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Published March 12, 2014, 09:56 PM

Poor Photoshop job sparks discussion about a troubling trend

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A poor Photoshop job has sparked discussion about a troubling trend among teens and young women. The thigh gap is becoming a more sought-after body ideal, and recent ads on Target's website show a pretty extreme version of the trend.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A poor Photoshop job has sparked discussion about a troubling trend among teens and young women. The thigh gap is becoming a more sought-after body ideal, and recent ads on Target's website show a pretty extreme version of the trend.

In recent junior's swimsuit advertisement, Target several pictures on their website. They show models, who each have a thigh gap, but the images have clearly been altered. Now, Target has removed and apologized for the ads, calling it "an unfortunate error," and teen girls say they think it sent the wrong message.

The thigh gap -

Kenzey Ostrowski - College Student: "I think it just looks unnatural."

It's a body ideal that has become more popular among teens in recent years, especially on social media.

Tayler Phillips - 19-year-old: "Pictures saying, I could eat this, or I could look like this and have a thigh gap."

What is it? In a nutshell, it's when the thighs don't touch when standing knees together.

Mercedes Nappe - College Student: "You're on Facebook looking at pictures, and you can tell people edit their own pictures. Then, I'm worried, like, 'Is my thigh gap bad?'"

So, when photos showed up on Target's website, advertising junior's swimsuits, some customers were outraged. The Photoshop error shows a clearly unnatural thigh gap in what may be a slip of the eraser. They were removed from the site but not before going viral.

Mercedes Nappe: "It looked terrible, actually. It looked like she had toothpicks for legs."

A spokesman for Target issued a statement apologizing for the photos, calling it "an unfortunate error." But some say it's obvious what the editors were going for, and they say that sends the wrong message.

Nearly all the girls we talked to said they became aware of the thigh-gap trend from posts on social media sites, and that they've noticed it gaining traction in just the past year or two.

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