This Week in Photo-Manipulation: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

crazy ex girlfriend

This fall, the CW introduced the prime-time television viewer to Rachel Bloom. She not only stars in the musical-comedy-drama “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” but she is also one of its creators. And I’ve heard great things about this show. Critics have called it “smart, dark, and inventive”; “charming, ambitious”; and “crazy good.” But that promo photo…

What is happening with her cleavage? Why is it practically touching her collar bone? The breasts peeking out don’t seem connected to the ones beneath her sweater.

Bloom’s body doesn’t actually look like that.

Rachel-Bloom-2

She’s quite lovely and has a great figure. So why give her weirdly detached cleavage that sit far north of where her actual breasts are? Because…sexy?

I don’t have a problem with her (or anyone) showing some skin. But I’m pretty sure that’s not her skin.

So why do I care about a photo that was created to get the attention that I am admittedly giving it? First, I’m bugged by the message that Rachel Bloom’s body—as it is—isn’t good enough. Second, I’m confused about what the picture is meant to communicate about the actual TV show. Is this supposed to be a visual representation of “crazy”: wide eyes; full, purple lips; and a confusing bustline? Are we supposed to look at that picture and think, “Oh, that girl is cra-cra!” I’m not sure about other reactions, but when I first saw that picture I assumed the retoucher had never actually seen a woman.

I think the photo as it is could have been fine without bonus boobs looking like they’re plotting to strangle Bloom. And one picture does not set in motion an epidemic of body shame. But this one photo exists among many others. Images retouched so that the subject has features that do not occur naturally.

So, yes. I’m probably spending way too much time worrying about this one photo. But we have to start somewhere, right?

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