I’m sorry to bring up The Poster again, I really am, but bear with me (click here to see it in all its glory). The first thing that struck me when I saw it was not the pointedly presidential tone of the personal pronoun in “I’ll cut the deficit”, not the echoes of Margaret Thatcher in “We can’t go on like this”, not even the sheer size of it. I was utterly distracted by something else: David Cameron appears to be wearing foundation — lots of it.
But it turns out I underestimated things. Today’s Daily Mail gives us this nugget:
Tories denied suggestions that the photograph — which will feature on hundreds of 15ft-wide posters as part of a £500,000 nationwide advertising campaign — had undergone major airbrushing to enhance Mr Cameron’s appearance.
But an official conceded there may have been minor touching up.
The accusations are flying thick and fast — were his cheekbones enhanced? His colour changed? Some excess pounds shaved off? Sunder Katwala casts doubt on whether that bouncy black hair is au naturel, while Sam Coates calls for the original photo to be released in the interests of transparency, though he quotes a spokeswoman as saying: “I can confirm that nothing fiddled around with cheekbones, Adam’s apple or slimming him down.” (I love it — so hard-hitting. I bet that wasn’t what she thought working in politics would involve.)
But don’t worry, Dave, you’re not alone — other politicians have been busted succumbing to the tempation of airbrushing, too.
Tony Blair appeared to have undergone the magic Photoshop treatment (or found the formula for eternal youth — anything is possible) when he appeared on the cover of Men’s Vogue in 2007 (picked up, again, by the airbrushing vigilantes at the Daily Mail):
And spot the difference here — a photo of Nicolas Sarkozy sans love handles was printed in a magazine, coincidentally owned by one of his friends.
I must point out, though, that neither of these photos was actually used for election material. So I’ll add my voice to the calls for the real photo. Come on, Dave, show us your Adam’s apple!