The new Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid magazine cover for W‘s 10th anniversary is already garnering a lot of buzz for being one of the stranger covers in recent memory. But as some eagle-eyed observers have noted, the peculiarities go beyond the two popular celebrities having animal-like properties. Instead, it would appear that a “Photoshop fail” has resulted in the models lacking knees as they show up on the cover.
Given the popularity and instant name recall of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, it was no surprise that the two models were featured in the 10th anniversary cover of W magazine. The “Placebo Pets” spread featuring Kendall and Gigi is meant to have them share certain properties with animals, but according to the Irish version of The Independent, both of them appear to have no knees in one of the photos.
That wasn’t the only potential Photoshop fail spotted by the publication; according to The Independent, social media users had noticed some peculiarities in Gigi’s arm and Kendall’s toes in the first photo, as well as Kendall’s teeth not having any gaps. And while W magazine had reached out to Buzzfeed to clarify in a statement that the unusual features on the magazine cover were intentional, it noted that it was “not convinced” by W‘s explanation.
“The images of Kendall and Gigi are part of a project by artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, who are known for their deliberate use of digital technology, combining distortions with makeup and prosthetics,” said a W magazine spokesperson, as quoted by The Independent.
Fitch and Trecartin also took some time out to speak to W magazine about the Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid magazine cover. And Trecartin believes that it’s the unique relationship between animals and humans that inspired him and Fitch to transform the two supermodels into “domesticated humanoid pets” in the photo spread.
“There’s a certain power that animals have over us when they respond to us in unexpected, friendly ways. And it’s really them domesticating us almost more than us domesticating them, because they’re training us to want them. Training and taming something is not one-sided. We created social media, but then it changed us because we interacted with it. It transforms us and transforms the next thing that happens just by existing. You can’t really avoid being trained.”
In addition to human-animal dynamics, Fitch and Trecartin also told W that it was the close friendship of “KenGi” – Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, by any other name – that also interested them as they were working on the anniversary cover. Both had also experienced celebrity at a young age, and are among the most recognizable millennial personalities out there. According to Fitch, those two factors add up to a “friendship and a public commodity to be consumed.”
Despite all those explanations, it would seem that the magazine cover hasn’t been a big hit with netizens thus far. In posts cited by Australian publication The New Daily, social media users reacted with “confusion and disapproval,” and some had even taken offense to how W magazine used the term “humanoid” to refer to African-American physical features. An Instagram user admitted to being “disturbed, and not in a good way,” while another user of the platform openly asked if the cover featuring Jenner and Hadid was a “joke.”
Were those Photoshop fail (or fails) really intentional? It can go either way. But the new Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid cover sure has gotten their millions of fans debating on whether it was all an artistic touch as claimed, or a blunder that wasn’t quite covered up.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]