Scarlett Johansson's ‘Captain America 2' Waistline Sparks Cries of Photoshop Foul (Photo)

Scarlett Johansson's 'Captain America 2' Waistline Sparks Cries of Photoshop Foul (Photo)

Critics are calling her tiny midsection “impossible” in another example of public outrage over unrealistic images of the female body

Scarlett Johansson‘s fans can buy her as a super-secret agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel's “Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier,” but they aren't buying the tiny waistline she flaunts in a new poster for the upcoming film.

Backlash against the poster art, which features Johansson as The Black Widow with the body of a Barbie doll, began brewing online as soon as the image was released online Thursday, along with character posters of Samuel L. Jackson as  Nick Fury and Chris Evans as Steve Rogers.

Also read: Lance Armstrong Slams Magazine's ‘Bull—-’ Photoshop Job

“You know there is no helping the world when even Scarlett-Joh's already little waist is shopped to an impossible width in the ‘Cap’ posters,” one woman tweeted, echoing the sentiments of many others.

Here's a small sampling of the less-than-favorable reactions to the poster:

Scarlett Tweet 4 Scarlett Tweet 3 Scarlett tweet 2 Scarlett Tweet 1

The issue of editing images of women to impossible standards of beauty has been particularly hot as of late.

An Elle magazine cover obscuring Melissa McCarthy‘s body was criticized last November, while a time-lapse video demonstrating how Photoshop editing can completely change a woman's body image went viral last fall.

Elle also received backlash earlier this month after releasing February's “Women in Television” issue,  which featured a photo of “Mindy Project” star Mindy Kaling cropped to focus on her appearance above the chest. Three other female TV stars featured on separate magazine covers for the same issue were pictured from above the knee.

Also read: Melissa McCarthy Elle Cover Controversy: Magazine Stands by That Coat

Just last week, singer Nicki Minaj took to Instagram to protest the photoshopped cover of ESPN Magazine that she posed for with NBA star Kobe Bryant. A petition asking ESPN to stop retouching photos of celebrities and models that appear in the magazine was launched, as a result, and has garnered 3,200 signatures to date.

Marvel has yet to respond to TheWrap‘s request for comment on the reaction to Johansson's appearance on the new “Captain America” poster.

Also read: Mindy Kaling, Elle Magazine Respond to Cover Controversy

Take a look at a side-by-side comparison of Johansson on the poster and in real life to see if you agree with those bothered by the adjustments to her midsection.

Marvel/Getty Images

Marvel/Getty Images

  • RysterARCEE

    It's a picture/rendering of an actress playing a character from a comic book. Artistic liberty is pretty much expected. Much ado about nothing.

    • Mayoo

      I tend to agree. If you take this picture realistically, then yes, it is a Photoshop fail to make an already superb women look like she's missing internal organs (credit: Cassandra).

      But on the other hand, this is a Marvel movie, based on comics. They do live in a world where Thor, Hulk, Abomination, X-Mens, Spiderman, Sandman, Wasp, etc. exists.

      Marvel is going more and more away from the realistic look to comics look. I guess it is to prepared the audience slowly to more cartoon characters. The best example are Gardians of the Galaxy. Would people have watched a movie where a Tree and a killer racoon live before Phase 1 or Phase 2? I don't think so.

      • 4ekeller .

        Your wrong, your last paragraph is completely wrong. Marvel already did a cartoonish live action movie. Howard the Duck. Bringing in Rocket is no different. And Groot will be generated much in the same fashion as the Hulk was (Both the Incredible Hulk, and Avengers movies). Nothing new to Marvel, and nothing new to Phase 2.

        • Mayoo

          Yeah Howard the Duck. Good point …

          And we all know Howard the Duck is from Phase One. I wonder if he will be part of the Avengers sometime …

          • 4ekeller .

            You never know what Marvel will do. I don't expect to see Howard the Duck on the Avengers or another movie anytime soon, but, with the Marvel franchise soaring through space now, encounter Duckworld. If not but for a brief second. Maybe something like, “hey, there it is… No, that's Duckworld, we'll be at Earth soon though.” Not that I care. I don't need 15 pointless Easter eggs in my Marvel movies like Warner did with Man of Steel.

        • GoodNightsSleep32

          Marvel Studios first movie was Iron Man 1. It didn't exist when Howard the Duck was made. Lucasfilm & Universal simply licenced it…

    • Renee

      Then how do you explain the other actors who look almost exactly the same as how they look in real life? They play comic book characters as well.

      • Adam Gretski

        Wrong there friend. I work in the industry and I can guarantee yu that even with professional photographers taking the pictures ALL posters and MOST merchandise produced from photos of both animate and inanimate objects are photoshopped to perfection. Visuals are extremely powerful and important in the media and the arts I general so that as much control as possible is exercised by those selling the ideas for profit when it comes to the images they present to the public. The posters of the other actors are photoshopped. Because she s wearing such tight crve hugging clothes it's just easier to see how her photo was retouched. Don't be fooled. It's all smoke and mirrors. Very little of he actual actor is from the original photo.

    • Rex Remes

      I'm with you, dude. It's a friggin’ movie poster.

    • alaina

      i agree

    • mickrussom

      You don't have kids.

  • Cassandra

    They took out some of her ribs. I mean it's not like she needs to look like she has internal organs right? Gosh I'm really disappointed with this one Marvel.

  • zengrrl

    Not happy about the Photoshopped waist, but at least it's not the typical butt shot/looking over shoulder pose most women on Marvel movie posters get.

    • wisenekt

      This is worse than the butt/looking over the shoulder pose. This is a full on giving up and surrendering pose. She looks more ready to be crucified than to take on any mission as a SHIELD agent.

  • nikk.liu

    i think that people are taking the scarlett johansson poster way too serious. so what, marvel did a photooshoot to make her look better. a lot of movies do that with actors to make them look better. and i know a lot of people are disappointed because of that, but it's just a poster.

    • Anna

      It doesn't make her “look better” it makes her look like she doesn't have any organs and like a barbie. It makes her look fakr

      • nikk.liu

        ok…… so what, it's just a poster people, you don't have to take it so seriously.

        • Renee

          I'm so sick of the “don't take it so seriously” argument. It's a reflection of some impossible beauty standards for women. Not only that you compare how she was “drawn” to all of the other characters – all guys. They look serious, ready to brawl and she looks…I don't even know. Like what's with her stance???

          • top

            The hulk is impossible for men.. finally things are fair!

          • Renee

            The Hulk is a result of a major radioactive exposure (or something like that). It's a freakin’ mutation and COMPLETELY different.

          • Rex Remes

            What about Hellboy? Doesn't look exactly like the real actor.

            What about all the CGI stuff?

          • Renee

            What are you talking about? He's not human….The actor is portraying a character whose parents are a demon and a witch….

          • vegamaximus

            I don't understand that comment Renee, but, seriously, who cares, he's right, it's a movie poster, there's a zillion movie posters that don't make sense, plus she may not now due to pregnancy but, she has had this shape, what's the problem?

          • Ssed Doga

            Again.. if they whittled her waist the entire movie because it was part of the character, then you would have a leg to stand on with that argument, but they didnt. they only whittled her down for the poster. therefore it was not done for the character, but to please whoever designed it becuase they felt that the real human being ( remember black widow is one of the few truly human members) was not good enough.

            it would be like they took captain america and through the entire movie put his muscles on.

          • Rex Remes

            Yep, we are talking about movie posters.

            You don't think Captain America wasn't enhanced or changed in the poster? I am guessing the vast majority of movie poster characters have been modified: muscles added, hair improved, teeth whitened, legs slimmed, etc.

            I think this is really not a big deal.

            If you think it is a big deal, then I ask you, are you also complaining about all the other movie posters?

          • Ssed Doga

            except women dont just go after a guy because he has a great body. it is nice to have, but women as a whole are more emotional then visual. Men are visual.

            most women wouldnt want a man as muscle bound as the hulk. might be pretty to look at but he sux at conversation.

  • Macaco Maluco

    Bless you evil Photoshoppers and your wizardry. She is a comic book character. Its fantasy.

    • Renee

      But the actress is real. And all the other actors look similar to how they look in real life. Their waists weren't slimmed down to almost impossible standards and they weren't unrealistically bulked up….

      • Rex Remes

        I'm guessing Renee's waist is about 43 inches?

        • 4ekeller .

          Wow, that's 10 inches larger than my fat a**!

        • Renee

          So what we're making personal attacks now lol? How mature….

          • Rex Remes

            Not an attack, just making a guess about reality.

      • 4ekeller .

        Right, Chris Evans wouldn't have gotten the part if he didn't put 30 pounds of muscle on his body. Another 10 reported for the Avengers, and another 15 reported for this sequel. Johnny Storm isn't winning this role otherwise.

        • Renee

          Ummmm, all the actors work out. That's different than digitally altering an actor, or usually an actress, to the point of looking physiologically unrealistic. You can look as gorgeous Scarlett Johansson and still be photoshopped to death….

        • Ssed Doga

          that is a realistic body, and yes.. if it was part of the whole story ( ie she was shopped for every single scene to be that tiny) then yeah.. its part of the movie, but no they had some guys slim her waist down to make it more dramatic and more objectifying. She is beautiful and does not need their help.

  • Reggie Mcveggie

    that's how all women should look. hit the gym fatties…

    • Olga Martinez

      :) If all women looked like this, you'd never get laid.

      • xxnostradamusxx

        hahaha!! GOT HEEM!!!

  • Patrick Jackson

    Wah wah wahhh!! good grief.

  • vastlyamused

    OK. Maybe it's the angle- but I don't see much (if any) difference.

    • Rex Remes

      Come on dude. It's definitely not her waist/figure.

      Not that there is anything wrong with the poster.

    • Ssed Doga

      they took away her hip bones and they whittled her waist in some to smooth it out. they usually do that. anytime you stand with one hip cocked and your waiste bent you end up with rolls. because you are compacting your skin on that side and stretching it on the other. No they did not do a huge amount to her but they did enough to make it obvious they did it.

  • Daniel Ketchum

    Don;t see the point. She is super hot w/o Photoshop.

  • dmknyc

    Because everything else about the movie is so realistic…

  • JustLurkin

    You think this is outrageous? What until you see the image modification that Warner does [has to do, really] to transform Gal Gadot into a passable facsimile of Wonder Woman.

  • Tom

    End of discussion

  • 4ekeller .

    What people don't get. Photoshopped or not, this is not a modelling session where the company she is modelling for is trying to make her appear more glamorous. This is a movie poster where photoshop is being used to make her appear more like the character she is portraying in the movie. No one is complaining that we make Schwarzenegger or Stallone look more ripped then they are anymore. No one is complaining that we made Vinnie Jones a 7 foot Juggernaut. Photoshop was used to make Chris Evans look puny prior to be exposed to the super solder serum. This is what is done in movies to make people look like the character they portray. Nothing wrong with it. If she is at a modelling session and they are photoshopping those pics because she isn't perfect, then have your problem. That is wrong.

    But, there is nothing wrong with Hollywood doing what they do to make the actors and actresses in their films, to look like the characters they are meant to.

    • Renee

      That doesn't even make any sense! She looks like the character she plays without digital alterations. Look at the other guys in the poster. There aren't any glaring alterations on them. The examples you mentioned have absolutely NOTHING to do with what they did with Scarlett on the poster. The guys you mentioned: with Chris, it was for the plot and with Vinnie – it was part of the character. The Juggernaut is huge, it's what the character is known for, a key characteristic. With Scarlett, SHE ALREADY LOOKED THE PART. There was no reason to alter her. They basically photoshopped her because she WASN'T perfect enough to whoever it was that made the poster, just like they do with actresses and models.

      Look at her poster for the Avengers movie, that is how you do it. She looked great and really bada**.

      Honestly, my real issue is her stance. All the dudes look serious and ready to fight, she looks….I don't know what the artists were thinking. What kind of stance is that. And she looks bored.

  • DeniScribe

    People have nothing better to do but complain, complain, complain about stuff that's silly.

  • 4ekeller .

    I think people need to look at the side by side a little closer. I don't think the waist is photoshopped. I think the picture is though. Her shoulders were pushed apart and her boobs are enhanced. Thus making the waist appear smaller. Some photoshop is in order for her to play the character she is playing. She is 4 inches shorter and 20lbs lighter than the character she is portraying. You know what, maybe we should be upset with the casting. How dare they give this opportunity to play an empowered woman of marvel to a person that is too short to play the character. Shame on you Marvel.

    • Ssed Doga

      sigh… if they altered throughout the whole movie her look for the character it would be one thing, since they did not, altering of the poster was just to make whoever designed it happy because she looked smooth and clean. but they just altered the poster, therefore not necessary and idiotic.

  • power4things

    For Pete's sake, it's a movie. Grow up – and if it really bugs you, get in shape!

    • Ssed Doga

      you know the issue isnt getting in shape.. the issue is that media has taken “in shape” to a level that is not achievable in real life, then has jerks like you buy that it is.. and suddenly more girls are starving to death trying to look like what the media is promoting.

      If someone who is in as good a shape as Scarlett is cant even be left unwhittled…. there is no hope for any woman out there. without major surgery and starvation.

      what amazes me is women do this to please someone like you?

  • Liderc

    While it is photoshopped, if you look at that picture on the right her waist is relatively small compared to her bust and butt. She's in a cat suit in the film, that's going to shape her even more. I think people would be surprised by how close it is to her in real life, the belt is around her stomach and not her waist (hips), which makes it look even thinner. It's more about her having a big bust and butt in comparison to her mid stomach. There's also a glare on the left side of the body, which makes the waist appear smaller due to it being lighter than the right side.

    Here's a photo that's not photoshopped, which shows she has this type of bodystyle:

    • Ssed Doga

      um.. if you look, she is standing in this pic off center, which means her one side has the hips looking bigger ( because of being off center) and her other side has her arm across it, but you can see quite a bit of difference in the angle from her right side. Yes she has a small waist but if you look at the pic on the poster you can tell they whittled her waist down to make it all the more dramatic. nice try though.

    • Bridg Haskins

      I don't want to comment on this because I worked on the movie, but I saw the “before” photo that they started with for this poster. The difference is HUGE. They shaved at least 30% off the width of her waist, arms, legs, and chest (seriously, look at that impossibly small ribcage), and painted on breasts that weren't there in the original so she now looks like she's smuggling cantaloupes. They shifted her head more to the left (her right), and added that hair flying in the breeze. Her hair was straight on both sides in the original.

      They left her face pretty much un-altered, though, which I guess is something.

  • Daniel

    she is so gorgeous anyway………….who is in charge of photoshopping? they should just let her attributes speak for themselves.

  • Omerta

    It amazes me, yet does not surprise me, that all of the people saying that people shouldn't complain, are guys. The vast majority of men don't see sexism unless it's glaringly obvious, and guys, this is sexist. It's objectification; it's treating Johannson as an imperfect object by modifying her. It's gross, wrong and sadly, most of you don't see what's wrong with it, and that's what's actually worse. That our culture is so desensitized that we aren't even able to see when someone is being treated like a piece of ass. (I get it, I get it, it's a poster… but there was frankly zero need to alter her).
    Before you reply with hatred, understand this. I am a heterosexual male, but very much a feminist. I'm a huge, HUGE, comic book fan, and my first response upon seeing this poster was disgust.
    Carry on.

    • ivy

      Thank you for this comment! Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • juju

    The Hulk is altered too… where's the outrage?

  • GoodNightsSleep32

    Does anyone remember that actress in a corset from Jonah Hex? I don't see why any reasonably slim woman, such as Scarlett, can't be made slimmer with the right support. I however am taking this poster as movie artwork, rather than a photograph. If you look at her face & neck, the lighting is obviously wrong in the first place, and it has a hyper real (unrealistic) quality. It is also possible that the entire poster could be a fabricated piece of artwork. In that case, the comic character Black Widow was simply made to look like Scarlett. It's been done before. Also if this can be considered as some form of artwork, it is merely an interpretation of the artist. I mean it is a comic book character, right?

  • Aron

    Jesus Christ, Americans… ONE WORD: CORSET

  • JDog

    Who says it's that far from the truth? People are just assuming, but a corset pulls everything tighter. So, who's to say it can't be pretty damn close to the truth. Also, people work out/eat differently for certain roles. So, she could've been doing some serious body sculpting at times and then not. So her body might change later. Look at Matthew McHonawhatsit in that recent movie…dude is super skinny compared to normal roles. I'm not even sure it's a real picture versus computer generated. They take some liberties with non-film photo shots. Show me her in that exact pose with that same suit and we'll know. Until then…too much can be said about the “truth”. It's not physically impossible by the way. So, you critics need to realize that everyone is different. Quit bitchin’ about how people aren't like you and just let everyone be themselves. Critics are such hypocrits.

  • Sunshine1011

    You mean to tell me that Mark Ruffalo isn't big and green in real life?

  • Samuel Krichmar

    I agree with Ryster, stop complaining fatties, Scarlett is ALMOST that hot!

  • marwig87

    i don't think it is photo-shopped, i just think its the angle of the photo that makes her waist look small

  • Tech 49

    People need to relax, this is not vogue or some teen magazine, is a movie poster for a COMIC BOOK FILM witch is on it self a fantasy already. Are people seriously just now realizing after all this time that those magazine pictures were photo-shop really? no way people were that naive.

  • DarklingMagick

    She doesn't look like a secret agent. She looks like she might break.

  • DarklingMagick

    What's next? Allowing Rob Liefeld to do the male photoshopping? There would be tiny waists, tiny feet, and huge muscles and boobs everywhere!

  • John Tasserman

    I'm so tired of pretending life isn't perfect and bitching and just winning every second and I'm not perfect and bitching

    Charlie Sheen

  • Wes

    This is a fantasy movie about fantasy stuff. Who cares if the pic is not “real.”

    What's next? Are people going to start complaining Mark Ruffalo is bigger than he normally is and not the right color when he turns into the Hulk?

  • Paul Thomas

    I'm just trying to figure out why someone would want to alter a photograph of Scarlett Johansson in the first place.

  • Michael Difani

    Wasp waisted women in the 1890s were common, weren't they? But not since then. No photoshopping then. Maybe a rib taken out by 1890s surgery? Yikes.

  • ForTehNguyen

    what about men in movies with impossible standards of manliness? It makes me feel insecure!

  • Nadia

    What? You never heard of tighter than circulation corsets? LOL

  • Ed

    It's a poster of a movie… No woman should feel insecure, angry, outraged, or whatever. I wish I looked like The Cap, but hey, that's life. Just grab your popcorn and enjoy the flick. Movies work because of fantasy.

  • mickrussom

    She doesn't care. She likes child molesters like Woody allen. Anything to make a buck while DESTROYING the next generation of kids is OK with her. Disgusting little pig she is.

  • RareE

    I'm sorry some women are insecure about their own shapes and have to hate on others who are smaller. My sister is a SIZE 0 (ZERO!!!) and she has had 3 children and is pregnant with her 4th. She is naturally thin and eats all the time and all the wrong things. Scarlett is NOT photoshopped. She is just a thin girl and it shows on film.

  • Natasha

    Yes, photoshopped obviously and women the world over shouldn't starve themselves to get to be this impossible size and whatnot. They should have obviously stuck with the comics, were women were definitely not objectified and made to be sexier and thinner and curvier.

  • yoho

    all these fat insecure women. jjeez!

  • ikeamonkey89

    It's not a photo. It's a painting. Still, I see the complainer's point. Her waist IS too small. It's not Scarjo's body at all. She is much curvier in all the right places.

  • JBChrome

    Artwork for a movie of a COMIC BOOK CHARACTER!!! The Black Widow as portrayed in comic books has looked like this. (It has depended on the artist.) Complaining that a comic book character is unrealistic is like complaining that water is wet.

  • Stu

    I agree, she has too many clothes on.

  • unsean

    Umm… I saw “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” last week, and far as I could tell, that's her waist. Now, she may be wearing some sort of corset or something, but it looked just like the poster did.