Updated: Dec 21, 2017 3:34 pm
Everyone knows celebrities edit their pics to make them look as perfect as possible, but when stars are guilty of an embarrassing Photoshop fail, only then do fans learn exactly how far some famous people will go to have a "thigh gap." Although we often wonder why celebs risk the public ridicule to manipulate their pics, the reality is that most people can't spot bad Photoshop mistakes, which is why stars think they can keep getting away with it. Fortunately, learning how to spot edited images is easier than you think. It's all about looking for anything that looks "off," from bending doorways to missing hands (and yes, that happens). Below, eight steps to learn how to successfully spot bad celebrity Photoshop.
Step 2. Check for missing limbs.
Surprisingly, this happens a lot, even by professional image editors working on magazine spreads and advertisements. The reason for the "missingness" is from a tool called Clone Stamp. The tool allows you to delete chunks of a person's arm (for example, like Paris') by cloning the background and drawing over the offending parts of the arm that needs to be removed. The downside to all this? Well, sometimes the Photoshopper goes a little overboard and clones out entire limbs, hands, and other weirdness. You would think you would notice a missing hand, but would you have noticed Paris' chunk of flesh missing if we hadn't pointed it out to you?
Step 3. Be wary of cartoonishly smooth skin.
The app Facetune creates a smooth finish to pictures to mask wrinkles, blemishes, and other imperfections that make people look, you know, normal. However, some celebs like to go a little overboard with the app and dial the whole thing to 11 — case in point: Kris Jenner. She was publically mocked for this pic she posted of her and chef Gordon Ramsay. Of course, we know their skin doesn't look like that. No one's skin looks that perfect, not unless they were some kind of weird alien creature...or Beyoncé.
Step 4: Look for weird repeated patterns.
Speaking of Beyoncé, as perfect as she is, she's been guilty of editing her thighs in her Instagram pics. Hey, we guess she's only human (and who doesn't hate their thighs)? Now that you know how the "clone tools" work, you should know why "repeatedness" is something you should be looking for. In this pic, you can see that in an effort to slim down her thighs, the pop star has accidentally cloned a nearby wine glass. If you look closely, you can see that the reflective pattern makes zero sense. This happens a lot in bad editing because, hey, laziness is a hell of a drug.
Step 5: Be cognizant of obvious fakery.
This rule means you should mostly just follow basic common sense. If something looks "off," it most certainly is, just like this pic fans have suspected was manipulated. Although we love Brit-Brit's abs, that arch in her back looks a little crazy. If you look closer, you can see that the water looks completely different from the other water surrounding it. It also makes zero sense because shouldn't we be seeing the towel she's laying down on or the grass? Whenever something seems suspiciously off, it's a good hunch to suspect foul editing is at play.
Step 6: Look for signs of stretching.
Similar to step one with enlargement tools, you can easily stretch things out with "liquifying" tools in editing software and apps that allow you to meld objects into whatever shape you want. In this Kylie pic, her butt is looking unusually stretchy. Of course, we already know she has a large bum, but her jeans, particularly the pockets and belt loops, look weirdly stretched out as if someone lengthened her abdomen to make her butt look even bigger, which is just ridic.
Step 7: "Wavy" body parents aren't normal.
Similar to bendy or warped backgrounds, the same applies to body parts. Once again, Beyoncé can't seem to stop editing her thighs. If you look closely, you can see that patch on her right thigh looks lumpy, and it's not in a normal way either. Clearly someone tried to use a cloning tool to create a space in between the thighs, but they got a little carried away.
Step 8: Compare, compare, compare.
Regardless if you learn the tools, tips, and tricks of Photoshopping pics, probably the oldest and truest method to spotting manipulated images is to compare the suspicious pic with other similar ones. When Kim Kardashian uploaded this photo to Instagram in 2014, fans compared it to paparazzi images of her taken the same day. Her waist looked noticeably wider in the paparazzi pics, probably because the pics were unedited. And hey, it's like they say — a photo never lies.