- Alternate meaning: CoverGirl
A cover girl is a female model or entertainer whose photograph appears on the front cover of a magazine to attract attention on the shelf, usually a magazine devoted to women's interests (such as Redbook or Seventeen) or men's interests (such as Gentlemen's Quarterly, Maxim or Esquire). The term first appeared in English in 1915.
Almost always, a special photo session is done and the woman is given a makeover so her appearance conforms to the type exalted by the magazine. After having been specially made-up, dressed and groomed, the subject of the cover photo will then be carefully lit in the most flattering light possible. They will then be photographed from dozens to hundreds of times, and the most flattering images selected.
The images thus obtained will then be retouched; the eyes and teeth of the woman will be brightened towards peak white, all skin blemishes and skin texture airbrushed out, and her figure may be artificially slimmed and elongated. Sometimes, the head of one model will be used on the body of another. In recent years, digital post-processing has been used in the place of airbrushing and other traditional photographic techniques.
The end product often bears little resemblance to the normal appearance of the person that stood before the camera, and provides an impossible role model for other people to live up to. Some people allege that because of this, cover girl images are responsible for encouraging girls and women to develop anorexia nervosa.
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