Lucky Magazine editor regrets digitally slimming Jessica Simpson for 2010 cover

Last week Kaiser covered The OG Supermodels being Vogue’s September cover girls, and y’all had definite thoughts about the photos. The general consensus seems to be that something is a little off with the cover shot, whether it’s photoshopping… or some other factors. While weighing in on the topic in a blog post for Cup of Jo, former Editor-In-Chief of Lucky magazine Kim France admitted to her role in an infamous photoshop fail: Jessica Simpson’s appearance on Lucky in 2010. France recounted some of her “reasoning” to Yahoo Life:

Photoshop on a body-positive story, because of course: Jessica Simpson spoke about “finally loving her body” for the Sept. 2010 issue of Lucky, according to the cover that the singer and former reality TV star appeared on. However, her image next to those words didn’t depict Simpson in her true form at all. It’s a revelation that the magazine’s former editor-in-chief Kim France made in a blog post on Aug. 15 when reflecting on the prevalence of photoshopping on covers (after suspecting that there had been retouching on the latest issue of Vogue).

Jessica was size 14 then, quelle horreur: “When the cover film came in, we could see that [Simpson] was about a size 14 — which is considered normal by many rational standards, but not by glossy magazine standards, not in 2010, and not by a long shot,” France wrote for Cup of Jo. “I’d like to be able to tell you that I fearlessly insisted we put her on the cover anyway, looking the way she actually looked. I did not. … We made her skinnier — much skinnier than she actually was.” France tells Yahoo Life that “it was an estimation” to label Simpson a size 14 at the time. Nevertheless, she says, “You simply didn’t see larger or even average-shaped women on covers back then, unless they were Oprah.”

Lip service: “Jessica Simpson has undergone a noteworthy personal style evolution, inspired, she says, by coming to terms with some serious body issues over the course of the last year,” reads an excerpt from the magazine. “She stopped fighting her hourglass silhouette, for instance, after realizing that ‘we all obsess over looking like the perfect Barbie type, and that’s not always what’s beautiful. It’s about making peace with yourself.’” It was a minimal and contradictory effort when paired with the admission of retouching. “That cover line is probably the most embarrassing aspect of the whole cover, and I obviously really regret it,” France says. “I think the idea of body positivity at the time was more a question of lip service, as opposed to now, when it seems to come from a more sincere place.”

They simply had no choice: To this day, France maintains that she had no choice but to alter Simpson’s appearance. “Once we had shot a size-14 woman for the cover, that cover wouldn’t have made it out the door and past the bosses unless she was slimmed down,” she wrote. “And so I did that, to an insulting degree.” She went on to write, “Jessica Simpson herself was said to have hated the cover, and who could possibly have blamed her?”

[From Yahoo! Life]

Ok here’s where I’m struggling: this editor is hemming and hawing about how no one would approve a (gasp) size 14 woman on the cover in 2010, so they just had to photoshop Jessica… but, um, who booked her for the cover?! Doesn’t it seem like the so-to-speak problem was entirely of their own creation? “When the cover film came in, we could see that [Simpson] was about a size 14,” but they’d seen her before the photo shoot! How were they possibly caught off guard here? Booking Jessica in the first place was the moment where they were taking a stand, only it seems they missed their own memo.

In the blog post where Kim France shared this story, she revealed she was fired a few weeks after that issue hit the stands. Then she went on to reflect on what she’d have done differently in hindsight, and her conclusion was “to not book somebody that size in the first place.” Yikes. Now see, when I look back with hindsight, my thought is that there was so much worse to come in the decade, that seeing a size 14 woman on the cover of a magazine in 2010 would not have been the unfathomable upheaval she makes it out to be.

photos via Instagram, Lucky Magazine and credit WENN

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