The behind-the-scenes video that reveals just how much the photographers airbrushed Lady Gaga's new Vogue cover



18:32 GMT, 30 August 2012

That a magazine cover star is airbrushed to flawless perfection goes without saying.

But a new behind-the-scenes video from the shoot for the current Lady Gaga cover has revealed just how much work went into making the singer look the way she did.

The finished image, which appeared on Vogue's September issue, showed Gaga with an exaggerated hourglass shape in a gown by Marc Jacobs.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Hourglass silhouette: Lady Gaga looks sensational in her vase-like Marc Jacobs gown on Vogue's September cover (left) – a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot shows how different the reality looked on set (right)

But that extraordinary silhouette was not simply thanks to the voluminous midsection of the dress. It seems the airbrush had a heavy hand in creating it too.

While the singer is slender by anyone's standards, the behind-the-scenes video shows her with a more proportional waist size, Buzzfeed has observed.

Her face also appears to have been narrowed in the final image, her arms slimmed and her dcolletage more angular.

The lower part of the dress, which narrows before it kicks out into a fishtail hem, has also been slimmed to a point that makes it seem as though Gaga's knees barely exist at all.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Artistic license: That extraordinary silhouette on the cover was not simply thanks to the voluminous midsection of the dress. It seems Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott's airbrush had a heavy hand in creating it too

Lady Gaga

Behind-the-scenes: The singer's unairbrushed clear skin and slender figure can be seen in the shoot video

It is worth noting, of course, that the image was shot by famed fashion photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, who are known for a highly creative and polished style, and the retouching work on the image would have been by their team, rather than Vogue.

Gaga has been made to look like a candlestick, or vase, in this instance – it is intentional, and not designed to be realistic.

The comparison does however shed light on how much licence glossy magazines take with the airbrush, and raises questions about the unrealistic body image ideas that they portray.

Louise Chunn, editor of Psychologies magazine, explained in an interview earlier this year: ‘All glossy magazines retouch cover images.

'Photographers generally wouldn’t release an untouched image. They want to deliver the best possible picture, and the celebrity or model wants that, too.'