Target Photoshop fail reinforces fight against distorted body images

Target Photoshopped photo (Provided Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Target issued an apology for a Photoshop fail that hit its website.  It was an unfinished touch-up that took chunks out of already thin models.

24-Hour News 8 asked some Hoosiers what they thought about the photos and met with a local organization about the glaring statistics that show these unrealistic images are having a dramatic impact on Indiana’s young girls.

When Indianapolis local Debra Desvignes was asked what she thought about the photos she said, “Wow. That’s just surprising.”

“I think it’s discouraging and it would be really hard to be that age again,” said Hoosier Samantha Breeling.

It’s a picture Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis is fighting.

“That is proof positive that they’re showing things that don’t exist in nature. And it’s not a good comparison for girls to have to make,” said Patricia Wachtel, CEO and President of Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis.

Saint Mary’s College just released a study: The Status of Girls in Indiana 2013.

The study used 2011 CDC statistics, which suggest Indiana girls struggle with their body image more than their male counterparts. It also noted that the most common extreme ways girls tried to keep weight down were to take diet pills, powders, or liquids, vomit and take laxatives.

“We’ve seen statistics that 38 percent in the ten to 11 year old range think they’re overweight when in reality it might be 10 percent of that group,” said Wachtel.

Patricia Wachtel says by the time girls hit 17-years-old, it’s estimated they’ve seen a quarter million images. Many of those are distorted like the ones published by Target.

“We need to think, as consumers, what message it is that we want to hear,” said Wachtel.

She says it’s also important to pass on the message that those images aren’t real.

“It’s obvious. I mean, it looks likes her arm is disconnected to body,” said Desvignes of the Photoshopped photo.

“I have a niece that’s seven and I will absolutely be talking to her about what’s correct and what’s healthy, as opposed to what the media portrays,” said Breeling.

In Target’s issued apology, a spokesperson said, “This was an unfortunate error on our part and we apologize. We have removed the image from our website.”

You can find out more about Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis on their website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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