5 People Who Screwed Things Up for Everybody

#2. Cecil Beaton Invented Messing With Your Body Image

Today, everyone and their aunts protest the negative influence modern fashion photography has on the body image issues of our youth. Thanks to the photographers' and magazines' tendency to, er, creatively correct their shots, scores of girls grow up thinking stuff like blemishes, love handles and supernumerary nipples are shameful rather than the human norm, and therefore need to be hidden or otherwise dealt with.

Look at this crazy broad, enjoying her own body. It makes us sick.

The rift between how celebrities look in media versus how real people are is the cause of all manner of craziness, and the ensuing schizophrenic body image culture keeps both diet and comfort food industries good and cozy. And this is not even taking anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders into account.

And we can blame a whole lot of this nonsense on a single man: namely, a long-time Vogue and Vanity Fair photographer called Cecil Beaton.

Seen here rocking the hell out of a vest.

Such iconic celebrities of the past as Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali and Ingrid Bergman -- along with many more awesome now-dead people -- were in reality rather more wrinkly, lumpy and human than we think. Each and every one of them owes a large portion of their image today to Beaton's camera and gift for flattery. Especially the latter, seeing as he edited the shit out of his photographs and pioneered many of the staging techniques still used today.

He may ALSO have been the first hipster in recorded history.

Sixty years before Photoshop 1.0 was launched, Cecil was toiling away in dark rooms with basic tools such as razor blades and markers, trimming waistlines, "correcting" bulges and sharpening features. He was the Photoshop of his time, and actually became world famous for his ability to make the rich and famous look unreasonably sexy.

Others trod down the pathway he paved, eventually turning it into a goddamn eight-lane freeway, as editing the flaws out of public figures metamorphosed from a stylistic choice to a basic requirement. So if it wasn't for Cecil Beaton, we might live in a world where beauty ideals would be radically different, or at least one where the contents of Anne Hathaway's armpits would be free for the world to gasp upon.

God forbid any celebrity show a crease.

In fact, while we're on the subject of celebrity photographers ...

#1. Felice Quinto, Photographing Liz Taylor, Became the First Paparazzo

Look at the magazines section next time you're shopping. A good half of the magazines likely feature a candid shot of a famous person -- usually Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston -- doing something "behind the scenes," such as shopping or getting drunk or whatever. For some reason, when somebody is really good at acting, we immediately want to know what they look like while wearing sweat pants and eating a burger. Thus, we have an entire industry devoted to studying what entertainers do when they are not being entertaining. These photographers follow actors and pop stars around the clock, hoping to snap a candid photo that they can sell to Us for six figures.

This picture would be worth an extra $90,000 if she had a visible wedgie.

But while both famous people and obsessed fans have always been with us, we haven't always had a whole profession dedicated to digging through the compost that constitutes their private lives. In fact, these paparazzi didn't show up as a force until in 1962, when Richard Burton and Liz Taylor -- who were filming a highly anticipated movie together -- were pictured gettin' dirty on a yacht in the Mediterranean.

Daily Mail
Frankly, we don't consider it scandalous if there isn't at least one farm animal involved.

At the time, they were two of the biggest stars on Earth. The famously promiscuous Taylor was already tearing through husband number 4, and there had been no shortage of rumors regarding the sexy, sexy chemistry between the two. Papers, of course, needed details, which led to a small number of shameless photographers stalking the actors and even infiltrating the set as extras to try and catch them in the act.

Finally, in April, cameraman Felice Quinto was in the right place at the right time, and ended up with a snapshot of Burton and Taylor frolicking on a yacht. Hollywood had gained its first epic scandal with one simple picture. Quinto would go on to photograph JFK's funeral and get shot at by actresses with arrows.

Daily Mail
Above: Journalism.

Suddenly, every photographer wanted to be the one to come up with the next scandalous photo that would dominate headlines. Quinto would live to regret his roll in the birth of the paparazzi. But that was too late to stop future generations from caring way the hell too much about the relationships and genitalia of movie stars.

Daily Mail
Thanks to this man, we know what Lindsay Lohan's stretch marks look like.

For more people that needs swift kicks in the ass, check out The 5 Most Shockingly Insane Modern Dictators and 6 Reasons North Korea is the Funniest Evil Dictatorship Ever.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!