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Spanish actress Inma Cuesta protests Photoshop retouching

‘El Periódico’ apologizes to star but says it never received the original image

The published image set next to the original photo on the right.
The published image set next to the original photo on the right.

Spanish actress Inma Cuesta has used the social networks to complain about the use of Photoshop to retouch a photograph of herself featured on the cover of the Sunday color supplement of Catalan daily El Periódico.

“The photograph on the right was taken with my cellphone from the computer during the shoot, entirely me, with no smoke or mirrors, just Inma,” the actress wrote on Instagram.

The two photographs show that one of her arms has been retouched, and her waist trimmed slightly.

Cuesta is the first Spanish actress to openly criticize the use of Photoshopped images of herself

Cuesta, who is attending the Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona, wrote to El Periódico to complain about the retouching.

Editor Enric Hernández has since issued an apology, but he added that the newspaper never received the original photos, only the edited versions. The paper said that the photographer, Vicente Merino, and the stylist on the photoshoot, Daniel González, had explained that the photos were edited according to the “orders” and “suggestions” of the agency.

In her Instagram post Cuesta criticized the use of her image for what she calls “an invention,” and questioned what she calls the “rules of beauty we should follow,” arguing that women should be “independent of fashions and stereotypes.”

This is not the first time this has happened, but this is going too far and I feel ashamed”

Inma Cuesta

“Seeing yourself and not recognizing yourself, discovering that your image is in the hands of people whose sense of beauty is unreal,” she wrote. “I imagine that it was necessary to highlight the cobalt blue of the dress, to remove some creases from it, and to increase the light levels to make my skin shine more, but I do not understand the need to retouch my body, taking away half of me in the process, to smooth out my skin and to lengthen my neck so as to convert me into an expressionless doll.

“This is not the first time this has happened, but this is going too far and I feel ashamed. The photograph on the right was taken with my phone from the computer at the shoot entirely me, with no smoke or mirrors, just Inma, the one next to it is an invention, it’s what I’m supposed to look like…

“The ‘rules’ of beauty that we ‘should’ follow don’t worry me, I don’t see them as a sign of what I should be, it simply makes me angry as a woman and makes me wonder seriously about where we are headed, as well as wanting to call on everybody to decide who we are, to defend who we are, what we want to be, independently of fashions, stereotypes, or rules of beauty,” she continued.

Known for her roles in movies such as director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo’s Primos and popular television series Águila Roja, Cuesta is the first Spanish actress to openly criticize the use of Photoshopped images of herself. Other actresses, such as Natalia de Molina, have expressed their support on the social networks, praising Cuesta’s courage.

Photoshop is widely used in magazines and advertisements, particularly in the fashion world. Last week, lingerie maker Victoria’s Secret published a photograph of a model seemingly without a left buttock after a mix-up that saw it airbrushed out.