'We just don't do it': magazine denies photoshopping Mauboy pictures
The photo in question: Jessica's Mauboy's as appears in The Australian Women's Weekly. Photo: Supplied
She stars in a glamorous photo shoot for the Christmas edition of The Australian Women's Weekly. But it's hard not to notice that Jessica Mauboy doesn't look herself.
The proudly indigenous singer and actor appears to have a lighter skin colour in the photograph, with her arms in particular looking white, leading to questions from Fairfax Media about whether the images were photoshopped.
But the Weekly's editor, Helen McCabe, insists there was absolutely nothing done to alter the portrait of Mauboy, which was taken in Darwin. She said it was ''incomprehensible'' the magazine would portray an indigenous star as having lighter skin. ''It's a lighting thing,'' McCabe said. ''It's just completely incomprehensible that we would do that.
Jessica Mauboy. Photo: Quentin Jones
''There's no gain in it. It's not like the old days where you wouldn't put a black person on a cover either, the old days of the magazine world. It wouldn't occur to us to touch her skin colour.''
Mauboy, who has an indigenous mother and an Indonesian father, was unavailable for comment about the picture. But the questions raised about the portrait come after similar controversies in the United States surrounding the portrayal of black stars, including Beyonce Knowles, in magazines.
Questions were raised earlier this year over a promotional photograph where Knowles was portrayed as looking many shades lighter than her real-life skin tone. McCabe said readers are well aware of the issues surrounding Photoshop - an issue that she had directly addressed as an editor - but she was adamant nothing was done deliberately in this case.
''We get completely caned for all sorts of things which actually aren't true,'' she said.
''Obviously photoshopping occurs at a level on all photos to some extent … but the truth is a lot of it is just lighting and make-up and hair. It's not the really evil stuff. This [picture] is a really good example of the tricks photos can play without going to that extra magic box and pulling out the trickery. We just don't do it.''
McCabe said the photographer, Alana Landsberry, was ''mortified'' at the suggestion that Mauboy's skin had been lightened. ''We have not changed her skin colour nor would we under any circumstance,'' Landsberry said.