HR photoshopped me to look younger and whiter on our public facing website and I'm outraged.

  1. Tell local reporters, and tell them to leave you out of it. They'll start asking questions, and then everything will suddenly change.

  2. I work in news. I agree going to local reporters is something you should do. Tell them you want to remain anonymous out of fear of loss of your employment. Then send them the links to where the pictures are and also send them the affected workers’ social media accounts or LinkedIn as someone here mentioned. They’ll take care of all the rest. The reporters will obviously come to you for questions and answer only what you feel comfortable answering and ask them what steps they’ll take to make sure you remain protected.

  3. Then they find out it was just an unsupervised intern in HR who is addicted to filters and just when filter happy and thinks this is all normal because that is all they see in their little online world.

  4. This. OP needs to step up and spread the news, or this company will not get the memo and will continue their whitewashing tactics. Ultimately, the purpose of media coverage here, versus simple litigation, is to hurt this company in the wallet. Many consumers will take their business elsewhere once this story breaks, and many affiliates and partners will cancel their contracts.

  5. There’s nothing I hate more than reading an article about a picture that has no pictures whatsoever.

  6. Seems to also be ageism. They're doing it to white people, too. Blading men are unbalded, wrinkles are removed, etc.

  7. Even as someone whiter than Betty white, 100% this. I would feel strange if someone altered my photo to make me look darker

  8. I'm more surprised there are still companies dumb enough to do this. This is a PR dissaster waiting to happen, you could pitch this to your local news and they would eat this up. How can someone be THIS oblivious to racism not beeing ok anymore?

  9. Send a new headshot to HR, including your boss and whoever the head of HR is. State it seems that someone allowed the woman who destroyed the Spanish fresco to do the same in your pic and they should replace it with the new one

  10. I'm Spanish and it somehow makes me happy that this is still referenced internationally. (Not so happy about realizing that it's been ten years though)

  11. You know, on one hand that lady had no business touching that painting. On the other hand there are probably hundreds of full sized replicas that are indistinguishable from the original and no one actually lost anything that wasn’t replaceable. Except for the overly inflated value attached to the original painting.

  12. I hate photoshop distortion of reality. A pimple or cold sore, ok. But other permanent things should be displayed like they are. If they change your appearance and post it online without consent, that is unacceptable. btw. The whole

  13. My brother is a photographer and has done lots of headshot sets for corporate clients including some household names.

  14. I've dealt with this as well. A lot of people are kinda annoyed they have skin on their face instead of a beige smear.

  15. I do headshots professionally. Realtors are known to have headshots where they look 20 years younger than they really are. It's a weird industry thing.

  16. My original thought when I saw this (I'm a photographer) is that the photographer that was hired to do this job may have inadvertently done this because they're just too overzealous with their retouching and played with the HSL/color curves too much, perhaps in an attempt to correct for other color temp/tint deficiencies in the photo due to unbalanced lighting.

  17. This is definitely something with (richer) older people. They don't care how BAD or fake it looks. They want every single wrinkle removed if a photo is to be used in print anywhere, even if it means a complete blur with eyeballs and a mouth, as long as you don't see the wrinkles.

  18. I was thinking this - presumably it would be the work of one digital artist working to a brief to touch up these photos. Best case scenario is that the company have paid for a package from the photographers which isn't explicitly racist. If they realise the shitstorm they are risking by using these photos they may want to change them, although to communicate this still risks the companies ire, so OP doesn't want to be the messenger.

  19. Haha, yes, I met with a realtor whose advertising/email signature photo is both from 20 yrs ago and airbrished into unrecogniseability. I'm glad she introduced herself first because I sure as hell thought the 60 yr old woman that I saw was some other client or whatever, not the 30-40yr old realtor that I thought I was meeting.

  20. This! Some people want you to transform their face completely. Other want to see every wrinkle, mole and hair. It’s easy to get caught up in overdoing it because the loudest and means ones are in the first group.

  21. are you sure HR did this, or a racist but "well-meaning", ie business-minded 3rd party did this on their own accord after being told to "make the pictures look professional"?

  22. Yeah in my experience it’s typically a marketing department that maintains the company website, not HR. If anything, I would actually recommend reaching out to someone in HR or Legal to help initiate an investigation (I know people think HR is actually the company police but a lot of times they are just a voice box and made up of people who actually want terrible things like this to not happen).

  23. It’s likely not HR. Likely part of marketing. I have worked as a designer at agencies for the majority of my career. I have built many many websites and image standards guides, and managed professional photo shoots dozens of times for headshots as well as print and digital ads.

  24. What industry is this? Because unless you're all fashion models and/or visual effects specialists I don't see how this is a worthwhile use of anyone's time or effort in the first place, and that's saying nothing about how judgy and condescending it is.

  25. I’m in marketing and have touched up photos and your post made me rethink how I handle photo editing. I’ve never lightened skin but I’ve definitely touched up other things like wrinkles before, mostly because it was industry standard photo editing at the time. I’ll take this in to consideration if it comes up again.

  26. Genuine question, how do you know this is down to HR? I work in HR and have nothing to do with headshots/marketing/company website

  27. Complain. I am a designer who works on photo retouching. Either no one has said anything to the designer or someone is directing them to do that intentionally. As a designer, you need to be able to photo retouch people of all skin tones and ages and you can learn that through feedback, studying or being a POC. This person needs feedback.

  28. Are you sure this is the work of HR? It seems odd for the HR department to be in charge of a website. If you're not sure, I would find out, and, if it's not them, bring it to their attention - yes, HR is absolutely in charge of protecting the company, not the employee, however, sometimes the company's interests and the employee's interests align - it's absolutely in the best interest of the company both to have employees represented accurately and for the website to show employees of a diverse range of ages and races/ethnicities.

  29. I would add that there are plenty of functions and people in HR who advocate for employees first rather than the company. My personal belief - as an HR professional - is that HR is in charge of protecting employees and Legal is in charge of protecting the company.

  30. I had a small mole removed from my website profile photo. I demanded it be replaced with the untouched version, you don’t get to decide what parts of my natural face you consider acceptable!

  31. Getting my pic taken for company Website tomorrow I wish they would photo shop the whole thing I don’t want my face online

  32. Im sorry to hear this, and hope nothing else gows bad for you in this, but it sounds like whoever touched them up wanted a specefic image

  33. I remember professional photos being ordered at a previous workplace and coming back very photoshopped. Looked like we all had veneers installed, wrinkles and grey/white hair removed, any blemishes removed (one colleague said her skin had never looked so good).

  34. Most of what you described is fairly standard, but typically skin tones are kept natural to real life and wrinkles are just softened. Generally the rule is to make things believable. Usually anything else that’s “too perfect” or downright fake is what the client specifies they want fixed. I think you’re right to complain about this - whoever was in charge of this project needs to complain to the photography company. If HR requested this, I think that’s really messed up.

  35. Where I work, they brightened my coworkers teeth, who happens to be self conscious about those teeth. Currently spending thousands to fix them.

  36. Are you sure it was HR? Many companies book photographers, and those then use their 'usual' photoshop shenanigans. Maybe your company didn't do any of this, which does indeed have a racist taint, on purpose, but it was done out if ignorance. Your company probably just got the final result that the photographer delivered and used that.

  37. Yeah, I doubt anyone in HR know hows to lighten skin tones in Photoshop. I can definitely see light skin bias creeping in through either the retoucher or the algorithms, but I would be surprised if HR, of all departments, was specifically asking for skin tones to be lightened much less poring over everyone's photos and demanding specific retouches to begin with.

  38. Yep, I was scrolling to find this. Everything mentioned sounds like a retouching and color-balancing photoshop action. A photographer who leans on these, especially one doing batch processing, might not have even noticed it. While I think it's important to address, I think it could have been unintentional.

  39. Before you automatically blame “HR” make sure it’s not another department or another company that is doing the photoshopping. HR may not even be aware this is happening (if they are unobservant).

  40. Does your company pay attention to public reviews on Google and other sites? If so I would post an anonymous review of the company and call out how bizarre the employee pictures are, and point out the “enhancements“ that are done to the staff.

  41. Honestly everyone here is either recommending to bring it up to the company, sending them a new photo, or commenting on how horrible it is.

  42. Look into what you allowed them to do with your image when you signed the contract allowing them to take pictures of you and your colleagues. You can get a very nice amount of money out of this depending on the terms fo the contract.

  43. I'm confused where HR comes into this. Isn't it more likely that whoever is creating the image assets for the website fancies themself a Photoshop wizard and thinks they're working at a fashion magazine instead of where they really are? This could all just be inexperience mixed with the inability to read a room.

  44. This happened to my coworker. They also removes her moles/beauty marks. She was livid. She called HR and made them post the original photo.

  45. They did this to our staff pictures, it was horrendous! They made me look 15! (I'm in my 30s). Everyone had creepy eyes, overly smooth skin, they even changed the shape of my jaw! Wtf!

  46. SCREEN SHOT EVERYTHING. Time and date stamp everything in a document make sure to list all people altered especially by skin tone and age.You want to save all this in a non work place secure location. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. If you say anything you probably get retaliation.

  47. Using a person's likeness without their permission can be viewed as harassment or defamation depending on the point-to-point or preference.

  48. Do you know for sure it was HR? . I've worked in HR for a while and it's usually the marketing team that deals with this.

  49. Are any of the folks in doctored photos 50 or older? They might be able to threaten (or actually file) an age discrimination suit.

  50. Designer here who often edits headshots. I never enhance photos (minus minor blemishes) unless asked. Sometimes we need to adjusting the brightness/contrast depending on the lighting, but never to a point where they person looks a different race. Report!

  51. The Baldism and Ageism are also infuriating. Most early balding guys suffer a lot of depression, anxiety and self esteem issues because of this. What a way to enhance the stigma.

  52. A company once years ago actually photoshopped me out of the picture front and center and put a blonde woman in my place. I was holding a prize certificate in my hand that was the reason for the photo and they forgot to photoshop my brown hands out of the pic. Even kept my name and everything as the article included me as one of five of the business competition winners. Still can’t believe it a decade later. I also just let it go. Long as the check cleared. My mom was pissed tho.

  53. Dr. Kelso: Dr. Turk, you are an employee here. I can advertise however I wish. I can use your image, your name, I can manufacture tiny-little Dr. Turk action figures. It'll cost twelve-ninty-five and when you pull the string it'll say "I don't like these posters of me!" Isn't that right Ted?

  54. I doubt it's HR, it's more likely that it's the communications/marketing team that photoshops it. HR typically just uses what they're given

  55. If you haven’t brought it up to anyone at your office you have complete and total plausible deniability, which negates any job risk (the legal factor weighs HEAVILY in your favor). That being said, and like others have mentioned, you need to go to the news with this. Personally, I would go with local stations that have nationwide reach through affiliation (those tend to get picked up and get bigger when it’s a juicy story).

  56. Lawyer first, discuss options. Then if Lawyer says it's okay, let the news know, make this as public as possible. Companies hate looking bad in the public eye. They won't be able to fire you because then you could add a wrongful termination lawsuit to whatever the lawyer thinks up. But above all else, start looking for a new job

  57. I completely understand why OP wants anonymity, but it’s also infuriating to think that people have to fear losing a job from a company run by racists.

  58. Contacthe EEOC, the federal agency that deals with complaints of work discrimination. Also, contact an attorney. If this is a systemic problem within your company, many people has claims against them. Class action lawsuit may be the way to go. Also, they cannot retaliate against you for demanding equal treatment and restitution for the times you experienced discrimination. Go for it.

  59. As a graphic designer, I'm usually the one who does these types of "enhancements" and they're always made at the request of the organization (typically someone in the marketing dept.). I'd never go in and just enhance someone's photo without a person specifically requesting I do it (unless it's something distracting like shine on a forehead or glare on a pair of glasses). It sounds to me like it was specifically requested by someone in marketing or someone high up in the organization who would be involved with website approvals.

  60. This is more likely to be an idiot in marketing rather than an idiot in HR. A similar thing happened in the UK years ago with a company annual report. The media got hold of it, thousands of documents had to be shredded, edited and reprinted, and a couple of people got fired. Leak the story to the media and it will be fixed within days. But the fact that a senior manager probably okayed it before it went live tells you the company is comfortable with it.

  61. Everywhere I've worked has achieved the same thing with less effort by never updating their pictures. Young people with 80s hair as far as the eye can see.

  62. There is a strong possibility this is just due to inexperience or bad photo editing work from a designer. There's a few things that can lead to this:

  63. Fwiw I'm a graphic designer and this kind of task could have conceivably fallen to me when I was junior. I'm not sure I would read too much into it. The person who did the retouching probably got the direction to retouch the photos and make everyone look their best. He probably rolled his eyes but wanted to do a good job. He's probably not super sophisticated with retouching people and just tried to make things sort of match and look good so he could move on to something else without getting yelled at. I sincerely doubt that anyone would explicitly tell someone to make a dark skinned person lighter for like racial reasons. It's just people acting on auto-pilot. I wouldn't get too offended.

  64. Huh? Why is HR editing photos lol, I highly doubt this happened. Whatever company or photographer that they hired to take those photos did that. Seems like a pretty far reach.

  65. I would save screenshots/printouts and have a quick chat with a lawyer before you do anything else about this. It’s definitely discrimination, but a lawyer will be able to tell you if you have a case for discrimination and how to protect yourself going forward.

  66. extremely racist the proof of their racist intent is that they consider it less desirable to be shown having employees who have darker skin, and are actively trying to cover up that they do.

  67. Did you write your name/permission on a form saying they have all rights/ownership over the picture?

  68. Personally I would not want my image used on any company’s website unless I’m being compensated and made an agreement to be a model/spokesperson and the terms and conditions of how my image is to be used, did you sign a release? This is very odd and sounds like they’re stomping on some boundaries. Could you just ask them to remove your photo as it makes you feel uncomfortable.

  69. This is a violation of privacy rights in america. Its obscure, but all you need is the proof it happened and a lawyer could have a really fun few weeks.

  70. Did they use a photographer or did you provide the photo or was it from a simple photo shoot in the hall? Reason I ask is because some software on our phones automatically does this so one thought is if someone accidentally had filters on. My phone came with a face filter and I found it creepy especially because I took photos of my baby. So I had to figure it out and fix it. The other thing is if it was a photgrapher, they might use a default brush up process that resulted in looking light and younger. I'm not saying either is right just that a majority of the time, no one is thinking anything at all. So I'd assume that first. I would say my photo looks like it went through some processing (so people would think) and I would provide a new one or ask for a retake.

  71. Talk to a local lawyer. See if it's better to start a legal argument to then leave after you win, or to leave first to then start the legal argument, to then win. Either way, bs prepared to show yourself, and others to a lawyer. Ask if you will get a better idea if the others join you via a possible class action against this employer.

  72. My original thought when I saw this (I'm a photographer) is that the photographer that was hired to do this job may have inadvertently done this because they're just too overzealous with their retouching and played with the HSL/color curves too much, perhaps in an attempt to correct for other color temp/tint deficiencies in the photo due to unbalanced lighting.

  73. I would be upset if it was only me (being photoshopped) or only POC being photoshopped. But it's literally everyone.... so although it's stupid, I probably wouldn't really think that much about it and probably just laugh about it with my friends.

  74. While this does sound like it went too far, a lot of those edits are part of standard portrait packages. Lots of photographers do mild wrinkle removal, teeth whitening, hair cleanup, etc... Replacing teeth changing hairlines, whitening skin, would only EVER be done by request. But the other bits would often be done as a package deal.

  75. My college digitally gave me hair (went bald early) and used my likeness for ads for online classes despite the fact that I never used their online program. I made the mistake of signing a release form because I was part of student government. It gave them rights to use my likeness any way they saw fit.

  76. eh, weird that they are doing instagram vs. reality. pick your battle. roll with it. as long as the pay checks clear why stir up a hornet's nest.

  77. Lawyer up, you've got a lawsuit on your hand and might be able to collect a nice sum. Don't say anything to anyone. Screen capture everything and save any original photos.

  78. This is an easy one gather the real photos gather the digitally altered ones put them all together in a very easy to understand comparison and anonymously passed on to reddit here. You've gotten plenty of attention with this already this would be an easy one to go viral and fix the problem. Clearly someone is really messed up in the head and deserves to be fired

  79. without seeing the photos, is it possible that the case is no effort was put into the photos and someone did it with a cell phone app using some kind of shotgun "soften and beautify" feature? one that obviously doesn't work for everyone?

  80. The company should be publicly shamed for lightening your skin and the skin of your colleagues of color. Disgusting.

  81. I have always denied permission to use my face or likeness in any marketing for anyone I’ve worked for. Tell them that they don’t have permission to use pics of you for marketing purposes.

  82. This happened to me. They made me thinner and no wrinkles. I looked amazing but it made me self conscious that I wasn't good enough on my own

  83. It feels like discrimination because it is. They sure seem to want to use your labor but sure as shit arent proud of you enough to show your face.

  84. As a commercial photographer who does headshots for big companies all the time, I'd say that the photographer is too heavy handed with the Photoshop. It's a fine balance because digital cameras take in way more detail than you'd think, so you need to tweak the photos, but for the reasons in the original post, it's not hard to go overboard.

  85. Ooooooo, this happened back at my old company. We had a new hire in her late 50s and the photos came back OFFENSIVELY photoshopped. Younger, thinner, lighter, no wrinkles, no gray, blinding white teeth. It was embarrassing because it made it obvious the editor thought she looked like absolute garbage. Removed things that weren't even "signs of aging", just parts of her face. Meanwhile the men got barely a shirt wrinkle smooth. INFURIATING.

  86. A few years ago, we shot some video for a local hospital. The doctor we were interviewing was of Indian descent. Someone at the hospital requested us to lighten his skin tone.

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