Target is dealing with media criticism after one of its bikini ads missed the mark. Big time. Unlike many Photoshop fails, this one appears to stem from botched editing.
According to an article in Today, bloggers were quick to call out Target with the header, "Attack of the thigh gap!" and the retailer was equally quick to remove the image from its website.
It's not so much thigh gap as thigh hacking, as the image has been manipulated so poorly that the legs are left with jagged spikes and there is no vagina to speak of. Photoshop is a black magic, no doubt.
Thigh gap is certainly damaging, and retailers have long been guilty of pandering to the insecurities of young women. You only have to check out the recent body image survey from Today and AOL to see just how badly this generation feels about their appearance.
Judging by the fact that the bathing suit being modelled is part of the junior range, that self-loathing is designed to start early.
“This is what young girls have to look at and try to reconcile with their own, normally shaped bodies,” wrote Jezebel's Rebecca Rose.
In this case, I tend to agree with this designer that the Target image was the result of overzealous (and incompetent) Photoshopping.
The good news is, people are watching and people are talking. Companies are increasingly being held accountable for the imagery they are putting out there. And one thing is clear—it doesn't pay to piss off your marketplace.
What do you think of this Target ad?
Image from Target.com