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Extreme use of photo editing software sparks controversy in Africa

Reporter: Maria Galang 丨 CCTV.com

06-06-2016 11:14 BJT

Photoshop may be a useful tool for some, but in some parts of Africa it's sparking a fierce debate on beauty standards.

Take a look at this picture…It's South African celebrity Lerato Kganyago. Not bad, right? But it's caused controversy in the country. With many of her fans saying she's unrecognizable.

The incident's sparked a debate on beauty standards in Africa. And how they're changing. Carol Mandi, publisher of True Love east Africa, says in here in Kenya, more attention is paid to the photoshoot itself, than post production.

"So we've narrowed it down to 5 images, out of 60, out of thousands, so now, when we have those five images, we begin to look at the finer detail, our photos hoots take about a day, USE COVER and in that day she will get to points where maybe she's tired, so what will we typically be using photoshop to correct, are things like, are her eyes bloodshot, she was a bit too tired, were there wrinkles on the dress, was she perspiring and so do we need to take that out of the image because there's a stain on the dress, so it will be small minute details, so we won't for instance change the colour of her eyes, we won't change her hair, we won't add or take away kilos from her, it will be the same person, just enhanced," said Carol Mandi, CEO Carol Mandi Media.

The magazine's photo editor Brian Siambi, says the entire team works to ensure they keep the integrity of the cover personality..

"I usually attend the cover shoots because there's a particular look I want for he cover image, also, for layout purposes, USE COVER so then we usually have a mood board to guard the shoot in the direction I want the shoot to go, and the cover personality herself will say she doesn't want stretch marks to be seen, some blemishes here and there, so they usually tell us, I want this and that and Also they tell us don't do this and that in regards to changing how I look," said Brian Siambi 'True Love Africa' photo editor.

Well, love it or hate it, Photoshop's here in Africa to stay. And sometimes it pays off.

One woman in Kenya decided to use the software too. She didn't change her appearance, but rather, her location…

Obviously fake, but her love for China and viral fame got her a free trip to the country.

Over in the United States, stories of women calling out magazines for over-photoshopping them are everywhere online. And it's good to see the debate on standards of beauty alive in Africa too.


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