gap” are so ridiculous and mean nothing. The media should be teaching young people about what being healthy looks like by showing us people who work hard for their bodies, rather than doing a botched photoshop job to make someone who is already beautiful look unattainably skinny, not to mention, unhealthy.


  3. Photoshopping is a big issue facing contemporary advertising today and mistakes like this are a PR disaster. The arms on this girl don’t even match and the “thigh gap” error is obvious. Even Photoshop novices should be able to recognize the horror of this image. If Target was trying to sell the product like so many other companies before them, they did messy job and now the media is crashing down on them. While I do have a problem with Photoshopping too much in advertising, the image was poorly handled and now they pay the price.


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