Everything is not as it seems in the gorgeous shot of Canadian model Coco Rocha. Her hair pulled back into an elegant centre parting, her trademark enviable cheekbones look amazing as ever, and she is wearing a dress that appears to be cut down to her navel. The 23 year old has written on her blog that she was, in fact wearing a body suit underneath the dress she wore for the front cover of Elle Brazil. She is furious that the magazine has made her appear naked without her consent and with the aid of airbrushing. Coco also added that has a no nudity clause in her contract which has been violated by Elle Brazil as the editing gives "the impression of [her] showing much more skin than [she is] comfortable with."

This isn’t the first time that fashion magazines have been heavy handed with the virtual paintbrush. Everyone remembers how, in 2003, British GQ slimmed down pictures of actress Kate Winslet to such an extent that she said it was 'excessive'. Editor Dylan Jones played down the controversy by saying; "We do that for everyone, whether they are a size 6 or a size 12." This blasé attitude to what, for most readers, is a very provocative issue, brings to light that those responsible for such editing may have become so desensitised to what people actually look like, they do not know where to stop.

Photographs are retouched in every type of media; such is the essence of advertising. But we are also already aware of the detrimental effects this can have on the viewer or reader, notably damaging the self-esteem. Such images show a perfect being, with none of the flaws or defects that every human has. This can raise the bar of what people should look like, how smooth your complexion should be or how white your teeth should be, to unattainable levels. No one looks like that without a bit of help, but images that have been retouched give this impression of celebrities and models as being 'higher entities' and that that is what we should aspire to be like. This unrealistic desire to look like the models and celebrities we see in the media can be the root of dissatisfaction, frustration and self loathing that is all based on a lie: not even all of the make up, diets or personal trainers in the world would make anyone look that perfect. It is all technology.

On the other hand, don’t we all know that what we see in the media is a bettered version of the truth? Is it too patronising to think that everyone believes everything they see/read in the media in spite of the fact that as there has been extensive publicity on the matter? In particular, the fashion industry is well known to be far from 'real life' (it is an art form). Photographs like these are purely based on aesthetics and aren’t meant to depict anything everyday or ordinary. So, surely they should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Sources speaking out against the use of airbrushing are numerous, including a campaign launched by political party, the Liberal Democrats in 2009, which gained support from the National Centre for Eating Disorders amongst other credible organisations. The sad thing is, is that with body image being such a sensitive issue (especially in women), measuring oneself up to more-than-perfect images in the media will evoke negative feelings in a lot of people. This being irrespective of the fact that we all know they aren’t real. Regardless of all of the reasoning and common sense in the world, you just can’t help having your confidence knocked by looking at such perfect bodies.