Belinda Coleman, of the retouching agency The Shoemakers Elves, said there was a trend towards presenting less "extreme" images of thinness and of enhancing figures. "Where models are looking particularly gaunt, magazines are saying, 'We can't have that - fill out their chests,'?" she said.
"It is now deemed just as negative to be too thin as too fat. Everyone is scared of being highlighted as the magazine or label that promotes very thin girls, so they are being a lot more careful about the images they present."
Another agency, the iWanex Studio, boasts a portfolio of "before and after" images of celebrities that it has retouched for magazines. In one of the "after" photographs, the thighs of Cameron Diaz, the actress, have been visibly widened, her arms filled out and her stomach made smoother and rounder, with her prominent hip bones from the "before" photograph erased.
Nicky Eaton, the head of press and PR at Condé Nast, which publishes Vogue, GQ, and Glamour, also confirmed that images of models were enhanced to make them appear fuller-figured.
"There have been cases where models are booked way ahead of a shoot and then they turn up two months later looking less healthy and perhaps a bit underweight. We wouldn't be happy showing them that way, so it is then that we would need that person to look a little bit fuller."