Kobe Bryant and his fellow Lakers may be well on their way to winning another championship, but over on the West Coast the internet is abuzz over Bryant but for an entirely different reason. This past Sunday the sports icon graced the cover of the L.A. Times’ Magazine looking quite unlike you’ve ever seen him. Clad in various all-white ensembles, the fashion choices—which included a scarf wrapped turban-meets-tooth ache style in one particular shot—were no doubt all questionable. But, a far greater offense was the unrelenting photoshopping released on the images.
In the past, female stars like Tyra Banks have suffered the ‘lightening’ of their press images and editorials alike. (Meanwhile, Beyonce has had it go both ways.) But, in the case of Bryant’s Sunday magazine appearance, the problem was in fact the opposite: throughout the spread Bryant’s skin appears far darker than it is. Not to mention a good deal of smoothing with regard to his face left him looking decidedly androgynous. The clothes are worth scrapping over; the heavy retouching, a total game-changer.
The L.A. Times‘ Lakers blog attempts to clear up the confusion over the shoot with an interview with its stylist, James Valeri. “Kobe was amazing to work with because he was cool with everything. He trusted us.” Well, at least fans can sleep soundly knowing that the Grace Jones-goes-to-the-desert look wasn’t Bryant’s idea.