Verily: A Women’s Magazine with a Strict ‘No Photoshop’ Policy


It turns out that it does exist: a magazine that prides itself on not altering their models’ faces or bodies in Photoshop. Verily is a fashion and lifestyle magazine aimed at women 18 to 35, and even though that is prime demographic territory when it comes to Photoshop use, the whole purpose of the magazine is to at least begin reversing this trend.

According to the Huffington Post, which first took notice of the young magazine last week, there is a strict no-retouching policy in place at Verily. Their mandate:

Whereas other magazines artificially alter images in Photoshop to achieve the so-called ideal body type or leave a maximum of three wrinkles, Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models.


The magazine intends to celebrate real women, whose “crows feet, freckles, or less-than-rock-hard body, are aspects that contribute to [their] beauty and should be celebrated — not shamed, changed or removed,” Verily’s Ashley Crouch told HuffPost.

This no-Photoshop approach goes hand-in-hand with one of the magazine’s taglines: “Less of who you should be, more of who you are.”

To find out more about Verily and their drastically different approach to the modern-day women’s magazine, head over to the magazine’s website by clicking here.

(via Huffington Post)

  • Brad Martin

    So I assume there will also be no makeup, no flattering lighting, no professional composition in the pictures either? And what about using Lightroom for fixing white balance, and cropping and fixing color or exposure issues? Or are they just jumping on “No Photoshop” as trendy marketing BS.

  • D M Weis

    Nah, they’re just like Dove who complains about Photoshop being used and then uses it anyway.

  • lidocaineus

    Did you not read the second paragraph where it says exactly what they won’t do?

  • zed

    Did you not read the first and second comment?

  • superduckz

    I commend them and wish them much success.

  • lidocaineus

    Yes. They said “…Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models.” Does it say anything about makeup? Lighting? White balance? No.

    To “Photoshop” something has become nomenclature for editing. It would’ve been vague if they had left it at that, but then they specified “this is why we will not do.” If this is unclear to you, I’m not sure what else to say.

  • Jose Escobar

    Flattering light, composition, white balance…. its part of the art of photographing and making a beautiful image out of your subject. Capturing your subject beautifully, not altering it. Keep in mind this is a magazine and they need to put out great images. Or would you rather the magazine have photo similar to your profile photo? or.. Selfies in the bathroom mirror?

  • David Vaughn

    You’re arguing semantics, which is a weak stance given the statements in the article itself.

    “Verily never alters the body or face structure of the Verily models.”

    There. I have simplified the article for you. You don’t have to make anymore baseless assumptions. Yay! :)

  • Jane Hobson

    They still need to fix the contents, with articles such as “how to speak HIS language” advertised on the cover! Doesn’t match the tagline of “Less of who you should be, more of who you are.” in the slightest!

  • superduckz

    Sorry but there’s a lot of tiresome arguments out there about makeup and
    adjusting contrasts etc in defense of some obviously outlandish edits. It’s bordering on idiocy. There’s a world of difference between moving the sliders around to change contrast and clarity (or the models wearing makeup as I’ve read other places) and literally changing the shape of a models body and head to absurd and even impossible proportions. And Julia Roberts is NOT unattractive but she’s also NOT 22… but you’d never know it from the covers at the checkouts. I wish this magazine all the success in the world. There are plenty of stunning women who frankly don’t need the help. It’s the editors who need the therapy. Not the consumers.

  • Mescalamba

    Well, its cause full blown feminist magazine wouldnt be successful. And another thing is, that in case someone tries to defy laws of nature, they always fail badly..

    That no-retouch policy is sorta nice, tho Im not exactly sure where is difference between good MUA and PhotoShop..

  • dustin dowell

    I don’t have a problem with photoshopping images for magazines. I have a problem with EXTREME facial and body re-proportioning and airbrushing in magazines. Sure, remove that blemish and dark spots, those fly away hairs, improve clarity, but no, it’s not allowed to remove those wrinkles or make the model look 10 pounds lighter.

  • Alex

    Brad, it’s called knowing how to use your camera, we did it with film when you were still a sperm in your fathers nuts.

  • Matt Wheeler

    This is somewhat one of my dreams: to eliminate the distorted views created by man and the manipulation of models. I’m completely for editing photos, but I’m talking about strictly from the standpoints of lighting and color manipulation and not distortion. There’s a strong contrast in my views: I’ll do plenty of color manipulations and filters for artstics styling, but I’m not going to give you that flat perfect skin, dramatically sharp jawline and unattainably beautiful eyes.

    This company does edit their photos, but there is a very, very distinct line between editing and distorting, and if you’re moving skin around (aside from maybe removing a zit, because it is realistic to have near-unblemished skin) and creating something that isn’t real, you need to check your morals, stand your ground and stop following the conformist flow.

    And as a model you should stand for yourself and say “I am who I am.” If an editor is modifying your structure, they’re basically saying you aren’t good enough and directly disrespecting you.

    /end rant

    p.s: You can’t imagine the amount of respect I have for this magazine company now. I’d subscribe if it had anything relatable to me…but it doesn’t…

  • Josiah Judge

    Why then do they not also institute a policy avoiding the use of near-anorexia ridden models, and the 6’1″ plus policy, and such? I think the whole idea to be quite moronic. Yes, it seems as though such leanings are pulling people to desire an unattainable physique and that whole rant. However, art has always done such. Not solely with female models. Paintings, photography (HDR, trick, etc), drawings, film, poetry, music, and writings of many sorts all paint an often surreal picture of the reality in order to play on the way our mind perceives such experiences. To say that to Photoshop a model in order to achieve a certain feel and response should be banned or prohibited based on the reasoning that it is offensive to certain groups, body types, etc is a bit ill-informed in my opinion. Along the lines of that reasoning, it could be gathered that such reality distortions should not be exacted in film, paintings, or writings. Ergo, it is in fact the exploitation, exaggeration, and various manipulations of the way we experience these realities that makes art appealing. Consider the legendary film Saving Private Ryan. Consider what makes it so surreal and nostalgic, and utterly captivating. Contemplate Mr. Vincent van Gogh’s masterful Starry Night. Again, I say it is the way such interpretations of reality are distorted and redefined that makes them appealing. Besides, anyone with half a braincell can devise that such idealistic and artistic realizations cannot be attained by a real living human. There is in fact no Photoshop for life. Although, were there, I’d wager many would utilize it. :)

  • Carl Meyer

    Avoiding flaws is the easiest way to avoid Photoshop.

  • Anthony

    Life is not “either A or B, but nothing in between.” Of course they’ll use makeup, lights, etc. But that’s not the point, or even what this article is addressing. It’s addressing the use of Photoshop to alter appearance. Geez Brad, read the article.

  • MMielech

    18-35, huh? Heh, reminds me of one of my favorite New Yorker cartoons. It featured a young girl walking a little ahead of an older man carrying a lot of bags and boxes from her shopping spree. She was saying to him: “But, George, I don’t have to work out. I’m eighteen.”

  • Renato Murakami

    Whatever floats your boat right?
    Like you can use 20% of women and Photoshop it for a idealized portrayal of beauty, or you can use 5% of women who has it naturally.
    Take a look at the magazine’s website, and the beauty portrayed on several pages are still far from being representative of anything.
    Put simply: it’s not the tools, it’s the culture.
    Not that I’m blaming the magazine for trying… but honestly, people buy these magazines because of the idealized portrayal of beauty, not otherwise.
    It’s a high standard to achieve, which is why people want to see it.
    Put cellulite, keloids, ingrown nails, acne, warts, eczema, calluses, overweight people, flabby skin, and all other sorts of very natural occurences and we’ll talk.
    Other than that, the difference between idealized portrayal of beauty either by using photoshop or by selecting models very carefully and choosing what to show or not (not to mention thick layers of make up, strategic lighting, strategic use of clothing among others) doesn’t matter much when it comes to putting pressure on women to achieve the ideal looks. If anything, showing models who are perfect as they are and using a no photoshop stance might be even worse.
    Photoshop isn’t the root of all evil. It’s a tool. You only get bad results if whoever is using it don’t know how to do it.

  • greenarcher02

    So you suggest they make mirror selfies like yours? At least they still show the women as they are. And fixing white balance is now altering? Last time I checked cameras “alter” the actual white balance of the scene. Maybe we should just ditch magazines and see them live instead. In sunlight. What a douche.

  • greenarcher02

    He prefers mirror selfies.

  • greenarcher02

    Have you seen the photoshop those magazines do? They use thin models AND make them thinner in PS. At least this magazine shows something attainable…

  • greenarcher02

    They actually do have “not so idealized” models.. At least on their website.

  • Brad Martin

    Yes, that’s my point, flattering lighting, composition, makeup, color correction, etc are all tools just like Photoshop to make a beautiful and enjoyable picture. To call out one of those tools as somehow “evil” because of the moral panic about Photoshop that is now running amuck is just PR designed to get sites like this to advertise about the magazine. Tools can used well or they can be used poorly, but lets not pretend that this announcement is anything more then a stupid PR stunt for publicity.

    PS. I looked through their site. Nice bunch of skinny girls in all their pictures. I guess plus sized girls can take a hike and find a different magazine. Which do you think would be healthier and have more long term impact, showing a selection of women that highlights the beauty of all body types, or just not using Photoshop?

  • Brad Martin

    So Alex, are you implying that back in the “good ol’ days” they didn’t dodge and burn and airbrush the hell out of photos that went into fashion magazines? They just took the picture, developed it and slapped it up on the page?

    “Today Vanity Fair announced that they will no longer dodge and burn the pictures that appear in the magazine.”

    PS. Thanks for the complement on my age.

  • Furunomoe

    Oh well, I’ll use GIMP instead…

  • Genkakuzai

    Yeah it’s always sort of amusing when they have articles about how ‘you’re great the way you are’ followed by a couple of pages with ‘the latest diets’.

  • D.G. Brown

    Dear fellow photographers here in the comments, you’re all getting caught up in a silly terminology difference and missing a great point in this article.

    To catch you up, outside of our world, the verb “to photoshop” *does not* mean things like standard lightroom edits. Non-photographers can’t even see things like cropping, adjusting exposure, dodging, burning, sharpening, etc (aka, those things that keep us up at night).

    To the rest of the world, “to photoshop” means to do something unnatural or untrue. To composite things that didn’t happen. To make people into shapes that they are not. Basically, to use a computer to lie to them.

    And I love the idea of magazines throwing this aspect of “photography” away! There’s a huge difference between attainable beauty (nice dress, makeup, flattering light and pose) and deforming every actress into a 20-something Barbie(R) doll. Even if this magazine isn’t perfect, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  • Jason Wright

    The point is most of those tools are simply getting the best out of what is there. Physically changing the models appearance to be slimmer or have a blemish removed (other than by makeup) is and out and out lie as to what they look like.
    Any woman can learn to do good make up to look how they want, but they can’t photoshop out wrinkles while talking to friends. That is the difference. What is attainable, realistic and what is quite simply a computer generated image that you would never see walking down the street.

    Don’t get pedantic about lighting and colour “correction” as it has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

  • Jason Wright

    Admitting that men and women are different is in no way degrading or insulting to either. We need to start celebrating our differences and stop pretending everybody is exactly the same.
    Yes, Men and Women DO speak a different language because we are different. Helping people communicate better by learning what the other means when they say/hear something? How can that be a bad thing.

    I would certainly LOVE an article on how to speak “HER” language that helped me understand and communicate better with my wife, could save me a few arguments.
    You seem to have this assumption that the magazine seeks to change the reader in some way that is negative to being “who you are” rather than just educate them. Try to stop assuming things and seeing them in a negative light and the world will be a nicer place for all.

  • Jason Wright

    Dodge and burn doesn’t make the model thinner.

  • Jason Wright

    I agree, I think the models themselves should stand up and say they don’t like the editing.
    Every time you edit somebody to be different you slap them in the face and say ” You are not good enough as you are.”
    That said, they want to work like everybody else and who is going to hire a model that caused a fuss.

    The Magazines and editors need to act first, hopefully this trend will continue.

  • Becca Gulliver

    Well said and I totally agree with you.

  • Reality Cheque

    Now if only we could get nude mags of women without Photoshop retouching… If I wanted to see fake girls naked, I’d just fap to Hentai.

  • Gil

    really? you’re really comparing “makup” to “photoshop”! I can “makup” thinner hips, thicker lips, bigg boobs and perfectly round an smooth buts with makeup? how about enhancing eye color? Can I do that with makeup too?

    photoshop has become so usual that people don’t even think about what they’re doing! And when someone comes and says “we do it old school, with light spots and a bit of makeup” they are the “fakers” the “posers”!

    when was the last time you shoot with a 35mm?

  • moron

    12 guest votes up on a stupid statement? right. keep voting yourself up.

  • Antonio Carrasco

    So the only two types of magazines are “full blown feminist magazines” and magazines that completely reinforce gender stereotypes?
    There can’t be a middle ground for normal women in the middle?

  • Jack

    ..said no one ever.

  • Pat Bee

    Team Leader: “Hey! Hey… heeeeey… what’s cool nowadays? What are the hip kids into and not into? eh?”

    Team Member: “Uh, organic RayBans?”

    Team Leader: “Yeah… the bandwagon effect is important, yes. But If you go any any clothing retailer’s website, what is the first category listed? … Women. That’s because single women spend their paychecks and buy into marketing in an effort to feel attractive and interesting. But some women are pissed about corporate projections of what beauty is, and we can get in on the ground floor right now!”

    Team Member: “Great idea boss! I love all of your ideas, but how can we do this?”

    Team Leader: “It’s simple. Like Dove (who is owned by Uni-Lever, who also owns Axe), we’ll say we support natural beauty! We’ll market all of this as if we’re only interested in what women are are and really look like. Buuuuuut… we’ll be really careful to only chose women who have never gone through childbirth, or other natural processes like eating food so that it still digs deep into their psyches. We’ll call it… ‘Say No To Photoshop.’, and women will buy it!”

    Team Member: “Sounds really smart and great boss. Too bad we won’t be able to sell advertisements to Adobe.”

  • johnny

    There is a big difference between being kind to what is really there by using good lighting, and making someone 6inches taller, 10kg lighter and moving cheek bones higher in post. although if they were truly serious they would use more ‘normal body-type’ models, and at least cut back on make-up.

  • Doc Pixel

    ^^^ Shows that you have absolutely no basic understanding of “light and shadow”.

  • Doc Pixel

    I also agree with those calling this a PR stunt first and foremost…. mainly because of the “Photoshopping” that they are refusing to do is so easy to refrain from:

    a) there are 100’s upon 100’s (1000’s?) of very good looking models to start from;
    b) where a decent MUA and a discerning photographer that understands light and shadow has to do little more than adjust lighting/toning controls in post.

    As for

    1) fixing garment mistakes, hairs, dust, etc.;
    2) dodging/burning to enhance certain features and/or garments and accessories;
    3) telling their potential advertisers, which is potentially 50% of the magazines page content to stop using PS-enhanced images or they won’t take the ad…

    …I call out BS and using a”trendy topic” to lure viewers.

    That “over-enhancement, filter-hacks, and obvious misuse of the powerful liquify tool” by amateurs posing as pro photographers and/or retouchers, does not give a publication the right to label all of the uses of PS as “photoshopping”… regardless of their qualifiers, for what “photoshopping” means to them.

    Fact is that their will most likely not be even one (1!) image that has not passed through PS at least once before being published.

  • Jason Wright

    While I see your point, if you can see something behind the model that should be obscured by their body, no amount of lighting trickery can achieve that. There is a difference between “looking thin” and physically being smaller to the point more of the background is visible than with a larger model.
    One is good use of light, the other is a lie.

  • Eugene Chok

    you completely missed his point trying to win on semantics, what he is trying to say is photoshop is just a tool we use, some take it too far, but make up does most of the work anyway…. and then we use light, certain lenses, we shape people to be more flattering ie posing, so why do they take away one tool but not the others? should we ban dodging and burning in the dark room too? i mean as a photographer you should be able to see his argument…

  • lidocaineus

    No, I didn’t miss the point. Semantics are only vague and you would be correct *if* someone hasn’t further defined them. They did. In the original article. In this article again, quoted. And pointed out by me. And a ton of other commenters.

    This is basic reading comprehension.

  • Eugene Chok

    you still missed his point and in the end thats what matters

  • Eugene Chok

    lol maybe they are just trying to save money on their post production budget

  • lidocaineus

    Right. Apparently everyone else missed the point as well, but only you and him are the only ones who seem to understand the truth behind what the magazine is quoted as directly saying.

    Unless you can actually point out where they’re using Photoshop as stand-in for ANY Photoshop editing, you’re just flat out wrong. They specifically say what they will not do. It doesn’t get any more ambiguous than that. You’re basically saying “That car is red, not blue!” when someone said “That car is moving fast.” It’s tangential and has no bearing on what’s being discussed.

  • Eugene Chok

    16 likes implies more then two people, in fact it implies 16 people minimum, as did the other person who implied you did not understand his comments … anyway i have actual editing to do, you know in light room and photoshop, things that photographers use to get images to their clients… good luck with your degree in english

  • lidocaineus

    Yes, 16 likes, which includes 13 guest votes (which you can upvote yourself after 30 minutes or so, over and over), versus 28 to mine, most of which are not guest votes. Or 25 to David Vaugn’s, who says the same thing. Or all the downvotes to the original poster’s, which actually requires a login and can’t be repeated.

    And oh yes, the “I’m too busy to actually discuss what I’m arguing against, but trust me, I’m right” argument. If you’re going to bring up some kind of debate, at least follow through instead of tossing out empty arguments and running away, though to be honest, If your logical processing and reading comprehension skills are anywhere near your photographic ability, I feel bad for your clients (you can’t even spell the software you use correctly).