Demi Moore's lawyers threaten Boing Boing over photo analysis blog post

By Xeni Jardin


(Click for large. Two versions of W Magazine cover featuring Demi Moore, one for the US edition, one for Korea. Note the apparent difference in the area around the hip. Comparison here.)

Lawyers representing Demi Moore sent a threatening letter to Boing Boing over the holidays which demanded that we remove a post I published in November, or face legal consequences. In the referenced Boing Boing post, I published photographer Anthony Citrano's speculation that a recent W Magazine cover image of the actress may have been crudely manipulated by magazine staff to alter her hip, and appear thinner.

lavelyandsinger.jpg msk.jpg
Here is a copy of the letter sent by Demi Moore's attorneys to Boing Boing (PDF).

And here is Boing Boing's response to Ms. Moore's attorneys (PDF), prepared by Marc Mayer of the law firm MS&K. The letter is a thing of beauty, and I encourage you to read it in full.

The letter from Moore's attorney, Martin D. ("Marty") Singer, claims that we set out to slander Moore (Boing Boing did not, nor did Mr. Citrano).  The letter also includes denials from people involved in the production of the W Magazine cover who insist that the image was not manipulated at all.

Since receiving this letter, we have discovered that an alternate, and seemingly more anatomically correct version of the W magazine cover (with more hip-flesh) was published in W's South Korean edition. We have also been informed that Ms. Moore's attorneys have sent similar letters to other blogs that discussed the possible digital alteration of the US cover image. The story is now being covered by a number of other news organizations and blogs.

A little background: Digital manipulation of photo and video content (good, bad, or disastrous) is an often-revisited subject here on Boing Boing. A quick Google search reveals that more than 3,600 items in the archives reference the digital alteration of images with Photoshop. A series of Boing Boing posts in September and October of this year examining how a Ralph Lauren model was slimmed to impossibly slender proportions became the subject of widespread media interest, and legal threats directed at this blog from Ralph Lauren's camp.

But fashion photos aren't the only digitally altered images to have been discussed on Boing Boing.

Sometimes the "Photoshop Disasters" we blog have more critical news value. Back in 2008, I blogged about an image credited to Iran's state-run media agency that showed multiple missiles defiantly shooting into the sky. The LA Times, New York Times and other major news organizations ran the image as legitimate. Our readers and other "citizen forensic analysts" discussed the image, and proved it to have been altered to fake the appearance of more missiles, thereby implying greater military strength on Iran's part. Still earlier, in 2003, our readers spotted and discussed an anomaly within a photo about soldiers in Iraq published in the New York Times. And way back in 2001, we blogged about a hoaxed image that purported to be an unaltered shot taken seconds before a plane crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11.

So, back to Ms. Moore: On November 17, 2009, I published the Boing Boing post titled "Was Demi Moore Ralph-Laurenized on 'W' mag cover, with missing hip-flesh?." This post consisted entirely of a guest editorial of sorts from Anthony Citrano, a Los Angeles-based professional photographer with whom I am socially acquainted. In the post, Mr. Citrano examined the possibility that a W Magazine cover featuring Demi Moore had been digitally altered in a manner that left clues indicating it had been altered. Specifically, it looked like a portion of her hip had gone missing. Before I published the Boing Boing post, the Gawker Media blog Jezebel had already asked the same questions, and other blogs and news/tabloid websites soon followed.

Within days, Ms. Moore responded on Twitter to deny that her hips had been digitally altered ("Here is the original image people my hips were not touched don't let these people bullshit you!"), and linked to another version of the W Magazine cover shot which she claimed was "the original image."

I promptly published another Boing Boing post with the full text of Ms. Moore's denial, and an offer from Mr. Citrano to make a $5,000 donation to a charity of Ms. Moore's choosing if the image she'd published were provably the unretouched original. Boing Boing commenters discussed the possibilities that the disputed image was or was not retouched, and the technical methods one might employ to alter, or detect alterations, in such an image. The UK newspaper Telegraph went so far as to publish an article speculating that Ms. Moore's head may have been photoshopped onto another model's body. Interest in the story gradually fizzled out on our blog, and other websites where the matter had been discussed.

But then, weeks later, we received a letter from Mr. Singer, the attorney representing Ms. Moore. So did Jezebel, Anthony Citrano, and the blog Oh No They Didn't. Citrano published a detailed post examining image forensics. Links to all known responses, and to ensuing media coverage, at the bottom of this post.

If there is any party we feel is due criticism, it is not Moore, a beautiful 47-year-old who proves that age is no impediment to youth—but rather those who apparently feel that no-one is fit to be seen without some aspect of his or her appearance being "worked."

In fact, it's now practically unheard of for an image to go from camera to press without some degree of digital manipulation. When fashion photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott write (in the statement accompanying the letter we received from Ms. Moore's attorney) that no retouching whatsoever was done to Moore's hips, waist or legs, it's an unusual claim: perhaps they would consider releasing other photographs from the shoot to help clear up the matter.

At no point was it the intent of this blog, or this blogger, to insult or offend Ms. Moore, who has embraced the openness of internet culture by way of frequent and intimate Twitter updates. Discussions about whether and/or how a widely circulated image may have been altered are common here on Boing Boing. We are a blog about digital culture, after all, and the technical and creative details that go into producing the images we consume are an essential part of our culture.

Yes, the discussion at hand is only about an image of a celebrity on the cover of a fashion magazine. But the ability to freely discuss the provenance and technical history of a photo, including those with more crucial news value—say, images of detainee abuse, or Iranian missles—is a freedom we believe should be preserved.

Image comparison below, courtesy Boing Boing reader Mark Koeppen.



Letter sent by Demi Moore's attorneys to Boing Boing (PDF).

Response to Ms. Moore's attorneys, prepared by Marc Mayer of MS&K.

Demi Moore cover image, "W Magazine Korea" and direct JPG link.

Demi Moore cover image, W Magazine US

Anthony Citrano's responses to threat letter from Demi Moore's attorneys:

1) first response blog post
2) Singer's letter to Citrano, published in PDF
3) blog post on Korean W Magazine cover

Jezebel's response to threat letter from Demi Moore's attorneys.

Oh No They Didn't responds to threat letter from Demi Moore's attorneys

NEWS LINKS: Media coverage of the controversy over threat letters sent by Demi Moore's attorneys:

New York Magazine

New York Post

Litigation and Trial (legal affairs blog)


The Sun



Huffington Post

NBC New York


Politics Daily

Correio 24 Horas (Brazil)

The Hollywood Reporter, Esq.

US Magazine

Related reading: Wikipedia entry on "The Streisand Effect."

Published 11:10 am Mon, Dec 28, 2009

About the Author

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:

241 Responses to “Demi Moore's lawyers threaten Boing Boing over photo analysis blog post”

  1. Vic333 says:

    The alteration of the photo is obvious, IMO. Her thigh would have to jut inward from her leg for it not to be.

    It was stupid move, anyway. Demi Moore isn’t even in the range of overweight.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d say with the discovery of the Korean cover, case closed. One of the images is manipulated. Which one is it?

    This legal action has no teeth. Do they realize that if this kind of action actually went to court, they would have to provide original, untouched images? Duh. It’s a scare tactic. I hope you have responded to the attorney with this side by side comparison. It ought to shut them right up.

  3. Glenn Fleishman says:

    It’s worth noting the New Yorker article on digital magazine model retouching from May 2008, too: Pixel Perfect. It makes it pretty clear that everything is retouched, often expertly, with no qualms because it makes everything a little better. The profiled digital artist is a seemingly charmy, sloppy, heavy guy, who creates anorexics by proxy.

  4. W. James Au says:

    Given that Demi Moore and her husband Ashton Kutcher have spent the last few years trying to position themselves as Web 2.0-positive celebrities with Twitter and Kutcher’s web video startup plans, this seems like a spectacularly self-destructive move on their part.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yo, bobcat, put down the crack pipe. Or hie thee to an eye doctor, if you’re not already high.

    I just measured the hip-gap with a ruler and it ain’t imaginary. Right above the big orange E in YEAR.

  6. SeattlePete says:

    Wow! Really bobcat? I’m no great shakes at “spot the difference”, but this one is obvious. It’s right where her wrist is, above the R in “MOORE” and on the Koren version, above the E in “YEAR”.

    Unless you are being sarcastic and I missed it.

  7. Ushao says:

    #bobcat I’m a graphic artist in training and if you can’t see the difference in gaps between those two photos you may want to hit up another round of classes. Or get your prescription and/or monitor checked.

  8. Dave Faris says:

    Seems like an awful lot of fuss for a half an inch of apparent flesh.

  9. Osprey101 says:

    I see lawyers are a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the Streisand effect.

  10. petezombie says:

    I didn’t even need to enlarge the photo to see the clear difference between the gaps between her wrist and her hip in the two photos.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Don’t hate @bobcat. I was looking at the entirely wrong hip, and missed that little gap.

    If that’s really the entirety of the retouch, and if it’s so stupidly obvious, why in the world are lawyers getting involved?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Every photoshop project should undergo the cross-eyed test. Basically, take the input images, place them next to the end result, and cross your eyes. This makes what would be a minor difference very noticeable, allowing the reviewer to more easily see what was altered, ergo making it easier to judge the quality of the shop. It doesn’t work on subtle color correction, but it works for physical changes.

    In the case of multiple source images, (a face and a body for instance) it just needs to be done multiple times. Preferably comparing the individual layers to their source.

  13. Rich Keller says:

    I just crossed my eyes until the images overlapped. The differences became pretty obvious that way. But it made my headache worse.

  14. tizroc says:

    re:Bobcat see all other posts, noticeable difference. Just to check that there wasn’t some optical illusion I did what you said. Very noticeable difference is size, and pts separation in photoshop… and not an optical illusion.

    re:Kamil1 I believe that Ms. Jordan already addressed that the only reason this is newsworthy is the lawyer angle.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Why is a cover photo of a 40+ celeb being retouched even news, and why on earth does she feel like she has to defend it? I’ve had art directors ask me to retouch babies, for Christ’s sake! If you want to see what people really look like, find some print ads from the 60’s & 70’s. Nothing is real anymore. This is a story about the crummy retoucher, not Ms. Moore.

  16. MiniMage says:

    Nice of the photographers to say they did no retouching. Do photographers do that, or is that the job of some other folks?

  17. MrsBug says:

    Sounds like Demi’s lawyer has a boat payment due or something.

  18. mkultra says:

    Well, it’s obvious that an edit occurred at some point. I assume it was the US magazine’s artist, and I bet that Ms. Moore had no clue that it even happened.

    My biggest question is “why?” It’s a terrible edit. It makes things awkward, it breaks up the line of the hip, and it’s just odd. Unless… the left image really is the genuine shot, and the right hand image has been altered to make it look more “natural”, something I’ve done many a time in similar circumstances. The motivation comes clear in that case.

    As far as the left hand image, there’s really no way of saying that the image is provably false without additional evidence… It looks odd, but the human body looks odd sometimes from some angles, especially when someone is in such obviously good shape. The weird effect with the drape of the dress could possibly be caused by slightly over-defined musculature, combined with a tensed thigh muscle.

    My money is still on the left hand image being the altered version, but it’s not a sure thing by any means.

  19. Crispinus211 says:

    Marc Mayer’s response had me at “Dear Marty.”

  20. seyo says:

    LOL @bobcat. You are the anti-“I have seen quite a few shops in my time, I can tell from some of teh pixels” guy.

  21. Ceronomus says:


    When you make comments such as “I’m a trained commercial graphic artist and I see absolutely no difference between the supposedly Photoshopped US cover and the supposedly non-Photoshopped Korean cover.” in an attempt to give your post more authority, you had better be right. It really is that simple.

    Now, trying to wave the whole thing off because Ms. Moore is unimportant is silly. You claimed a position of authority and you were wrong. Take your lumps and move on.

    • devophill says:

      I’m glad you quoted “I’m a trained commercial graphic artist and I see absolutely no difference between the supposedly Photoshopped US cover and the supposedly non-Photoshopped Korean cover.”, or else I would never have known what ol’ bobby was saying. I’d like to read the rest of his astroturfing, but I guess I will not have that opportunity.

  22. brucegulick says:

    Embarrassed to have even had to do that.

    • gollux says:

      Yep, exactly. As my graphic artist work buddy exclaimed, “what the hell did they do to her?” on seeing what we now know as the “US Edition”.

  23. Tdawwg says:

    Because that whole Ralph Lauren threatening Boing Boing worked out so well for Ralph Lauren. This should be fun.

  24. Anonymous says:


    If you wish to avoid reactions like this in the future perhaps you should change your statements to merely ask what the difference is because you can’t see it. Don’t make an assertion that you know what you’re saying and you’re a professional because it makes you seem full of yourself.

    As for the relevance of Demi, she is kind of irrelevant as far as pop culture goes.

  25. earthmann says:

    I wanted to help Bob the Commercial Graphic Design Artist, but I see I was beat to the punch.

  26. MooseDesign says:

    Talk about shooting yourself in the highly photoshopped foot. Did Ms. Moore convince herself or did her lawyer that a belated and ham fisted (also possible to be photoshopped out) legal tackling this was a good idea? I would think that even the most backwoods Hollywood agent would have seen that this ran counter(posto) to image of age defying hip-ster (couldn’t resist).

  27. mgfarrelly says:

    How dare you malign the virtual hipflesh of this fine actress! This will not stand Xeni!

    Pray, will Ms. Moore and her representation be overcome should they wander into the digital desert that is TMZ?

  28. BookGuy says:

    Now I have to change my criteria for having lived a successful life: I must have a team of litigators who are willing to communicate, at length, regarding the “shape, size, and appearance” of my hips, waist, and legs. Only then will I become fully self-actualized.

  29. expedite says:

    Watch out for bobcat’s red herring fallacy; this is not a matter of how “trained” one is in the graphic arts, because the end result is quite blatant. We all can see the obvious (and frankly sloppy) digital manipulation present on this cover.

    In any case the lawyers for Moore are just attempting to suppress the open discussion by scaring Boing Boing. They are ones at the disadvantage due to three reasons.

    1) Freedom of speech, obvious but relevant because this is one of the strengths of this nation, the idea that all can say whatever they want. This helps sustain an informed population, and not mindless automatons.

    2) Regarding slander, it’s quite difficult for any celebrity to win a slander case even if it is blatant. This is because the supreme court has operated under the idea that although slander against the common citizen is a serious crime, there is a “two tiered system” (my own words) where celebrities partly lose their status as a private citizen because they choose to be in the public eye. Past cases have shown that when public figures sue for slander, lower courts generally award damages, however when the case is appealed to the supreme court they over turn the ruling citing this idea. Regardless of the above, I do not believe that Boing Boing has committed any slander so supreme court precedent is rather tangental.

    3) Freedom of the press would deliver the knock out blow against Moore, because Boing Boing is acting in an Investigative Journalist manner, sorta makes them untouchable. (everyone do the moon walk now with MC Hammer, “Can’t Touch This”)

    To Moore, hire some better lawyers, the one(s) you have now are wasting your time and money. What you need is a better contract with the magazine stating something like “under the pain of fine of “X” monetary amount, The magazine and or company shall not manipulate images taken of my client in a way that would cause negative controversy. We acknowledge the use of Photoshop to enhance images but not to distort in a way that puts our client in a bad light.” or something along these lines so that you can have some leverage against the magazine if they screw with you personal image too much.

  30. Anonymous says:

    is it possible to “reverse” photoshopping, that her genuine hip looked too thin and looked off, and didn’t fit with her dressand they made it wider on the US version.

    they often change kinks models have in their bodies in that matter

  31. ab3a says:

    The reason I and many others are concerned is because I have young daughters.

    I want them to grow up with a reasonable self image. These doctored photos that grace the covers of so many magazines often represent an ideal that can not be achieved by the vast majority of women. That’s why I take such sublime schadenfreude when I encounter these photoshop disasters plastered all over the blogosphere.

    I don’t care what these people are selling, I plan to point out all these badly doctored images to my daughters so that they get the message that every mature woman knows: This is stupid.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I think that’s some overzealous agent working on behalf of Demi Moore. She seems web-savvy enough to know that threatening to sue a blog doesn’t decrease exposure on a ‘sensitive’ issue. It only explodes people’s interest in it. Also, if she is genuinely interested in suing someone, she should look closer to ‘W’ Magazine. The side by side pictures make it plainly obvious that the image has been clumsily reworked. The Korean image shows a more natural image. Her torso seems slightly wider and she looks like an actual human being. The US cover makes her look sort of deformed. Your eye is drawn to there because there is something off with the image, and maybe that’s what their intention was. Make her look slightly freakish and unnatural to catch your attention at the newsstand. Either way, I hope you don’t delete any posts because of this nonsense.

  33. kib says:

    Mr. Mayer’s response is fantastic. Thank you for posting that excellent example of legal letter-writing. And congratulations, Boing Boing, on being the one that the lawyers threatened. They clearly don’t take seriously the other publications that are discussing this topic. But you, BB, are obviously feared. Very impressive!

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @kib, thanks, but in fact a number of publications were threatened, as I explain in this blog post. We were not the only publication to be threatened.

    • Anonymous says:

      seriously, it’s amazing. I love the last line: We trust this will resolve this matter.

      HAHAHAHA yeah right. Making the post is going to piss them off even more (even though it’s a totally reasonable thing to do. It’s just that legal action like this online is always a “shut up, take it down, bury it” kind of thing, and this post is doing the opposite).

  34. expedite says:

    O and one other thing, if you have a color meter on your computer, (for mac its called DigitalColor Meter, under utilities) you may notice that the US version is a tad darker in some places. Not really a big deal, but a sign that these are different edits…

  35. timquinn says:

    I am chuckling thinking about this conversation:

    ring ring

    Uh, hello?

    Yes this the Demetry Soandso of Soso, Soso, and Soandso LLP calling on behalf of Demi Moore regarding the photo you took of our client for the cover of, um let’s see, W magazine. Did you take said photo of our client?

    Yes, yes I did. What can I do for you?

    Well, we need to clarify something here. Did you alter said photo in any way after taking the photo of our client.

    ( Photographer rolls eyes to the ceiling and suppresses a guffaw. ) No, I did not.

    Well then, very good, that settles it. I appreciate your time sir, good day.

    Yeah, whatever . . .


  36. Paula Wirth says:

    Seems like the “untouched” image should be subjected to the same scientific analysis used to analyze Victoria Secret images – see

    As a professional web designer and photo retoucher (and former fashion photographer and assistant), I can tell you that no company or publication presents images of their products or models that are unretouched. If they say so, they lie. Beyond even the careful styling and tricks of lighting, one always fixes levels, color, fabric folds, scratches, and the like. Even if one doesn’t feel the need to carve poundage away from flesh.

  37. jonathan_v says:

    I love how this entire thing was really just forgotten about and a non-issue… all until Ms. Moore’s idiot attorneys got involved.

    also, fwiw, fashion photographers rarely photoshop — it’s almost always the magazines or stock image companies.

  38. Anonymous says:

    You have a good lawyer. I expect this will go well.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Carry on.

  39. Snig says:

    I’m wondering if this was a legal shotgun bulkmailing to all the celebrity websites who obsess over such things and BB just got caught in the crossfire. Also interesting is people’s inability to accurately judge their own photos or audio recording because the brain has a specific image/idea in mind, so she oddly might not be a good judge of her own photos. My guess only, but I often wonder who’s retouched my mirror to give me all that grey hair and the baldspot.

  40. dexcox says:

    wow, a fashion fatwa

  41. Ingmar says:

    Ah, the Streisand effect. Will they ever learn? They should teach it in Law School.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Looks as though some lawyers are giving Ms. Moore *very* poor advice (poor for her; billable for the attorneys), and she’s making the mistake of following that advice.

    The things some people will do for a few Benjamins in a down economy…

  43. Anonymous says:

    It almost looks like the entire photo’s been altered – her face, mid section, and and thighs look a lot thinner than her appearance in the Korean issue.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got it. The only part of the body that is Demi Moore is that little piece of hip. The rest is a body double. So it’s true that Demi Moore’s hip wasn’t photoshopped, everything else was! Glad I figured that out.
    I can’t wait until Demi gets to court and reveals this.

  45. Naberius says:


    How fucking dare anyone out there make fun of Demi after all she has been through!

    She lost her aunt, she went through a divorce. She had two fuckin kids.

    Her husband turned out to be a user, a cheater, and now she’s going through a custody battle. All you people care about is….. readers and making money off of her.

    SHE’S A HUMAN! (ah! ooh!) What you don’t realize is that Demi is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about her…

  46. Suds says:

    UM, IANAL, but I read the letters from both sides of law-mongers. The First one had at the top of the page:
    “Confidential Legal Notice Publication or Dissemination Is Prohibited” and then the second letter told them “Boing Boing shall provide a link to the full text of the materials sent yesterday” Is The Link Legal???

    • expedite says:

      Probably not. For instance I could write “YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO READ MY POST” are you breaking the law by reading this?!? “HOW DARE YOU CONTINUE TO READ THIS POST, LAWBREAKER!” I don’t think so. They want this stuff silenced, so this is part of it. BB does not need to abide by everything that is sent in the mail to them, I could send them a letter demanding $100. But without any legal force it is just smoke.


    • Anonymous says:

      Um, IANALE, but I doubt that any message you send out to another party will become “confidential” just because you say so (unless if you are the CIA, then possibly maybe).

      It´s just some pretentious BS that they probably put in all their letters just for the heck of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I read the letters from both sides of law-mongers. The First one had at the top of the page: “Confidential Legal Notice Publication or Dissemination Is Prohibited”

      That’s just sucker bait. They were hoping BB was teh ignorant. You’ll see that stuff on mail from legal outfits all the time. It’s meant to scare you into doing whatever they want, just like the rest of the letter.

    • Anonymous says:

      When a private party unilaterally sends you a letter claiming confidentiality it does not necessarily make it so. There is no prior contract between the two parties…no agreement that the communication is in fact confidential or privileged. There is GENERALLY no legal “disclosure” restraint on the receiving party in such cases.

  47. Avram / Moderator says:

    I don’t know how much of the skin-tone difference is due to Photoshop, and how much is due to those being two different scans, possibly done by two different people on two different scanners. The US cover looks slightly darker overall — you can really see it in the big “W”.

    Photoshop has a feature you can use to easily spot small differences between nearly-identical images. Just load the two images into the same document as two separate layers. The set the blend mode of the top layer to “Difference”. Any pixels that are the same in both layers will show up as black, while those that are different will be colored according to how different they are. Differences will show up as bright spots on a dark background.

    (Yes, I’m another person with graphic design training, done Photoshop editing professionally, etc.)

  48. EarthtoGeoff says:

    What’s funny too is if you take Demi Moore’s attorneys’ word for it that the US version wasn’t altered. That means that the Korean version must have been.

    So what’s next: Will Moore be threatening the Korean branch of W for altering her image to make her hips look FATTER? Because if they don’t, isn’t that like admitting that the original WAS altered?

    *brain explodes, is subsequently Photoshopped back together*

  49. Anonymous says:

    What about this post ?

    It seems like this is where the pic came from unless I missed it somewhere that this article was only a spoof.

  50. Snig says:

    As someone (likely in the majority) who thinks both images are intrinsically attractive, I’m trying to to fathom the brain of someone who thinks “attractive woman” on the right, but would kick the one on the left out of bed for eating crackers.

  51. Lex says:

    So why not Boycott any thing Demi does until she apologizes?

    The title was a question and the question was correct. SOMETHING is wrong with the photo.

  52. cstatman says:

    i’ve thought about this, considered it, turned it over and over in my mind.

    and I keep coming to the same conclusion.

    Demi? cougar -> Feh!

    Where’s Xeni’s hip flesh? It is time for a Boing Boing cover shoot!!! :D

    • JonStewartMill says:

      Feh is right. She may be gorgeous IRL, but in this photo she looks like a fleshtone-colored insect.

      • Xeni Jardin says:

        I would encourage all in this thread to be mindful of the point here — it’s about Photoshopping, not about the model — and to please be respectful and courteous to Ms. Moore, who I happen to believe is a talented and extraordinarily beautiful woman.

        Please do not make ugly comments about the model.

  53. Anonymous says:

    *claps @*

  54. Anonymous says:

    Im sure its true ‘no one at the magazine retouched the photo’ theyre probably too understaffed to do such time intensive work anyway, thats what 3rd party retouching services are for.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Wow. The idea that Boing Boing was somehow attacking Demi is ludicrous. The debate is about Photoshopping, not about her. Perhaps if she were still married to Bruce, he would have given her a little common sense advice before she made a complete ass of herself.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      The debate is about Photoshopping, not about her.

      The point of the original post was that she looks great. If they feel the need to photoshop her, the rest of us might as well give up on ever feeling adequate.

  56. cymk says:

    So, when is the fashion industry going to be honest with itself, and everyone else and say, “yes we alter photos to sell shit.” The US cover of W idealizes current trends and ideals of beauty for an american audience while the Korean version of the mag does the same thing for their South Korean market. Everyone knows this, but no one seems to want to admit to it.

  57. Anonymous says:

    The question now should be…. Did Demi Moore get attorney’s to send a letter so that her “W” magazine photo shoot would get more publicity?


  58. warreno says:

    “…proves that age is no impediment to youth”


    I don’t think “youth” is the term you wanted here so much as “a successful career in entertainment” or some such.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Golf clap, ladies and gentleman.

    Whatever you are paying your atty., that letter was a work of beauty.

  60. scotttheartist says:

    I’m a photographer and photoshop artist. I can promise you that photo has had at LEAST fifty to a hundren alterations. Every cover shot of a model does. Not just the obvious things like making her hips thinner or breasts larger. Legs are lengthened. Pupils are widened, blemises removed, stray hairs removed, color corrections. Magazine covers are pure fabrications.

  61. eli says:

    Sorry, I wrote to you before login in, and I do not want to appear as anonymous. The comment on the National Geographic story Boing Boing failed to review was written by me, Eli Laztanguren.

  62. Bottlekid says:

    Fight the power!

  63. VICTOR JIMENEZ says:

    “Aesthetus Interruptus”. LOL, Brilliant.

  64. cwclifford says:

    Me thinks the US edition of “W” is the original. Arguing that something is “impossible” usually is the result of a optimist’s cynicism. True, it looks odd but I’ve seen enough slender, downright skinny woman’s hips personally and can vouch for the incredibly “boyish” pelvic bends where such angles do occur.

    See Demi in a similarly revealing outfit with an effect on her hip that proves this angularity is quite possible, though self-inflicted.

  65. funkadelic73 says:

    Don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, Xeni, but if you click the e-mail address link for Mr. Singer at, the following message appears in the “To” field of your e-mail:

    “Please contact Mr. Singer’s assistant for his new e-mail address.”

    His is the only e-mail address hyperlink that doesn’t provide an e-mail address.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Man I want Boing Boing’s lawyers to represent me!
    I love the “our anwer to you is to post everything as a new topic with links”!

  67. demidan says:

    Yarg, where’s me hip? Photoshoped or spinal deformity your choice,,,oh just a little question why does she not have a single wrinkle? Oh yeah plastic surgery is fine and dandy, but god forbid a digital tweak!

  68. Anonymous says:

    They’re all probably paranoid that we think Demi Moore is a work of surgery, and not 47 years of graceful aging.

  69. eli says:

    Politically motivated image manipulation at The National Geographic television

    The National Geographic television recorded a show in Elgoibar (the Basque Country) for their “Strong Man” series last year. They have just premiered the show, and they have censored the imaged due to their content, referred to the political situation in the Basque Country.

    2’13 into this video you will see a banner with the words “for the Basque Country” and a mysterious blank space above.

    The words “Self-determination for” have been photoshopped off (or whatever you call that in video).

    You can see the original banner here:

  70. demidan says:

    ff tpc f Dm Mr nd hr hsbnd shtn Ktchr sty tgthr t lst h wn’t spwn (hpflly).

  71. Anonymous says:

    Yet another “Photoshop pro” here, difference is I know the difference between retouching and a crappy clipping path. The image variation likely has little to do with slimming, retouching or altering and everything to do with a clipping path that was pulled too tight to try and leave out a highlight area on her thigh that was soft focus.
    A few of the “pros” here sound like they are professional basement Photoshop users, gluing Angelina Jolie’s head onto xxx pix, with little or no experience in actual published work.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Tell Ms. Moore’s lawyers to please explain the following:

    After they’ve done so, they can feel free to threaten whatever they please. Who do they think they’re kidding?

  73. ikoino says:

    Has anyone noticed that the upper right corner headline of the Korean Edition changed to “Women In Full” ?

  74. emilydickinsonridesabmx says:

    After reading the article in Fast Company this month, about the digital agency Ashton Kutcher has started, I find this whole incident very odd. She is also married to gentleman who made his bones with ‘Punk’d’.

    So, @MrsKutcher and @AplusK, please learn this lesson: This isn’t how we play nice on the web.

  75. Anonymous says:

    Demi Moore was transcendently beautiful until she had cosmetic surgery. Now she’s a very attractive woman, but her indefinable beauty is gone. A C&D for this picture is silly; what a nuisance.

  76. kenmce says:

    If you wade through the verbiage from the lawyer, you’ll notice that they don’t actually state that Ms. Moore was not ‘shopped. It might be fun to write and ask them to send an affadvit to the effect that the pictures have been in no way altered or manipulated.

  77. MrScience says:

    Awesome reponse! But… the last sentance is missing something:

      3. Boing Boing shall place a link to the new blog posting prominently underneath the Demi Moore posts, along with an “editor’s” note at the ????? of the Demi Moore Posts referring readers to the new post.
  78. Jonathan says:

    Does anyone know if any smaller websites have been forced into taking down pics/commentary, simply because of the cost of legal representation in this issue?

    Fortunately, BoingBoing has a powerhouse lawyer; many smaller blogs aren’t going to be able to afford a lawyer who’s represented MPAA member companies, and participated in litigation on behalf of the RIAA. Or, any lawyer at all. Free speech isn’t free — Just responding to Demi Moore’s lawyer can cost thousands of dollars.

    This whole thing makes both Demi Moore and her lawyer look like disgusting bullies.

  79. CopyrightMe says:

    Nothing to add here, really, other than bobcatgoldfinger had better close the shop and the retoucher for the magazine should take a class in anatomy before attempting to alter another shot. Crap work.

  80. JoshP says:

    1st– boiler plate vs. two-handed 1st amendment footman’s flail of own 2d8…win.

    2nd– and most important, demi is one of the few things on the planet that will force me to use the verb ‘squee’ in a sentence

    3rd– BUT, the true question, oh so so not the hip… are those tassels on her shoulders? ftw?

  81. Beldar says:

    Absolutely hilarious!

    Mayer’s response is quite good. Had I been in his place, I could not have resisted tweaking Singer over the “Confidential Legal Notice / Publication or Dissemination is Prohibited” label at the top of his cease & desist letter. “Prohibited” by whom? By Demi, bless her perky little hips? By Singer, because he’s got a bar card? By the Defamation Fairy?

    What a spectacular implied (not “implied or inferred” — dimwits!) admission at the very top of the page that Singer was about to write something which would be embarrassing to him or his client if publicized, as indeed this letter is in the eyes of anyone who knows anything about defamation law and the First Amendment.

    As for whether Ms. Moore has been injured in her business or property by a false statement: I certainly don’t see it. In fact, when I read the initial post, my interpretation was that it portrayed Ms. Moore in a sympathetic and favorable light — as the possible victim of overaggressive Photoshopping. Surely no person — whether a slinky and fit Hollywood actress or your average schlub like me — would want his or her public image to include the kind of skeletal deformation of the hip that would be necessary for the non-Korea photo to be accurate.

    No, my lay opinion is that someone altered that photo before it hit the American cover of “W.” And my professional opinion (as a practicing lawyer who’s handled defamation cases with some frequency over almost 30 years) is that nothing Boing Boing has done is even arguably defamatory, and a lawsuit so claiming would probably subject the lawyers who filed it and possibly their client to sanctions.

    As a conservative pundit, I often disagree with the political opinions expressed here at Boing Boing. But on this matter, consider me to be in solidarity.

    And Demi, if you’re reading this: From a fan who’s only slightly older than you:

    It’s really not that you’re too old, dear. It’s always been that Aston is (and acts) too young. So stop wasting money on not-very-talented efforts by lawyers to intimidate those discussing your hips in public.

  82. mneptok says:

    BB eds.

    Your attorney’s corpus of work seems to be profoundly at odds with the copyfight sentiments often expressed here.

    Just sayin’ …

  83. johnofjack says:

    There’s this wonderful bit of dialogue in All the President’s Men (itself a wonderful movie) that I suddenly remembered, where Woodward is talking to one of the White House PR guys about someone, and the PR guy denies that that person had anything to do with Watergate when Woodward hadn’t alleged that he had.

    I have no idea why that suddenly occurred to me, but I felt compelled to share.

    On another note entirely, your advice above the comments box warns us not to “copypasta.” Given the long history of pasta-making worldwide, and the general stance here on the absurdity of current copyright law, I wouldn’t expect this warning.

  84. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I wouldn’t expect this warning.

    In particular, it’s to prevent astroturfers from copying and pasting political talking points. In general, it’s to prevent people who have nothing to say from trying to say it anyway.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Your attorneys’ letter is indeed a work of art. You have great counsel!

  86. Anonymous says:

    Smart move on Demi’s part. Gets her name out there again.

  87. Anonymous says:

    You should be able to file a frivolous lawsuit against lawyers who file frivolous lawsuits. Or at least hang them.

  88. Robert says:

    It seems that (snicker) the lawyers have managed (snort) to extract their pound of flesh.

    Can’t stop laughing!

  89. deckard68 says:

    If it is only Demi’s head and the body is that of Anja Rubik, then the lawyers aren’t even representing the correct client.

    As Deejayqueue noted, the source photo of the body was found awhile ago:

  90. Dave H says:

    And Robert, we know exactly where that pound came from! I have made a mental note never to piss off BoingBoing and just who to call if I need a law firm in California.

    And, no Marty, it isn’t you.

  91. Anonymous says:

    This story is a good reminder of why this is my favorite blog. I take this opportunity to note that, and thank all the boingboing editors and contributors for what they do.

  92. inkadinka12 says:

    I read somewhere that there was the question about whether this was even Demi Moore’s body. Apparently there are very similar pictures of a model named Anja Rubik on the catwalk that some think look like the Demi Moore cover, but with someone else’s head:

    Has this been resolved?

  93. ikoino says:

    @inkadinka12, @deckard68

    the AB shots have different reflections in center, fringe round shoulders, folds round hips, and completely different whatever you call that fanny diaper thang.

    nope, might was way just paint it from scratch.

  94. mmorgan says:

    So by posting the letter from Ms. Moore’s attorneys online, doesn’t that open you up to a copyright infringement as well? Quick, get Doctorow and the EFF on this before it becomes a full-fledged hyper-lawsuit.

  95. Anonymous says:

    As a lawyer myself (albeit not an American lawyer), I must say that Mr Mayer’s response is absolutely first rate IMO. Great work.

  96. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe that Demi Moore and her attorneys are ignorant of the Streisand effect. This is clearly a publicity stunt.

  97. johnofjack says:

    So … out of curiosity, what happened to all of bobcatgoldfinger’s comments?

    I just looked at my own profile and failed to find a way to edit any of my comments, though it’s always (always!) possible I just missed something obvious.

    • johnofjack says:

      (Something very strange, in any case … the comments are still visible on bobcatgoldfinger’s profile).

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      When you impugned his intentions, I checked and realized that he’s a known troll/sock puppet. As to the profile thing, apparently my text invisibilificating technique doesn’t work there. That’s also a useful bit of information. Apparently I owe you two beers.

  98. dainel says:

    Let me put this in a way she is going to dislike even more. The US photo on the left is the original unmodified version. In reality, her body is defective in that there is a huge depression on her hip. It was retouched on the Korean edition on the right so that she will look more normal. There, now I’ve called you ugly. Happy?

  99. Anonymous says:

    Another textbook example of how not to engage with the internet community.

    Why are these people so stupid? They just mindlessly repeat the same actions even in light of their obvious failure to yield positive results.

  100. tizroc says:

    Thank you Ms. Jordan. This is not about Ms. Moore as stated, this is obviously about poor photo shopping, the culture of intimidation that lawyers use on mostly constructive conversations (pre troll), and the cultural effect these kinds of unrealistic (unattainable) beauty will have on generations of young women (My daughters as an example). As a father I have seen my 11 and 16 year old daughters looking at magazines with pained expressions. Their frustration at not being able to “fit in” is palpable.

    As their father it is my job to explain that these pictures are like fairies and don’t express the reality of the people. That they have been modified by surgeons and then further by digital manipulation. Still even with smart young women like my daughters the amount of pressure and overwhelmingly inundated visual queues the mediums are using cannot be good for their self image. All of this with a father who realizes it and tells them about it, I worry a lot for the young women who don’t have parents that talk to their daughters about it.

    @Naberius Please be reasonable, almost all the posts before your entry are talking about the photo shop work, and the lack of reason used by the Lawyers. I must admit to being a little worried about your visceral reaction on behalf of Ms. Moore though. I hope everything is alright with you, and that you accept that I was in no way attacking Ms. Moore as she personally has nothing to do with the conversation at large. The vast majority of the posts said nothing derogatory about Ms. Moore and I hope that when calmed you can review the posts and see that many of them say outstanding and complimentary things about her.

  101. Guy Fawkes says:

    Ha ha ha!

    I remember hanging out with my friend in the art department at Elle magazine as he Photoshopped away one of Cindy Crawford’s ribs (dates it, doesn’t it?).

    Lying scumbag lawyers (and W).

  102. theawesomerobot says:

    A point’s a point, and the Korean version proves it, this bad-girl has been photoshopped. I animated the difference here for those people out there who feel like arguing something that’s clearly obvious.

    Now, to interject my opinion – models on magazine covers are photoshopped, almost every single goddamned one of them. Demi Moore has been photoshopped, hip or not, there’s a decent amount of photoshop here – anyone that is telling you otherwise is either grossly misinformed, or an absolute liar.

    Now, for me the much more natural looking Korean version of the cover seals the deal on this photoshopping issue, case closed, end of story – the hip in that version is the real hip. Hire all the lawyers you want, but I can say this with 90% certainty. They can shove it.

  103. ill lich says:

    I think they’re just concerned someone might notice that her mustache was photo-shopped out.

    Personally I believe the hip was another victim of that pesky flesh-eating bacteria I keep hearing about, and my sympathies go out to Ms. Moore.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see: attack a well-known tech and communications expert (Citrano ran a PR firm back east before he moved to CA to pursue writing & photography) oh and who also happens to write for the Huffington Post… and while you’re at it, attack BoingBoing, one of the most-read sites on the Internet.

    Whose idea was this, Ashton’s? It truly defies imagination what kind of “strategy” this is… are people this stupid? Wait, don’t answer that.

    • tizroc says:

      I believe it was the lawyers trying to show initiative. They were accidently let out on their own recognisance, and the judge is obviously going to have to pull their freedom.

      Either that or they fed a line to Ms Moore… however I think that since she is a “brand” and as such has lawyers who are supposed to be looking out for the interests of the “Brands” name, and livelihood they are acting out as a means to justify their existence. Since she is a rather well liked person (although the tabloids fear her after she did some blood letting) to her fans they probably don’t have as much to bite as they used to. So even a non threat could send them slavering at the mouth to substantiate their existence. (but properly spun)

  105. J France says:

    It is always incredibly gratifying to be able to read a composed, legally sound rebuke to threatening lawyer spam.

    It makes me wish I was wealthy enough to ALWAYS have a lawyer on retainer, just to ensure I could sick a “Ashually, the law sez UR a douche” to any legal threat I recieve. Because of course, I get them all the time.

    Thanks for standing strong, Boingers. It’s why we love y’all.

    • expedite says:

      Yes this is the exact case I was thinking of. This is why Moore’s lawyers are just blowing smoke. [so yes you can, insert any derogatory or slanderous remark against any public figure here, and the supreme court will protect you] : )

  106. beagle1971 says:

    MrScience caught the one on page four, but there’s another typo.

    First full paragraph on page three, in the sentence that begins, “That his personal conclusions were reasonable,” change “any by no means malicious” to “and by no means malicious.”

  107. Anonymous says:

    I’ll suggest something less stupid but more manipulative on the part of Stephen Huvane (Moore’s publicist.) Even were Huvane not aware of BoingBoing and Citrano, then five minutes with Google would bring him to a fairly high level of certainty as to how they’d react (just as they have). So he knew exactly what AC and BB would do – and the additional visibility it would bring to his client. Under my hypothesis, even Mr. Singer himself is a pawn.

  108. Anonymous says:

    Apparently Demi Moore has no Great Trocanther in the manipulated version…

  109. piratescandance says:

    I heart you guys and your very entertaining legal rebuttal.

  110. Nasty says:

    Demi Moore would be more famous if she were in movies that people watched. Shaved head in G.I. Jane was pretty much the end of my wanting to watch her.

    She’s more of a celeb for marrying trucker hat guy these days than any Ghost of a popular movie.

  111. JohnBerry says:

    As an expert on Photoshoppery and legal torts and tarts: WTF?

    What kind of a lawyer advises his client to follow such a stupid course of action (A stupid lawyer? Just askin’?)Isn’t part of the function of an attorney to offer counsel?

    And where is Ashton? According to this month’s “Fast Company” he is the all-knowing, overflowing with savvyness, internet Mogul/Guru du jour. Since Demi had her g-string in a bunch I would guess that this came up at dinner one night. Couldn’t Ashton have put down the Canon or Olympus for a few minutes and given Bruce Willis’ old squeeze some of his interweb wisdom? Maybe he passed because he could not figure out appropriate “monetization strategies” for the situation. Or maybe suing, based on some of his comments (“we’re going to go the way of the music industry and be cannibalized by the Web”), maybe suing was the best he had.

    BTW, I didn’t think that Demi looked so hot. I thought she looked sick. Very thin and bony. Really, if her body “is of great importance to her career and livelihood”, as her lawyer whined, then you would think that she would feed it properly.

  112. Slimer049 says:

    The thing that gets me is that for all the unnecessary nitpicking Demi and her legal beagles are doing for something that seems fairly obviously true, no one is doing the more logical thing in all this. People keep calling her a “beautiful woman of 47″ or whatever, which is simple perspective and no the opinions of everyone who sees her. I’m not as sold on her. She’s shallow and unpleasant. And more to the point, she’s clearly had plastic surgery to keep her looking the way she does now. Take a look at the nude pics she took at like 19 and then look at her scenes from Striptease and tell me she hasn’t had SOMETHING done. It’s a load of shit. She needs to get over herself and stop whining about image.

  113. media_lush says:

    ‘aesthetus interruptus’ – the new expression for 2010, lol

  114. Bonnie says:

    Anyone, especially a celebs or model, who is on the cover of magazines, and claims to not be Photoshopped, is dreaming. Many times, art directors will Photoshop an image and the subject doesn’t even know it. Chances are she was indeed tinkered with, but told something diff. from the magazine staff to avoid awkward ego bruising. Demi’s hot, but she’s not exempt from the usual editorial shenanigans that happen w/ fashion magazines.

    Wasn’t this an Ugly Betty plot long ago?

  115. Anonymous says:

    I still believe that US cover is original. Korean cover looks unnatural to me. Now I’m standing in front of a mirror. I know it’s possible.

  116. deckard68 says:

    @ ikoino | #124 — The fringe and the draping was altered, of course. Nothing unusual about redrawing clothing. Indeed, bear in mind that even the pores of people’s skin are routinely added from stock skin textures (rather than deign to offend the masses by showing people’s actual pores). Changing stitching, lighting, and details of clothing is simple. It is still the source photo, imo. Behold the power of Photoshop.

  117. Anonymous says:

    Message for your lawyer: the use of the term “photoshopping” is a no-no.

    reCaptcha sez: Emporium northern

    Message for your webmaster: previewing a comment seems to screw up the reCaptcha submission. Also, it would be nice if the page would redisplay the problematic comment instead of a generic link back to the post.

  118. takeshi says:

    I think you guys handled this wonderfully. Demi’s lawyers should know better than to claim defamation. Your original blog post neither falsely indicated nor implied that Moore was responsible in any way. But the Photoshop job is abundantly clear to anybody with a set of eyeballs. Who do they think they’re kidding?

    That said, multiple references to Ms. Moore’s “beauty” are unnecessary. I have never found her particularly attractive, as a matter of opinion, and furthermore I think that she is terribly overrated as an actress. If I decide to blog about my feelings, will her attorneys attempt to serve me, too? Her lawyers’ letter is tantamount to attempted extortion, and poorly executed at that.

  119. Strephon says:


  120. CosmicDog says:

    Tizroc – Naberius is just spoofing the “Leave Britney Alone” rant from youtube a couple years ago, replacing Britney with Demi. No reason to be concerned.

  121. Anonymous says:

    overlaying both pictures, you can sse upper part is nearly identical, while the lower is modified. e.g. her arms in the us-version is a little bit shorter.

    think they tried to make her legs look longer. so they crunched the picture around her hips. that made her look a little rounder so they “corrected” the crunched part. photoshopping disaster.

  122. pyster says:

    Due to this if Demi Moore (or those she associates with) is involved I’ll avoid it. Even if she makes this right it’s pretty much set in my mind forever that she is one of ‘those people’. That group of people who abuse the DMCA to silence criticisms and bully others into submission. These people take themselves way to seriously and should not in any way be supported.

  123. Tzctlp says:

    How do we know those bozos represent Ms Moore?

    Anybody could make up a letter and seen it to as many people as they please.

    I say this because this course of action is so monumentally ill advised that the only probable rational explanation is a hoax.

  124. Anonymous says:

    I have to laugh now at all the people in the first post who were all ‘THAT’S SO NORMAL SHE WAS JUST RESTING THE WEIGHT ON HER LEG DIFFERENTLY!’ *eye roll*

  125. Daedalus says:

    I don’t understand why bad photoshopping is so inevitably followed by bad lawyering these days. Fire the photoshopper. Fire the lawyer. Both Demi and W magazine are paying for idiots, just like RL was.

    The lawyering is the worse affront, in my mind, because bad photohax are more amusing than anything else. Bad lawyering is all “abuse of power”-y.

  126. Looseleaf says:

    As must be amply evident to all, Demi Moore’s name and likeness (in one form or another) have now been uttered, written and shown for weeks, and just over this one incident. When it looked like the attention might flag, PR told the lawyers to get busy and generate some additional heat. Another success for marketing and promotion. Given that her film career (as most actors’ film careers) can always use a boost, and that she has two films due out in the coming months, creating this buzz will probably help more than hurt.

  127. Earle Martin says:

    I think the Boing Boing staff should refer Ms. Moore’s lawyers to the celebrated case of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971).

  128. Anonymous says:

    The Korean version looks real and Demi looks really HOT!

    But we are talking here about an image. It could be of any model, male or female…

    The original image does look a little ODD, which begs the question, we all asked, “Was it poorly altered on the right?” But what if it was actually poorly altered on the left to enhance a hip without compensation on the right? I haven’t made it my business to go around analyzing famous people’s bodies but I know what symetry is supposed to look like and…..

    Perhaps Demi’s suing the wrong people!

    Answering the legal action, someone should ask Demi’s lawyers,”WHICH image is fake?”

  129. mkultra says:

    Well, it’s obvious that an edit occurred at some point. I assume it was the US magazine’s artist, and I bet that Ms. Moore had no clue that it even happened.

    My biggest question is “why?” It’s a terrible edit. It makes things awkward, it breaks up the line of the hip, and it’s just odd. Unless… the left image really is the genuine shot, and the right hand image has been altered to make it look more “natural”, something I’ve done many a time in similar circumstances. The motivation comes clear in that case.

    As far as the left hand image, there’s really no way of saying that the image is provably false without additional evidence… It looks odd, but the human body looks odd sometimes from some angles, especially when someone is in such obviously good shape. The weird effect with the drape of the dress could possibly be caused by slightly over-defined musculature, combined with a tensed thigh muscle.

    My money is still on the left hand image being the altered version, but it’s not a sure thing by any means.

    • Blue says:

      >My biggest question is “why?” It’s a terrible edit.

      Thinner is better.

      It’s a mental affliction. A perspective bias that people in fashion and the media are emersed in (to an extent).

      To Xeni: Ms. Moore requires some criticism here: she hasn’t stopped her (asinine) lawyers from attacking.

  130. Anonymous says:

    She looks better in the unaltered, Korean version. She’s a bit too thin, even there.

  131. Gloria says:

    Re: comments like 174 & 176:

    I’m not in a minority when I find it ironic that some people can — in one breath — criticize the concept of a “right” body type and then berate Demi Moore for being “disgustingly/too thin” … right?

    This is coming from someone who’s been both average and skinny at different points. While it doesn’t have exactly the same impact as beating myself up for being fat, having people snarkily remark that I “need to eat a donut” is kind of gross for multiple reasons:

    1. I’m a little weirded out you’re paying that much attention to my body.
    2. I’m even more weirded out you think it’s appropriate to comment on it, since you’re not my doctor or my mother.
    3. Why donuts? Isn’t that reinforcing the idea that people are overweight because they eat sugary, deep-fried food? You don’t get fat from eating other high-calorie foods — say, muffins and bagels — or sitting around?

    • alowishus says:

      This is different because Demi agreed to be on the cover of a magazine. She obviously is saying “Hey, look a me!” and, specifically, “Hey, look at my body!!”

      So we look.

      And we criticize.

      And about that donut . . . As a skinny guy I’ve gotten my fair share of “you need to eat” comments. They do suck.

      • Gloria says:

        I wasn’t talking about whether Moore has put herself out there or not (which she has) and therefore should rightly accept that people will scrutinize her (which she should).

        I’m saying that I find it hypocritical that people who think it’s unhealthy for the media to idealize one particular body type above all others also seem to hold their own private beliefs about what is “too” thin or fat. (In fact, many come right out and say it, as they did in the couple of comments I highlighted.)

        What they seem to be advocating is not diversity or “body acceptance” but simply replacing one narrow image with another. You don’t want people to be glorified for their weight … yet somehow you find it adequate grounds for criticism?

        It’s the same issue I find with ideas/phrases like “real curves” or “real women.” How is a heavier woman any more “real” than a lighter one? How is it better for you to criticize me for having no hips than to criticize me for having too much?

        As I said, the issue here isn’t whether Moore can/should be criticized. The issue is her critics’ lack of internal logic and consistency.

  132. Lt DirtyFreq says:

    It was digitally altered but on top of that, the Korean copy is also a slight close up. Not much to make a big deal though. No matter, you can still tell the U.S. one was Photoshopped.

    I heard once, there is no such thing as bad publicity. I’ve learned that the hard way when my family’s restaurant got scraped by a tornado. Everyone (locals & TV stations) started making rumors like it got smashed to the ground, blew up, the list goes on. I tried to contact one of the local news papers to tell them we are open & ended up getting criticized (by locals) instead. So long story short, it’s best to just leave stories alone. She should of just let the story go & she would just look better.

  133. strawberrysidd says:

    thank you boingboing for

    a. vigilantly pointing out the shameless photoshop disasters that riddle our world

    b. putting certain self-righteous/pompous/dickhead attorneys in the place


  134. Joe says:

    I think that lawyers should suffer a penalty of some kind for making false statements, in particular, for falsely claiming that it is prohibited to publish their threats.

    To allow lawyers to make false statements about what the law is, without penalty, gives them the power to bully those who lack the funds to retain attorneys.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are repercussions for lawyers. I had an ambulance chaser try to sue me once, sent a letter back threating Bar Association complaint of “material misprepresentation of fact”. (Their guy got a traffic ticket and I didn’t). Never heard from them again. 4 magic words are pretty powerful.

  135. Major Variola (ret) says:

    Someone please p’shop a picture of Ms. Moore
    (who, parenthetically, I’d definately do, despite
    her lack of understanding (or super-grokking..)
    of the Streisand effect) as obese and/or aged.

    Satire is legal.

    Never forgive, never forget.

  136. Tack says:

    Forget the Photo, forget the idiocy – read the reply from the Boing Boing Lawyer – pure poetry IMHO.
    Anyone want to start a fan club for Marc E. Mayer :-)

  137. Baron Karza says:

    In the fourth paragraph from the bottom, the author states that “age is no impediment to youth”? I’m pretty sure you meant to say “age is no impediment to BEAUTY,” age and youth being pretty much mutually exclusive unless you’re talking state-of-mind.

  138. Anonymous says:

    Demi is beautiful. Good genes. Great surgeons, diet, fitness, clothing and makeup help a lot, too.

    This controversy isn’t surprising, though. Demi Moore has denied ever having a single plastic surgery procedure, despite the fact that there are many, many photos of her topless before and after. Denying a facelift or two or four is rather silly as well. She denies anyone would retouch the photos, despite the proof shown here.

    That’s a mighty fragile ego. It’s kind of sad, really.

    And for the record, both images–the Korean and US covers are retouched. The shadows are darker in the US version aside from that whole hip erasing thing. Her eyes have been lightened in both, the highlights and shadows enhanced, a whole lot of other work. Don’t be fooled.

  139. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, the remarkable thing isn’t so much that the image was altered as that it was altered so badly.

  140. konshuss says:

    Anyone else notice in the Korean version, Demi’s body(if that’s her body) appears to have been stretched?

    Look at the animated GIF that cycles between both photos. Look at the position of the top of her head in each. Just about the same spot, if not giving the appearance of having been slightly zoomed in. Now look at the position of her hands… a much larger gap in space between the first and second photo exists.

  141. questionsall says:

    Mr. Singer should have his bar license revoked for his blatant misuse of “defamation”. What on earth do they hope to accomplish with this nonsense? This whole “issue” just makes Ms. Moore and the whole troop at W look foolish. Their adamant denials in the face of clear evidence boggles the mind.

  142. Anonymous says:

    Your lawyers’ letter was nice, but I suggest a small revision…

    Dear Marty,

    We got proof. Pbbbbthhhpt.


    But seriously, every inch of that photo has been retouched, and if you can’t see that in a single glance, you don’t know what a human looks like. I see these mags on the shelves, and I have to read the captions to know who’s on the cover.

  143. senorglory says:

    I feel kinda embarrassed for these lawyers, they’re so behind the times. Don’t they know that when a corporation or celebrity wishes to silence critics by hefting around their superior finances (threat of lawsuit = ‘we can spend more money than you’), they send out bogus copyright claims, not bogus defamation claims. Defamation hasn’t been cool for like, 3 or 4 seasons already. Geez.

  144. Anonymous says:

    Well, here in Italy, some newspaper are claiming even a stronger case, according to which it’s not her body at all. Please see

  145. senorglory says:

    I’d like to hear the convoluted legal argument that seeks to connect the boingboing discussion about the photoshopping of magazine covers and a demonstrable harm to Demi’s product.

    I’m not even sure Demi has standing to sue for defamation, boingboing never made any statements about Demi. Perhaps W would be the proper party to get up in arms over the boingboing discussion.

  146. dalesd says:

    From BoingBoing’s Lawyer’s letter:
    [Mr. Citrano’s] conclusions… are a result of “just… looking at” the photograph.

    IOW: Just look at this photograph. Just look at it.

  147. techsoldaten says:

    What really happened is the Korean publishers altered the photo to make her look fatter! Southern Pacific standards for beauty are radically different from those we have here in the West.

  148. Anonymous says:

    I fail to see a reason for all of this photo re-touching of D.M. Is the re-touch crew just trying to justify their existence? I have seen her in-person. If she is not good enough looking for a magazine cover, as-is, then the magazine folks need to have their heads examined.

  149. Anonymous says:

    #95; love the observation.
    This has got nothing to do with Ms DM. All about photo manipulation post-shoot. Subject is irrelevant.

    RAW photo data posted online might shut a whole lot of us up as far as speculation goes.

  150. Anonymous says:

    Go Boing Boing!

    You guys handled it beautifully. Publish her lawyer’s letter and yours.

    What stinks is that you had to even hire a lawyer to write a letter.

    You’ve won at least one new visitor/reader.

  151. Anonymous says:

    Why isn’t anyone mentioning the photo isn’t even Demi Moore’s body? It was reported that her head was placed on the body of 26-year-old model, Anja Rubik. See post –

  152. Anonymous says:

    I’m with the Telegraph- it IS the model’s body, which was subsequently even made slimmer in photoshop. It’s the EXACT same posture. Could you please make a gif laying those two pictures one over another? Thanks!

  153. Anonymous says:

    she looks crazy skinny (and gorgeous) with or without the hip “fat” – this whole thing is silly

  154. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the thing. The alteration is sooo bad it looks planned. Guess what? Lots of people who would have never seen this cover or magazine are now seeing it. W should send you a check for the free publicity.

  155. Cliff G. says:

    Please, please, please let me write the next letter to a law firm that threatens harsh legal action lest you bow to and kiss their mighty asses.

    I already have it written out in full. Here goes…

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Go fuck yourselves.


  156. Anonymous says:

    I agree with some. Your lawyer is on top of his stuff…you will be fine. This is just a scare tactic to try and reduce the negative press. I’m officially posting now that W magazine ripped off the idea from Ralph Lauren and as a company, W magazine has ruined the fashion world. Come after me with all your might! –Anonymous

  157. Anonymous says:

    Lavely&Singer = lowest of the low. They specialize in bully letters to those who are easily cowed. L&S is so backwards and out-of-it, they most likely thought Boing Boing was in this category. As one who’s worked in tenant space near them, I assure you — rotten humanity, despite whatever money they give to charity to assuage their day-in-and-day-out loathsome conduct. And yes, I know the credulity of this is stained by my anonymity, but — I’ve seen their vicious teeth bared and I know what they’re capable of …

  158. Anonymous says:

    Ya! This is stupid. It look better on the original unmodified picture.

    Sometime I wonder who these marketing people are smoking or drinking or injecting themselves with.

  159. Jonathan says:

    Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that they’ve grafted in another body or body parts. This could be either from a photo of another model, as suggested previously, or cobbled together from various stock photo model body parts.

    Thus, could Moore’s lawyers honestly state that Moore’s “hips, waist or legs were not altered, retouched, or photoshopped for the cover image”? And could Moore then also honestly tweet that her “hips were not touched”?

  160. Anonymous says:

    Let’s counterstrike.
    If they don’t cease and desist their lame threat and apologize, every single reader of Boing Boing will never ever see a Demi Moore’s movie again.
    Ok, this is not really a scaring counterstrike: it’s like what, ten years that no one is watching a Demi Moore’s movie?

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      it’s like what, ten years that no one is watching a Demi Moore’s movie?

      I googled her to see what she’s been in lately, and her IMDb page came up nineteenth on the search. As in…at the bottom of page two. That’s pretty remarkable for a working actress. Her Twitter page came up in the third position. That does suggest that she’s become less actress and more twittress.

  161. Anonymous says:

    She is smoking hot anyway. Why bother with the photoshopping?

  162. Anonymous says:

    I’m amazed at the poor quality of the image manipulation – I do better work than this on my laptop.


  163. Anonymous says:

    “She is smoking hot anyway. Why bother with the photoshopping?”

    She’s smoking hot because of the photoshopping. Her skin certainly doesn’t really look like that. And she’s been “bodyshopped” as well doubt.

  164. tizroc says:

    @CosmicDog I saw that and wondered but without any visual clue it was rather hard to tell for certain. You can never tell troll from snark without something visual. The parenthesis queues were leading but not enough to sell. Sorry.

  165. Anonymous says:

    OMG!.. That bastard kutcher is eating her flesh!

  166. Anonymous says:

    Don’t feel bad. I’m a blogger that got two of my DOMAINS shut down because some N.J. judge thinks he controls the internet.

    At least BB is still up.

    – admin,

  167. djbohn says:

    I haven’t read thru the comments; I apologize. But I notice a few things:
    The comparison link is broken. Is there a dark reason for this?
    I also notice that Demi’s image has also been altered (darkened) to add highlights making her waist appear smaller, and accentuate her bones. IE, more like a Korean gal. I’m flabbergasted that Demi’s people would make an issue of this. Idiots.

  168. Anonymous says:

    While the threatening legal letter is pretty ridiculous, I think the original photo may be real. Reason being, depending on a woman’s stance, there is an inward curve between the hip bone and the upper leg. It’s more obvious on a nude model than a clothed one. If that’s the case in the US cover and because of the location of the clothes, it could result in an optical illusion making it appear she’s missing some skin when she may in fact not be.

  169. Anonymous says:

    I do a lot of drawing of the human form and I don’t think this picture looks funny. if a person puts more weight on one leg or stands with all their weight on one leg then sometimes that hip will jut out a little more.

    I do think that the body is an exact match to the body of the model. It is especially apparent in the arms and collar bones and bust shape and waist to hip ration. You would have to look through millions of photos of women to find two women whose bodies are so closely matched in proportion and size and appearance. I actually don’t believe this match is a coincidence.

  170. Anonymous says:

    Look up web pics of her and it appears more of the body too is different, check waist width against her head width, for example.

    Does she think we don’t know that images are manipulated for mass media? The fact she’s worrying about this proves how shallow celebrities really are. Truly, less is Moore.

  171. Anonymous says:

    The photoshopping on the US cover is so badly done, shouldn’t she be taking legal action against them instead?

  172. Anonymous says:

    Let’s have a ‘Demi Moore bad photoshop contest’ on BB complete with poll and silly prize. That would be fun !

  173. Anonymous says:

    I for one, would NEVER have considered BoingBoing a ‘gossip’ site. Loved the response letter from your lawyers, truly a thing of beauty. Happy New Year Happy Mutants.

  174. bolamig says:

    Demi is getting off too lightly on this. She made statements that are clearly false, yet is harassing others who made true statements. Just because she has lawyers and enough beauty not to need brains doesn’t mean she should get away with that. If the debate is about truth, she lost. She needs to make an apology, and then everyone can live happily ever in retouching-denial-land again.

  175. Anonymous says:

    I dont really see how Demi can complain. The article is simply showing how two covers from the same shot are different due to modification. She has a better chance suing W Magazine for representation or Adobe for the ability to do so for that matter.
    As a print graphic designer I worked many years for a high end retail company (maybe it rhymes with loomingbales?) where making a head larger to make the body smaller, smoothing skin, removing fat, wrinkles, tattoos, clothes, you name it and yes even making babies look.. well.. like cuter babies is expected and happens on a daily basis in every dimly lit marketing back room of designers. this is called retouching.
    Perhaps it is lacking ethics, and I can agree with that. However, I do not forsee Demi, or any celebrities for that matter, wanting their picture in print without styling because they WANT to look skinnier, younger, fitter, sexier etc. then they are. And really, when it comes down to it, if she wanted, her agent could have simply added a no styling or a final viewing addendum in her shoot contract first instead of suing because it was done and someone noticed the error and wrote about it.
    Also, if you ever intend to write an article about how my grandfather made coins appear from in back of my ear, prepare to get served!

  176. Anonymous says:

    your biggest problem is publishing the ‘confidential’ letter from the attorneys. the defamation case is baseless

  177. Anonymous says:

    I think Ms. Moore is well known for being able to create publicity for herself in facinatingly unusual ways. If all this arose on purpose or if it happened accidently on its own, its quite amazing that it has happened to her, of all people, who has a track record of getting extensive free media coverage from magazine covers that generate a unusually large amount of buzz. I’d say that Ms. Moore knows how to fan a good fire.

  178. Anonymous says:

    Listen Demi, you are gorgeous and we know it. Who cares about this? Looking closely at the images, it’s evident that somebody did something to one of the images and you have to agree. They’re different. But really, who gives a damn? It’s not like anybody thinks you sanctioned it. Please give this up before people start losing respect for you. It doesn’t matter to your fans. Why does it bother you so much? Let it go, for crying out loud.

  179. Steve says:

    Personally, I think Demi has a good case for suing her own laywers for making her look stupid.

    I certainly hope she not only gets a refund for this “work” from them but a payment on top for “damages” to her they created whilst supposedly working on her behalf.

    Demi – change your lawyers and just use a bit of common sense in future. Don’t let people start stuff like this in your name – and then charge you for it!

    Other celebrities – learn from this and avoid this company.

  180. jonasbn says:

    There seems to be an issue with the comparison link, it is lacking a ‘f’ and should read:

  181. Anonymous says:

    As a photographer, I can say that it is no doubt true, if a bit misleading, for the photographers in question to assert that they themselves did no retouching. This is because professional photographers are far less inclined to do their own retouching, choosing instead to either leave it to the client, or engage the services of a professional retoucher. Google “professional photo retouch” and see the wide range of individuals and studios who offer such services.

    In the bygone days of film photography, I would take my top work to a professional printer, whose lab skills were far superior to mine, and had the ability to bring out the image I imagined in short time. Were I still doing work at this level, I would definitely employ a Photoshop professional to enhance my work.

    Their statements are, therefore, most likely true, but misleading.

  182. leogobbo says:

    The most bizarre thing about the story, in my opinion, is that Demi Moore’s lawyer uses WordPerfect for his threatening-letter-writing needs!..

    There’s nothing threatening about Corel.

    I mean, OpenOffice – we can respect that. Microsoft Word, ok. But Corel’s WordPerfect? Really?

    Shame on you, Mr. Singer.

  183. revatman says:

    I dig the bigger hips.

  184. Anonymous says:

    excellent work on this all the way round, BB. keep up the good work, for all of us!

  185. hancocks says:

    C’mon, guys and gals, inflatable hips have been available for, like, YEARS now.

    Koreans like them inflated. OK? And Photoshop was NOT involved, because they always leave the cute little “PHOTOSHOPPED!” logo on the bottom.

    Jeez. Grow up, everybody.

  186. hancocks says:

    Sorry, forgot to mention — Lavely & Singer are AWESOME!! I heard they took money from a crippled newsy once.

  187. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get why her left and right hips aren’t symmetrical, even in the Korean version.

  188. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this wasn’t mentioned before (I haven’t read all the comments), but has anyone checked with W Korea to see if they altered the image pushing the hip out? They might have done this 1, because it looked a little weird because of the way the cloth draped on that side and the text covered the other matching side (which is why the image posted by Demi looks a little normal… it is missing the text) and 2 because they’ve laid text over the hip there and widening it out a little changes the contrast and makes the text a little more readable.

    Knowing how picky fashion magazines have been about retouching cover images since long before photoshop, this seems as plausable as anything else presented and bears investigating.

  189. Anonymous says:

    Moore’s lawyers need to get a life. The original post is free speech.

  190. Anonymous says:

    I’m not certain, but Martin Singer may be a Scientologist lawyer. A very brief search seems to link him with many Scientologists. And Demi Moore is supposedly a former Scientologists.

    I hope your not being hounded by Scientologists. They can be pretty nasty.

  191. Anonymous says:

    She actually looks better in the Korean cover. The US one looks all wrong. Her hip does seem to not line up with the outer edge of her thigh, implying she has a sort of ridge half way up her hip. The Korean cover looks good and natural.

    If it is a re-touch, it’s a pretty bad one. If I were her I would be suing the Photoshop artist for making such a bad job of it.

  192. Anonymous says:

    While there doesn’t seem to be too much potential to argue that the pic was not “edited”. The really crazy thing is that Ms. Moore is more lovely in whole than in part. Go figure.

  193. Anonymous says:

    Having worked magazine covers in the past, I know all the little tweaks that can go on at the behest of the creative department and editors… It’s hard to judge this without the high rez versions… but if you take screen grabs of the “original” and overlay the cover image with some transparency in Photoshop you see a shift taking place between the two. Not with the hip, however, but below. A little bit of trimming and distorting. Just enough to throw off the angles a bit. That plus the shading effects done to add “shape” below are enough to throw the hip off, visually IMO. The Korean version edit is obvious. Maybe it was done in response to the criticism that her hip looked odd in the first US version?

  194. Anonymous says:

    A follow up to my previous post about overlaying screen grabs. By “original” image I mean the one posted on the twitpic site….… Overlaying the cover image over that image is where you see things moving below the hips. Hard to tell what they did with the cover image exaactly or why…the finger with the ring moves as does some draping of the outfit. Her legs look slightly compressed on the cover, which makes her hip angle seem more straight in line with the thigh. What I see is that in the original image the quadracept muscle of her left leg sticks out a little more as it should because it’s forward and the leg would be bending at the knee. They might have grafted her legs and hand from another image? You can only tell so much without all the hi-res files. When you see the image of the other model wearing the same outfit, she also has a straight hip, but her left leg is behind her. Bottom line to me….Demi is in perfect physical condition imo and needed no enhancement!

  195. holmesworcester says:

    Linguistic tendencies to turn brand names into words aside, photo retouching doesn’t have to happen in proprietary software. GIMP, to give just one example, is a full-featured photo editor that respects your freedom!

  196. Glenn Fleishman says:

    Get our your calipers, man, if you can’t see the difference on her left hip (right side of photo). There’s a clearly different gap between her arm and body, and the shape is different.

  197. Xeni Jardin says:

    @bobcatgoldfinger, this really is silly to be arguing over, but I’ll respond as a point of clarification. The area at issue in the image is the lower right portion of the image, above the “R” in “Moore” on the US edition cover, and above the “E” in “Year” on the Korean cover. Try looking at the larger image, click on the image in this blog post to access the larger version. Lay them on top of each other in Photoshop, and you will see a difference. The only reason this is material is because of the content of the threatening letters.

  198. scifijazznik says:

    Could you tell me who you work for so that I know who not to hire?

  199. deejayqueue says:

    I also am an educated, trained graphic designer. The differences to me are obvious. Look at her left (camera right) wrist. In the US version, there is a distinctly larger gap between her hip and wrist, exacerbated by the fold of fabric forming a noticeable “shelf” whereas on the Korean cover that same fabric is actually making her hip bulge a little bit, and at any rate the gap is much smaller there.

    Then there’s the controversy over whether Demi’s entire body (even down to the dress itself) seems to have been photoshopped into the image (

    Plus, there are obvious skin tone changes between the photos, and we all know that these photoshoppers can rarely leave well enough alone, so who knows what else was done that we can’t even see?

    Point is, the image was definitely retouched, the entire internet caught it and now Demi’s PR people are trying to can it. Good luck with that.

  200. Anonymous says:

    wow you cant be that well trained… cuz its obvious, her hip dips in and her thigh does not.. and the reason for the “lameblast” is you put yourself out there saying im trained blah blah

  201. Anonymous says:


    Consider seeking an alternate profession

  202. Anonymous says:

    Get your eyes checked!

  203. Anonymous says:

    Well, then, as a trained graphic artist, why don’t you import them into Photoshop? Do you know why? Because you’re full of it.

  204. Anonymous says:

    Guess I won’t be hiring you any time soon!

    The difference in “hip flesh” between the two images is obvious.

    And she is still really underweight!

  205. demidan says:

    Really? No difference between the two? Oh yeah smacking you has become redundant. Sorry

  206. zyodei says:

    Successful troll is successful…

  207. joeposts says:

    “I hope you all feel better now.”

    I will once I stop laughing. I feel your pain.. who hasn’t missed the obvious. Hope you can afford the eye examination and the new classes.

  208. alisong76 says:

    Bobcat, now you know the perils of being Wrong On the Internet ;-)

  209. expedite says:

    The phrase of “we all” also included “can see…” I use the phrase “we all can see … because the end result is quite blatant.” The meaning of this sentence is to show that the gaffe by W does not require an experts eye to see. The ability, or lack of, to use photoshop does not preclude any one form the discussion. I dislike it when someone prefaces their idea with an “expert” qualification. I feel that that for this sort of discussion it could be a strong arm tactic, i.e. “I am an expert, and you are not, therefore listen to my opinion” I provided a counter, against any one who may attempt to suppress other opinions. I believe that one’s ideas should not need preface there substance should gauge their merit. Although you were taking up the minority view here, so I can see why strengthening your position in this manner might be desirable for you. Regardless it seems you have acknowledged the manipulation, so it is a moot issue for me.

    On the other hand I agree with you, I would not want to speak for BB, or its readers They, we, already do that quite well : )

  210. Anonymous says:

    Well, deejayqueue, this link certainly changes the, er, complexion of the argument. Stellarfind!

    captcha: Research Rope!

  211. Antinous / Moderator says:

    And she is still really underweight!

    I’d call her athletic. And she’s probably at about her ideal BMI for health. Funnily enough, some women would rather be healthy than provide curves for male ogling.

  212. johnofjack says:

    bobcatgoldfinger, could the person be angry because you look like an astroturfer?

  213. Antinous / Moderator says:


    Apparently I owe you a beer.

  214. Cowicide says:

    johnofjack, bobcat isn’t an astroturfer, he’s probably an Iranian Government Image Manipulation Processor (iGimp).