Doutzen Kroes gets photoshopped by Victoria’s Secret. This we all knew. So what’s the significance in the unretouched shots of a Victoria’s Secret swim campaign that surfaced on the internet today?

While we don’t have final shots to compare side-by-side, it’s not hard to compare these with the final products of other Victoria’s Secret campaigns. And while we’ve noted recently that Victoria’s Secret have toned things down on the Photoshop front, it’s clear from these shots where things like underarm stubble, scars, frown-lines and nude underwear will inevitably be edited out. All that is hardly shocking. What is interesting is what happens to Doutzen Kroes’ abs.

doutzen kroes before photoshop
Left: unretouched. Right, a retouched image.

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images
Doutzen Kroes for Victoria's Secret swimwear: raw images

Strong is the new skinny. Thinspo is out, fitspo is in. These statements aren’t the belief of everyone, naturally, but there’s a strong movement stemming from the desire for healthy body image and it’s one that channels its efforts into measuring how far you can run and how heavy you can lift over how many calories you can cut.

But if a glowlingly healthy, strong, fit body is now widely seen as desirable, then why do Victoria’s Secret seem to smooth out Doutzen Kroes’ impressive abdominal muscles? Is she considered fit beyond the level of what’s femininely attractive?

doutzen kroes photoshopped stomach
Retouched image of Doutzen Kroes

We doubt that’s the case. Our guess is that it’s actually too hard-hitting a reality.

To get a body like Kroes’ takes time, effort, dedication, and willpower. Things most of us wish we had more of. Being a Victoria’s Secret model is not our full time profession, after all. So there’s a level where someone’s fitness inspires our own, but beyond that is a level that will just strike people as unattainable. Achievable, we strive. Unattainable, we give up. Given that our ability to relate to a model in an advert comes down to a fine balance of our aspirations – our dreams – being at least remotely correlated to our reality, Victoria’s Secret are probably trying not to scare us.

They’re sheilding the consumer from the reality that to look like one of their models takes a **** load of work. More work than most of us can bear thinking about. Instead they keep it to a level that appears almost effortless, so we see the campaigns and think, oh yeah… I could wear that. I could be that.

We’re hoping to see touched-up versions in the near future so we can see for sure. In the meantime you can check out the unretouched photos of Doutzen Kroes for Victoria’s Secret swim at the gallery.

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Some people's wardrobes are about a small selection of pieces that all fit within one aesthetic - Tania Braukamper isn't such a person. With a wardrobe that spans three different rooms, her approach to fashion is a mixture of current-season key pieces mixed with vintage finds she's sourced on innumerous shopping trips around the world's more cultured capitals. Despite a disparate approach to shopping, Tania is adamant that the key to mixing vintage with new season is to stick to key looks and colours that work for oneself. And it's a theory that she works into her writing for Fashionising.com, where she serves as the publication's Editor.