Cosplay Photoshopping Makes Me Sad

We feature a lot of cosplay on this site, and I believe even this exact picture once or twice, so it sort of makes me sad to discover it’s a fake.

Well, in a sense. The boobs remain the same before the retouching (shocking) but everything from arm pudge to laugh lines have been altered for the final version of the picture we’ve all seen.

I understand certain filters to make pictures lighter or more crisp or what not, but this was a very pretty girl before all the alterations. Did we really need to shave inches off her arm to appreciate this awesome Rikku costume more? I don’t think so.

  • Luke

    I concur: very sad.

  • tuffy

    for real. She looks great before the photoshop, whats the point?

  • T.J.

    Much cuter before the shop!

  • “Did we really need to shave inches off her arm to appreciate this awesome Rikku costume more? ”

    No but… let’s be honest. How many cosplay galleries are featured with girls that aren’t hot? Don’t get me wrong, there are many cosplayers that make amazing costumes that aren’t supermodels. But more often than not it’s the Jessica Nigri’s that get 99% of the attention.

    Yea it’s cool seeing live versions of popular characters, and I’m sure we appreciate the intricate costume work, but let’s not kid ourselves by thinking it’s not largely about sex appeal…

  • Bad Acid

    They managed to make the smile look fake as opposed to genuine from the original. (In regards to is she smiling for real or just for the photo). That’s one thing I tend to notice and appreciate about photographs. That is sad.

  • Bernie

    I’m a photographer and this kind of crap really hacks me off. By all means get rid of the odd zit and bring up the mid range if I get the exposure a bit out but this kind of crap makes the model look plastic and just wrong.

    I like to see skin texture you know, like real girls have.

  • SWa

    o be quiet it turns you on more

  • Mark

    Why get rid of the necklace? It’s a nice necklace. Also, why change the scarf color? And the slightly longer bit of hair on the scarf? That’s just pointless.

    Seriously, originally showing this as is, with maybe a bit of lighting, would’ve been better and much less pointless. She was cute before, and was genuinely happy (as Bad Acid mentioned).

  • H

    This just ruined my day and it is only 07:37

  • anon

    Definitely better before the retouching.

    @romple your point is moot, nobody is saying cosplay isn’t about sex appeal. The point is this girl already had sex appeal before
    the image was shopped to make her look like a mannequin.

  • Ethan

    Damn, she looked way better before the photoshopping.

  • Lol, you realize about 80% of cosplay pictures that look ‘bad-ass’ have more than likely been retouched to this extent.

    Probably by the model or at her request. Many of my models want massive amounts of face edits. One of my best models would not stand for letting me publish a photo of her with heavy ‘laugh lines’ and bags under the eyes. Trimming up the ‘fat’ is also expected with this level of editing. (Although the chin and smile did not need editing) It’s all about the end product. She was going for Rikku who is very active and thin. She wouldn’t have a thick arm, so that was taken care of, expertly. If no one had seen the original, you’d never know.

    If this cosplay was not edited, it definitely would be much less impressive. There is no doubt the girl in the picture is beautiful, however the cosplay is subpar before edits. The edits take it to the next level. I like it. It’s not like she’s faking anything needed for the cosplay at all.. Scarf color, but lets face it, it’s more interesting now. Before edits, most cosplay fans wouldn’t look twice at this picture.

    This is the same type of edits you’d see with wedding photography, fashion, portrait, etc. It looks like it was a spur of the moment, gray outdoor photoshoot.. if not just a quick snapshot. It’s not like they had the lighting, or means to make expert photography. That is where photoshop comes in.

    Then again, I’m a certified photoshop pro, so I’m probably biased. I’d much rather see the best possible version of an image (edited or not) than a mediocre untouched image that I won’t remember 60 seconds later.

    I also think there’s an epidemic of bad photographers out there who rely on photoshop post production to make their images perfect. Which I do think is sad, but more for the photography industry.

  • Randal

    Wow. it’s almost like this cosplayer is *gasp* in it for the attention. Thank god they’re not all attention whores. I mean it’s about the costuming right. Right?

  • EG

    To be fair, the necklace was distracting me from her breasts.

  • ZK

    She does look hotter afterwards. But I don’t enjoy being lied to. But generally assume most pictures have be altered on the internet anyway. It’s a net gain in this case.

  • Honestly, she looks a lot better before than she does from all the photoshop. She looks more REAL rather than ‘anime’. Everything from her smile, to her arms, to her eyebags. It all looks like a normal person. And there’s really nothing wrong with how she looks. No wonder girls’ perception of beauty is distorted.

  • Justin

    Totally agree. She looks like she had face surgery after the photoshop tbh. It looks a little odd to me. I like the original more.

  • Kat

    I think she looks prettier before. I really hate how they do this.. yeah.. she looks hot after, but that’s not what a real person looks like. It really sucks to see these things, because as a girl with some.. image issues.. when I see pictures of girls it’s an automatic comparison war. It hurts, really.

  • Sebbo1298

    But she looks way better BEFORE the ‘shop. D’:

    I’m upset that beauty like that isn’t apparently good enough now and has to be photo-shopped to look plastic and fake.

  • Mark

    I agree.. she was gorgeous before the photoshop.
    It was not needed.

  • Nanethiel

    She was indeed beautiful before the photoshop version. However the photographer didn’t do the “photoshop’ing” as if you check Eurobeat Kings facebook it clearly states that they don’t use photoshop as they aren’t good with it. So sadly whoever did photoshop this is a bit of a jerk? At least in my opinion. The cosplayer was beautiful before hand and photoshop wasn’t required.

  • KayKay

    No offense to the Mandy person above, but my favourite part about cosplay is that it is regular people portraying a character. I don’t like looking at cosplay images that have been shopped like this. If I wanted to look at a computer generated image, I’d look at the original art. The change to her smile completely destroys her gorgeous, full lips. The fact they shopped in an eyebrow bothers me as well, because real hair isn’t transparent. Saying that Rikku is petite and therefore needs less arm fat is also ridiculousness because the idea of a woman who spends her life throwing grenades and running around the world would not have any sort of muscle build up at all is just silly. For me, the whole point of cosplay is seeing a character actually come to life. I don’t mind photo editing on professional shoots, as they are meant to be more dramatic. This is just sad though.

  • Rodner

    I scrolled down as soon as it swapped to the unedited pic

  • sage

    Seen that picture a few times on a few different sites, very shocked to know it was edited so heavily.

  • Jeff

    It really is sad that someone thought she needed any alterations. She honestly looked better before the Photoshop work.

  • tugbote

    Absolutely NOTHING wrong with the original, in fact, I rather prefer it to the shopped version.

  • Blind

    Nevermind… my picture wasn’t load correctly. After the refresh I can now see it. Sorry

  • Reiko Haru

    Okay, I am a cosplayer and see what this woman was trying to do. She just over did it, is all. The picture for starters was to dark. So it didn’t bring out her eyes. So bad lighting, and two she wanted to look fake. She took away any shadowing that made her look creepy, and well got carried away. The costume was nice, but the lighting sucked very badly which made this picture not professional in my book. Most cosplayers don’t want to end up on a bad cosplayer website. So we touch up a little. I think all she needed to do was up the contrast on the original photograph in photoshop of where she wanted the light to hit her. That would have fixed the smile lines and made it look natural instead of taking all the details of her face away and thinning her nose and lips.She look weird because of this. The man in the background is so bleached out from the contrast being upped in the entire picture that way. She should have completely removed the man. Well amateur’s will make mistakes. She just need to know when to stop. That’s my option.

  • Erica0ane

    Hello! I just stumbled upon this and I am the cosplayer in the picture. I didn’t edit this and when I stumbled upon the picture it was pretty disturbing. Thanks for putting this out there, though! I’m glad someone found the original picture, too!

    • Ninty

      Do you have a deviantart username?

      • Erica0Anne


  • Stonespear

    Where’s the comparison?