I've moved to JennetteFulda.com

The PhotoShop Diet

In my continuing effort to bring you the news weeks after it happens, there was recently a little brouhaha in the blogosphere when it was discovered a photo of incoming CBS news anchor Katie Couric was airbrushed to make her thinner.

If this was just some coke-addled celebrity on the cover of Maxim it would be no big deal since we all know those people could show up to a photo shoot with a goiter on the side of their neck and it would be airbrushed out. But because Katie Couric is a news person and news people are generally in the business of reporting the truth, or at least reading a teleprompter with lots of gravitas, this stirred up a reaction. Personally, I think it shows how much news and entertainment and public relations do blur into each other. Whenever I see a network news show doing a story on a popular TV show that just happens to air on that same network, I feel like I’m watching a paid advertisement just as much as if they were hawking the Flowbee.

However, in the interest of full disclosure, I have a confession to make. I was once on the PhotoShop diet too. It was years ago, before I ever started this blog. It’s a bit pricey, currently $649.00 for the latest upgrade, but it’s guaranteed to be the fastest way you’ll ever lose weight without having your arms cut off. It happened when I was putting pictures together for a collage frame. I wanted to include a picture of me and my oldest friend, but I looked really fat in the most recent photo of us. Which really shouldn’t have been such a surprise because I was really fat. Funny how that works out. So I booted up PhotoShop and with the help of the clone stamp, the lasso, the feather affect and some alpha layers I got this:

Yeah, that’s me and She-Ra. We go way back. She’s put on some pounds recently. There just hasn’t been much to do since they defeated the Evil Horde and restored freedom to Etheria. Fascists regimes might be bad for society, but rising up against them provide great opportunities for cardio workouts.

The altered photo is still in my photo collage which is on my desk at work. I look at that photo from time to time and laugh a little on the inside. Laughing out loud at my desk intermittently for no apparent reason might scare my co-workers. I think I did an okay job. The hardest part is getting rid of the fat around the face, but since this image was being printed out at a small size I didn’t have to do that great of a job.

So no hard feelings, Katie. None of us are naturally pixel perfect, not even She-Ra.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
Home: Main index


Amanda Jane • September 12, 2006 at 1:56 pm

Wow what a difference! Amazing what you can do on computers these days, although you can do that in real life too as you are doing a great job of… losing weight and getting smaller. Keep up the great work, on the PC and in real life! Greetings from Holland, Amanda Jane.


Hilly • September 12, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Ok that is amazing…Karl has this button called “thinnify” of some other random name in a different photo editing software he uses. I’ve been tempted to get that program but then, who am I kidding but myself, seriously?


Mymsie • September 12, 2006 at 5:44 pm

Eggggcellent work. I too have dipped my toe in the deceitful waters of Lake Photoshop. Most recently, I fixed a family photo, but surely I’ll use my powers for evil as well sometime soon.


Dawn • September 12, 2006 at 5:58 pm

Too funny! And you know what? They pay some big bucks to people who fix those photos professionally!! I’m beginning to understand that none of the pictures we see are reality.



christie • September 13, 2006 at 12:42 am

I wish I knew how to use photoshop. I would do that to a picture of myself just for motivation purposes. I’d give anything to have a VISUAL of what I might look like skinny!


Greta • September 13, 2006 at 2:46 am

I am a professional wedding photographer and I make people thinner using PhotoShop ALL THE TIME!! The easy way to do it is to make a duplicate layer so you are not working on your primary image, lasso loosely around the region you’d like to slim, then go to FILTER> LIQUIFY

Use the top left tool that looks like a finger. Make the brush big and place the center of the big brush a the edge of the body and push in. You can “freeze” portions that you don’t want to touch by painting with the freeze tool before you do the thinning. You have to be very careful not to smoosh too much because you can make it not look like a photo and distort the heck out of it. However, this is VERY fast and VERY effective if you are careful. Just don’t stand next to a brick wall if you want to use liquify later because it distorts the background alongside and anything vertical will get bends.


Sue • September 13, 2006 at 3:32 am

Katie Couric’s comment on those photos:

I liked the first picture better because there’s more of me to love.” (TIME)

Oooh, thanks Greta! It’s fun to distort :P


K • September 13, 2006 at 5:55 am

I hope my wedding photographer didn’t do that to me! Maybe I’ve been living in a fool’s paradise.

(Actually, there are plenty of photos taken by other people in which I look the same…)

Odd how we can fool ourselves in front of the mirror, but photos often come as a surprise.


Marla • September 13, 2006 at 7:12 am

OMG, I thought I was the only one to thinnify photos of myself!

And thanks to Greta for the tips; my next efforts will be more profesh.



TC • September 13, 2006 at 11:34 am

You did an amazing job! I was always surprised how I looked in photos. I would say things like it was the way I was holding my chin, or sitting or standing. anything to deny the photographic evidence of my appearance.


Noreen • September 13, 2006 at 12:14 pm


Love your site! Especially considering I weigh the same as you when you first started. Your accomplishments are very inspiring.

Keep up the fantastic work!

Katie…..tsk tsk……..


jae • September 13, 2006 at 4:13 pm

What I think is so great about your picture is that you were a generous friend and thinned She-Ra out as well! :) ~j


Shrinkingmom • September 13, 2006 at 7:16 pm

The mother of a friend of mine, msteechur.com, photoshopped her thinner . . . when my friend noticed, she was upset, but that was the spark that began her weight loss. (One hundred pounds plus.)


Whitney • September 14, 2006 at 3:51 am

Ooooh…I really want Photoshop.

You did a great job! Can I send you some of my photos???




scfrogprincess • December 24, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Hey, at least you altered your friend a bit too! ;)


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Lick the Produce: Odd things I've put in my mouth
Half-Marathon: Less fun than it looks
European Vacation

"What distinguishes us one from another is our dreams and what we do to make them come about." - Joseph Epstein

Learn to run...online! Up & Running online running courses