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The Hoax Photo Archive — Photo Fakery Throughout History
Category: Magazine Covers
Dati’s Disappearing Ring. (Nov 19, 2008) Photo editors at Le Figaro deleted a ring from the French justice minister's hand in order to make her appear less glamorous. More…
Martha’s Last Laugh. (March 2005) Newsweek indicated nowhere on the cover that this shot was actually a composite image of Martha Stewart's head pasted onto a model's body. More…
The Real Julia. (July 2003) Julia Roberts' head was pasted onto a younger version of her body. More…
Kate Winslet’s Legs. (February 2003) Kate Winslet complained that photo editors made her look too skinny on this GQ cover. More…
Cut-and-Paste Diversity. (September 2000) University of Wisconsin-Madison officials pasted a black student's face into a crowd scene that appeared on the cover of the undergraduate application brochure (left). After the student newspaper revealed the alteration, embarrassed university officials explained they had wanted to highlight the campus's racial diversity, but had been unable to find a suitable photo. So they created one. The university subsequently attempted to recall all the brochures. More…
O.J.‘s Darkened Mug Shot. (June 27, 1994) When Time magazine used a mug shot of O.J. Simpson on its June 27th cover (left), it darkened the photo and reduced the size of the prisoner ID number. However, Newsweek ran the same mug shot on its cover (right) that week, without altering it. The two covers appeared side-by-side on newsstands, making Time's decision to darken the photo far more visible. Critics charged Time with racism. More…
Fire on Ice. (Feb 16, 1994) Harding and Kerrigan were seen skating together on this Newsday cover, but the scene never occurred in real life. More…
The Disappearing Nipples. (Jan/Feb 1994) A photo of Kate Moss taken by celebrity portraitist Sante D'Orazio appeared on the July 19, 1993 cover of Australia's Who Weekly magazine. Six months later, the same photo appeared on the cover of American Photo. But careful readers spotted a difference. Moss's nipples had disappeared. In response to queries, American Photo explained it had digitally removed her nipples "as a matter of taste." More…
White Hot Mama. (July 1992) Ann Richards, governor of Texas, appeared on the cover of Texas Monthly in a "Bad Girl" pose astride a white-and-chrome Harley-Davidson. But Richards hadn't posed for the photo because she was unable to schedule time for a photoshoot. Texas Monthly created the shot by combining a stock photo of her head with a picture of a model. Richards later said that she loved the photo. More…
Madonna’s Gapless Glamour. (December 1990) Madonna got mad when she discovered a photo editor had digitally closed the gap between her front teeth. More…
Oprah’s Head Transplant. (August 26, 1989) Oprah Winfrey appeared on the cover of TV Guide (left) lounging in a gauzy dress on top of a pile of money. She looked glamorous, but only the head belonged to her. The body came from a 1979 publicity shot of Ann-Margret (right) taken for a Rockette special. More…
The Case of the Moving Pyramids. (February 1982) In what became the first high-profile example of digital photo manipulation, National Geographic moved the pyramids slightly closer together to fit within the frame of the cover. More…
The Master Race. (May 8, 1943) The May 8, 1943 cover of the British illustrated magazine Parade showed an unkempt, dour-looking German soldier with the satirical caption, "Master Race." But the man wasn't actually a German soldier. The photo was actually a piece of British government propaganda. The photographer later admitted the man was "the ugliest Arab they could find in the streets of Cairo... whom they dressed up in a sort of uniform." More…

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